#EndSARS/ Palliatives Looting: My father not Nigeria’s problem – Buhari’s daughter

*Gov Ayade lead search for looted items

* Pope Francis calls for prayer in Nigeria

*Ubah tasks Buhari to investigate killlings

* HURIWA asks Buhari to sack IGP

By Emma Okereh, Chesa Chesa, Williams Orji and Chika Otuchikere

With mind-bugling revelation of warehouses where palliatives allegedly procured for distribution during the heat of the Corona Virus pandemic were vandalized and items stored in such warehouses carted away by hoodlums, violent protests, arson and killing are yet to abate in most parts of the country.

Although state governors had declared curfew in Lagos, Enugu, Anambra, Abia, Ogun, Rivers and Edo states, after the alleged killing of protesters by uniform personnel at the Lekki area of Lagos state, calm is yet to return.

Our correspondents report heavy deployment of security operatives to enforce the curfew and halt the rampaging youths, but the nation is still witnessing pockets of violence.

Interestingly, while public officers engage in their usual denial, the protesting youths have continued to discover more warehouses where claimed COVID-19 palliatives were allegedly stashed away ostensibly to be diverted.

Such discoveries interestingly have led to the looting of the warehouses, including the descretation of the Palace of the Oba of Lagos and the carting away of his symbol of authority.

Reacting to the developments, one of President Muhammadu Buhari’s daughters, Zahra Buhari-Indimi, has said that the discovery of claimed COVID-19 palliatives in such warehouses has proved that her father is not the problem of the country.

The President’s daughter made the assertion in an Instagram post on Sunday.

She wrote, “Now that people confirmed that Buhari distributed enough palliatives nationwide; it is clear Buhari is not our problem.”

Aside from what happened on Saturday, more warehouses in Lagos, Plateau, Osun, and Kwara, Ekiti, Cross River states were discovered and looted.

In several of them, the looters made a free rein on cartons of noodles, sacks of garri, bags of rice, cartons of tomato pastes, noodles and several other food items, taking them away as spoils of war.

Some were even looted from the private homes of notable politicians.

*Gov Ayade lead search for looted items

In Cross River State, Gov. Ben Ayade ordered house-to-house search of residential for possible recovery of looted items.

The Governor in a statement signed by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Christian Ita, asked security agents to take legitimate action to halt violence and recover the stolen items.

Prof Ayade confirmed that more soldiers were deployed to Calabar to help quell violence and halt the arson witnessed in some parts of Calabar.

The Governor who said he understands the pain of the people, averred that there was need to protect the commonwealth of the people.

He called on the people to rise up and defend their land from criminal elements bent on destroying the image of the state.

He however reinforced the dusk-to-dawn curfew, and advised people to remain indoors as security agencies will not tolerate non-compliance.

*Buhari condemns ethnicity-laced eviction notices

Meanwhile, President Buhari has expressed his optimism that the Judicial Panels of Inquiry set up by state governments on the protests would give justice to peaceful protesters who lost their lives, security men who were murdered and property owners whose assets were vandalized and looted in the country.

The President, who said he had all along avoided going into a debate about the Lekki Toll Gate incidents until all the facts are established, appealed to Nigerians to maintain peace “as the machinery of the government and the wheel of justice turn against the perpetrators of murder, arson, stealing, rape, assault and malicious damage to public and private property”.

He bared his mind in a statement by his spokesman, Garba Shehu, on Sunday.

The President advised that “peace, brotherhood, and inter communal harmony are central to our ethos and urges Nigerians not to turn against one another in hate.”

He said it is important that the police and other security agencies move everywhere to restore calm and normalcy as quickly as possible.

President Buhari said while his administration is working hard through many pragmatic ways to reduce the hardship of the millions of our unemployed, poor citizens and those whose lives have been thrown into disarray by the harsh economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, he warned that resort to widespread attacks and the organized looting and plundering of public and private property in many states are inimical to public good and stand condemned.

According to him: “A government that has launched a massive crackdown on corruption, brought in strong laws for a decisive battle against corruption, pursues loot recovery at home and abroad, and taken strong decisions against those who thought they were above the law, will not fold its arms when an otherwise legitimate and peaceful protest is turning into free-for-all vandalism and looting.

“While the administration has, for its part, blocked so many means of looting public money in a war against corruption, it is the expectation that all civil authorities, community and religious leaders in the country must rise against the organized looting and plunder we are witnessing in parts of the country.

“Families must turn back children who bring home unaccounted goods, in the same way wives must ask their husbands to return looted items brought home.

“What is more, is that criminal actions as we have so far witnessed can weaken and erode the confidence of our people and that of foreign businesses in investing in the economy.

“Looting and vandalism will hurt trade and investment growth in our country, both large and small industries, as well as our hardworking people in the informal sectors of the economy.

“These incidents do not reflect well on any society. They are wrong and condemnable and should not be supported by reasonable members of the society.

“In line with this, President Buhari commends the decision of the Lagos State Ministry of Justice to prosecute 229 suspects arrested by the police for allegedly using the #EndSARS protest to destroy and loot public and private property.

“As mentioned in two successive statements on the issues, the President and his administration have taken note of the grievances of the people. ‘We have heard you loud and clear’, he said, and has shown a clear determination to take all necessary measures to address the complaints. The violence must stop”, he said.

He also condemned hate messages and eviction notices to ethnic and religious groups, asking Nigerians to take pride in the fact that our diverse people have been living with one another in harmony for ages.

*Pope Francis calls for prayer in Nigeria

On his part, Catholic Pontiff, Pope Francis, has urged everyone to pray for Nigeria. He made the call on Sunday.

Pope Francis said supplications were needed to forestall further civil disorder in Africa’s most populous country.

“Let us pray to the Lord for Nigeria, so that every form of violence might always be avoided, in the constant search of social harmony through the promotion of justice and the common good”, he tweeted.

*Kaduna Police warns violators, threatens miscreants

Also, the Commissioner of Police, Kaduna State Police Command, Alhaji Umar Muri, has warned that he will not spare any person or group of persons found disturbing the peace of the state.

He warned that the command would deal decisively with any person or groups who violate the 24-hour curfew imposed by the state government.

The Commissioner in a statement by his spokesman, ASP Mohammed Jaleh on Sunday, said the 24-hour curfew would be strictly carried out, explaining that the police and other security agencies would not hesitate to deal decisively with any person or group of persons, found disturbing the peace enjoyed by the good people of the state.

He reminded that the 24-hour curfew earlier imposed in parts of Chikun and Kaduna South LGAs, has been extended to the 23 LGAs in the state.

*Wheat looted in Jos is poisonous – FG

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has warned that the wheat seeds carted away by hoodlums from the National Agricultural Seed Council’s warehouse in Bukuru, Jos, Plateau State were poisonous and unfit for human consumption.

The ministry gave the warning in a statement which indicated that, the wheat seeds had been treated with chemicals and intended for planting during the dry season.

It appealed to the general public not to consume the wheat but to report any of such found to the nearest security agency.

*Fintiri imposes curfew in Adamawa

Meanwhile, Governor Ahmadu Fintiri has announced curfew in Adamawa State following the looting of warehouses by hoodlums.

Some hoodlums had earlier on Sunday morning broken into a federal warehouse in Kwarnawaya, a community in Yola South Local Government Area, and also moved in to the state’s Central Store in Bakin Kogi, a community in the heart of Jimeta, Yola North LGA and looted food items stored there.

Reacting, the governor commended the people for restraining from violence since the End SARS protests started across the country, but said the government had now been forced to act to check the new trend.

In a broadcast, he said “while government respects the rights of the citizens to seek redress, it is not blind to the fact that there is a civilized and responsible way of channelling genuine grievances.”

The governor who mentioned four instances when his government distributed palliative items to the people since the COVID-19 pandemic started, adding that he was about to order further distribution of more palliative items on Monday (today).

He said that to prevent “hoodlums and misguided elements who operate unchallenged when we are already battling with the challenges of insurgency, kidnapping, cattle rustling, banditry and farmer/herder clashes.

“Furthermore, reports of people dying in the stampede have been received and we cannot afford to allow anyone to lose his or her life.

“We must also avoid a scenario where the security agents will be blamed if any person loses his/her life while being prevented from looting and destroying Government property.

“In view of the above, I have declared and imposed an indefinite dawn to dusk curfew throughout the State beginning from 3 o’clock Sunday the 25th of October 2020.”

*Akeredolu condemns destruction of properties

In Ondo State, Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, described the destructive spree by the hoodlums as worrisome and deeply disheartening.

According to him, “the loss of lives as well as the mindless destruction of public and private properties in Akure, Ondo, Ore and Okitipupa cannot receive accolades under any guise”.

Akeredolu during a press briefing on Sunday said those arrested in connection with the destruction of properties in the state will face the full wrath of the law.

“I have seen with my eyes, the painful destruction of public assets such as the High Court Complex, Local Government Secretariat including school shuttle buses all in Okitipupa, several Police Stations, vehicles, offices, banks, markets as well as assets of private individuals,” he said.

*Sen. Ubah asks Buhari to investigate killings

Meanwhile, the Senator representing Anambra South Senatorial District, Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah, has condemned the killings in strong terms asking President Buhari to set a Judicial Panel of Inquiry to investigate what he termed as “barbaric shooting of peaceful protesters”.

In a statement Ubah expressed deep sadness over the incident, while condoling with the families of people that lost their lives.

According to him: “I am deeply saddened by reports of extrajudicial shootings and barbaric killing of peaceful protesters in Lekki-Lagos, Nigeria.

“I wish to categorically condemn in its entirety, these shootings by security operatives who are meant to protect the citizens.

“These unlawful shootings by the military and security agents at unarmed protesters are a gross violation of the right to life as enshrined in Section 33 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999; Article 4 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights, and Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

“In view of this, I hereby call on the Federal Government and all relevant security agencies involved to commence immediate investigation into this matter with a view to serving justice to the deceased and their loved ones.

I also call on the President to assuage the feelings of the citizenry.
“As stated earlier in my motion on the floor of the Nigerian Senate on Tuesday; October 13, 2020 calling for comprehensive Police Reforms and End of Police Brutality, I remain committed to exploring ways of ensuring that the incessant harassment of citizens by security agents stops with a view to promoting a cordial relationship between law abiding citizens and law enforcement agents in the nation for a more peaceful and secure environment where the people can express their thoughts and feelings about the Government without fear of intimidation,” he said.

*HURIWA asks Buhari to sack the IGP

The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has called for the immediate sack of the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu.

The rights group said there is evidence of state collusion which gave way to a general breakdown of law and order across the country.

HURIWA said Adamu should be sacked forthwith for failing to prevent Nigerians from massively invading public and private properties and also for, destroying and burning down assets of certain individuals.

HURIWA said the unarmed hoodlums succeeded only because Adamu failed to command and control the operatives of the police to carry out their jobs.

The group further noted that an earlier order made by the IGP withdrawing police protection from VIPs was the tonic needed by these youthful hoodlums to loot and destroy public and private assets of Nigeria and Nigerians.

HURIWA said that Adamu has no legal reason to remain in office with the massive scale of attacks of public and private properties carried out by hoodlums who did not have to worry about the police since the police operatives were nowhere near the crime scenes.

HURIWA stated that “the IGP, Adamu, violated several sections of the Constitution by his gross dereliction of duty”.

*Youths, security agents clash in Ibadan over alleged killing

Some youths in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital on Sunday clashed with some security agents over the death of a youth in Ibadan.

It was gathered that the deceased was allegedly shot by security agents in the early hours of Sunday.

The reason for his killing was still unknown at the time of filing this report.

The killing, however, resulted in an attack on the Mokola police station in an attempt to burn it.

The invasion of the police station resulted in a clash between the youths and the security agents.

“Immediately they took the dead body to the station, the hoodlums started vandalizing the Police station until another group of youths from Mokola repelled them from further vandalizing the station” said an eye witness.

Reports say a female Police Inspector was injured during the invasion of the police station.

Spokesperson of the Operation Burst team, while reacting said no one was killed. He said the security operative did not fire any shot but arrested hoodlums.

*You want to cover up crimes – Fani-Kayode hits back at Tinubu

Former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, has hit back at the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, over his comments on the Lekki toll gate protesters, who were shot at by uniformed men.

Tinubu, while on a visit to Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Saturday questioned why the End SARS protesters were at the toll gate at the time of the incident on Tuesday, October 20.

However, Fani-Kayode in a Facebook post on Sunday labeled them “stupid questions and baseless accusations”.

He also claimed Tinubu was trying to cover up the “horrendous crimes”.

“How cruel can you be? Not a word of condolence or expression of commiseration to the families of the dead but instead you offered stupid questions and baseless accusations against their wards and children who were butchered in the most brutal circumstances and heartless manner,” Fani-Kayode wrote.

He added that Tinub was attempting to blame the protesters for being shot to death by “a bunch of genocidal maniacs in uniform who subjected them to crimes against humanity, genocide and mass murder.

“You seek to cover up these horrendous crimes and you are attempting to dishonour and denigrate the dead and desecrate and mock the great sacrifice of these courageous young martyrs for democracy who were murdered in cold blood on the front lines in the field of battle?”

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