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Insecurity: Northern Elders, PDP Blast Buhari, Governors

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Northern Elders and opposition Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) on Sunday came hard on the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government over rising insecurity in many parts of the country, especially the North.

While the elders, under the aegis of Northern Elders Forum (NEF), said their region had been pushed to the wall, the PDP said the inability of the Buhari government to contain the killings across the nation was unacceptable.

The Prof Ango Abdullahi-led group lamented that the people were now at the mercy of armed gangs who roam their towns and villages at will wreaking havoc.

It said in a statement the Buhari administration and governors of the region had woefully failed in the provision of security and welfare for the people.

The group enjoined the Federal Government and Northern governors to note that “it is now time to say, enough is enough.”

The statement which was signed by Abdullahi reads: “Northern Elders Forum (NEF) is alarmed at the rising insecurity of communities and their properties in the North. Recent escalation of attacks by bandits, rustlers and insurgents leave the only conclusion that the people of the North are now completely at the mercy of armed gangs who roam their towns and villages at will, wreaking havoc.

“It would appear that the administration of President Buhari and governors have lost control over the imperatives of protecting people of the North, a Constitutional duty they swore to uphold.

“The situation is getting worse literally by the day. Bandits and insurgents appear to sense a huge vacuum in political will and capacity which they exploit with disastrous consequences on communities and individuals.

“It is no exaggeration to say that the people of the North have never experienced this level of exposure to criminals who attack, kill, maim, rape, kidnap, burn villages and rustle cattle, while President Buhari issues threats and promises that have no effect.

“The situation under which our communities from Kogi to Borno States, from Sokoto to Taraba States live is no longer tolerable.”

NEF however said that as a “responsible body, it had joined millions of others in prayers and in giving advice and encouragement to all authorities that have responsibility to protect our communities.”

”It is now time to say, enough is enough. Our people are known for their patience and respect for constituted authorities, but all governments must be aware by now that all Northerners have been pushed to the wall.

“The forum is aware that some citizens are contemplating peaceful protests, which are their constitutional rights, to draw attention of President Buhari and all levels of authority to the plight of people of the North.

“The forum urges all citizens to conduct themselves in peaceful and responsible manner. It also urges governments to respect the rights of citizens to express their opinions peacefully.

“The forum is also consulting other groups and organizations which share its goals and concerns to lend our voices to the demands for action and relief from the unremitting assaults on our lives and livelihood as Northerners.

“We remind President Buhari that provision of security and pursuit of economic welfare of citizens are the only two constitutional responsibilities of the state which all leaders must achieve.

“Our current circumstances in the North clearly demonstrate that the Buhari administration has woefully failed to achieve either. This is unacceptable.

“We demand an immediate and comprehensive improvement of our security in the North. We are tired of excuses and verbal threats which criminals laugh at, and our fellow citizens see as a clear failure of leadership which they see as part of them. Enough is enough.”

The PDP, in a statement by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, said Katsina, Sokoto, Zamfara, Borno, Kaduna, Kogi and Taraba states were the worst hit by the deplorable security situation in the country.

The party said it was greatly hurt by the horror, anguish, agony, torture and cruelty Nigerians were facing in the hands of bandits, insurgents and kidnappers.

It therefore challenged the Federal Government to rise to the occasion by tightening the security architecture and securing the nation.

The statement said, “Our party holds that the situation where marauders and insurgents, who had been pushed to the fringes by the PDP administration, had resurged under the APC(All Progressives Congrss} to the extent of occupying territories, ravaging communities and killing our citizens with reckless abandon, raises a lot of questions.

“It is even more lamentable that the bandits had become so emboldened by the failure of the APC administration to the extent of holding Mr. President’s home state, Katsina, to ransom.

“Some APC governors are reported to have had contacts, discussions and even negotiations with the bandits: a situation which also demands that the APC and such governors come clean on links with marauders.

“Furthermore, Nigerians have observed the failure of the APC, as a party, to raise a strong voice in giving its government, marching orders against banditry. “The APC had not taken any decisive action or proffered any significant suggestion in the effort to secure our nation, beyond lame condolence messages to victims of the attacks”.

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Breaking: CNN Retracts Initial Report Soldiers Killed 38 at Lekki Tollgate During #EndSARS Protest

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The Cable News Network has retracted its initial report, which said operatives of the Nigerian Army killed 38 persons at the Lekki Tollgate in Lagos State on October 20, 2020.

The international broadcaster did this a double retraction on its Twitter handle it titled: “Clarification.”

In the “Clarification,” CNN said it did not attribute the death toll to Amnesty International and also failed to say in the report that the 38 persons killed were not just at the Lekki tollgate but across the country during the #EndSARS protest.

It tweeted: “Clarification: This tweet from October 23 did not attribute the death toll from protests in Nigeria to Amnesty International. The tweet also did not make it clear that the death toll was for protests across the country.”

But it did both in its tweets and reports anchored by Stephanie Busari on the incident as attached to this report.

Though the first paragraph of the amended story on the incident on October 22, 2020 said the reported 38 deaths on October 20, 2020 was nationwide, what it tweeted on October 23, 2020 was that the military did the killing that day.

In that same first paragraph of the story, the international broadcaster attributed its source of death of 56 persons to Amnesty International, a position it then retreated in the early hours of Friday.

It wrote in the story, which video link is also attached: “At least 56 people have died across Nigeria since the #EndSARS protests began on October 8, with 38 killed across the country on Tuesday alone, according to human rights group Amnesty International.”

The Nigerian Government had through the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, written a protest letter to the Management of CNN complaining about the authenticity of a report that put together various videos of the Lekki Tollgate shooting.

However, CNN followed it up with a Part 2 of the report.

The Nigerian Army had also disputed both the initial report on the October 20, 2020 shooting and the two parts report on the video evidences CNN claimed justified its position on the shooting incident.

Reactions to the “Clarification” by CNN had been pouring in since it was done at about 10:05pm Nigerian time on Thursday.

However, the broadcaster has not said anything on the two parts report that followed in the last one week.

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/10/22/africa/nigeria-protests-56-dead-jail-fire-intl/index.html

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Lekki Shooting: CNN Carried Out A Hatchet Job On The Army – International Journalists

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The report by Cable News Network (CNN) on the shooting at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos was a “poor” hatchet job targeted at the Nigerian Army, the International Institute for Investigative Journalism (IIIJ) has said.

In an electronic statement signed by special rapporteur, Francois Deburoiche, on Wednesday, the IIIJ said it came to this conclusion following a careful investigation on the events that led to the escalation of violence at the toll gate.

After forensic analysis of CNN’s report, the International Institute for Investigative Journalism noted that there were some missing details in the American television channel’s piece.

According to the institute, the report was carried out in poor taste, lacking professionalism and objectivity. It added that the claim of use of live bullets and testimonies of victims were all tales.

The institute, however, advised the television channel to retract and admit error in the documentary.

Read the full statement below:

The International Institute for Investigative Journalism is issuing this press statement with the best of intents after a careful investigation on the events that led to the escalation of violence at the Lekki Tollgate in Lagos Nigeria during the EndSARS protest.

A team of investigative journalists with extensive experience in conflict situation interrogated the various claims made by the American Cable News Network in its report on the Lekki Shootings and came up with a comprehensive analysis that found gaps that were not filled in the CNN documentation of the events at the Lekki Tollgate in Lagos Nigeria.

Our statement:

The CNN documentary on the EndSARS protest in Nigeria was released to the general public with lots of inaccuracies. These accuracies were detected after an extensive forensic investigation by the International Institute for Investigative Journalism.

It is thus our opinion that the report was carried out in the poor taste, lacking in professionalism and objectivity. This is a great betrayal on journalism by the CNN, which indeed violated the known tenets of journalism.

The videos and images used in the CNN report were not subjected to adequate scrutiny. Consequently, it lacked credibility for use by an organization of repute such as the CNN. This fact was also buttressed by the fact that the CNN report was very hasty in its conclusion by indicting the Nigerian Army of culpability in the events at the Lekki Tollgate.

Our position remains that the CNN erred substantially in its report that was highly misleading to the general public in Nigeria and other parts of the world. The documentary also failed woefully to highlight the events that led to the reign of violence in parts of Lagos state but instead rehashed the issues under different subheadings with minimal evidence that indicts the Nigerian Army of wrongdoing at the Lekki Tollgate.

The International Institute for Investigative Journalism concludes that the CNN documentary was prejudiced in its analysis as well as presentation which fall nothing short of a poor hatchet job with the undeniable intent to discredit the Nigerian Army operation at the Lekki Tollgate in Lagos Nigeria.

The analysis by CNN in the documentary was hasty in its categorization with regards to the use of live bullets by soldiers at the Lekki Tollgate. The report attempted to portray the use of excessive force by soldiers, while the accompanying videos and images did not depict such.

The credibility of those interviewed in the documentary was also suspect with the choice of words and the facial and body expressions of the victims as well as their relatives. Thus much was revealed by forensic analysis as the emotions portrayed didn’t match their words.

Conclusion:

The International Institute for Investigative Journalism is of the considered opinion that the CNN carried out a hatchet job that is targeted at the Nigerian Army institution. We as a result of this classify the CNN documentary as highly misleading and with the capacity to cause disquiet in Nigeria.

The CNN must retract and admit error in submission in its documentary on the Lekki Tollgate shootings. The International Institute for Investigative Journalism faults the CNN documentary in all ramifications.

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Why Army is Boosting Land Power, Buratai Speaks at War College Lecture

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The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai, has said that the Army War College Nigeria (AWCN) has continued to churn out highly-capable operational commanders, with a very good understanding of operational art and the requisite skills for the effective application of land power.

Buratai, was the special guest of honour at the ‘Graduation Lecture’ of Course 4/2020, in Abuja. The COAS, who had earlier commissioned the War College Office Extension Building, further said the building is made up of offices, Central Auditorium with 450 seating capacity, a lecture hall and a lounge with 180 and 120 seating capacity, respectively.

According to Lt. Gen. Buratai, the War College was conceived to address the observed gaps in the professional military education of Army’s personnel at operational level. The Commandant of AWCN, Maj. Gen. SE Udounwa, expressed gratitude to the Army Chief for tirelessly supporting the College, especially in the area of infrastructural development.

The AWCN was established in 2017 to bridge the gap between the tactical and strategic level training by producing well trained, educated and inspired operational level leaders for the Nigerian Army.

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