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PDP Postpones Edo Governorship Primary Election

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has postponed its primary election for the forthcoming governorship poll in Edo State.

PDP’s National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, announced this in a statement on Thursday.

According to him, the National Working Committee (NWC) of the PDP took the decision to postpone the exercise based on the exigencies of party activities.

Ologbondiyan revealed that the primary election, earlier scheduled for Friday and Saturday, has now been shifted to Tuesday next week, June 23.

He urged all governorship aspirants, critical stakeholders, party faithful, and PDP supporters in Edo State to take note of the new date for the exercise.

The PDP spokesman gave an assurance that the party would conduct its activities in line with the COVID-19 guidelines of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

Read the full statement below:

June 18, 2020

Press Statement

PDP Postpones Edo Governorship Primaries

The National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has postponed the Edo state governorship primary election earlier scheduled for Friday, June 19, and Saturday, June 20, 2020, to a new date of Tuesday, June 23, 2020.

This decision is predicated on the exigencies of party activities.

All governorship aspirants, critical stakeholders, party faithful, and our teeming supporters, particularly in Edo state, are to take note accordingly.

Our party wishes to remind our members that all activities shall be in accordance with the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC)’s guidelines on COVID-19, as it concerns social/physical distancing at public gatherings.

Signed:

Kola Ologbondiyan

National Publicity Secretary

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#EndSARS: Situation Report Decries Human Rights Abuses By Protesters, Hoodlums

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The Civil Situation Room has called for an immediate suspension of the #EndSARS protests across the country over human rights abuses. 

The situation room, consisting of over 100 human rights groups said the protests have taken a violent twist in recent days, infringing on the rights of other citizens and entrenching criminal activities.

Protests demanding an end to Police brutality entered its 12th day on Monday despite the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and subsequent formation of Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT). 

In the last couple of days, the exercise has become fierce, particularly in the Federal Capital Territory, Lagos and Benin. 

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday in Abuja, coordinator of the Situation Room on #EndSARS Comrade Adamu Kabir Matazu said protesters are now involved in abuses, depriving people of their lives. 

He, however, urged leaders of thought all over the world to prevail on the #EndSARS protesters to respect the rights of other citizens.

Comrade Kabir also urged the Federal Government to “change its approach of allowing some people run riot simply because they are hiding under the identity of youth to protest”. 

He said the FG must step in to bring order and sanity to stop the protesters from interfering with the ordinary citizens and preventing people from going about their legitimate businesses.   

Read full statement below:

Gentlemen of the press, we are pleased to welcome you to this press conference which is called to address issues arising from #EndSARS protests. You will recall that when the incidents of police brutality first became topical and Nigerians decided to protest against it all of us joined without hesitation. At the start of these protests everyone was focused on issues while highlighting the need to call operatives of SARS unit to order with the demand that the unit must be scrapped. 

It was reassuring that the federal government and the Nigeria Police Force were responsive by immediately scrapping SARS. Further agitation from protesters saw to it that the government agreed to a five-point demand from protesters. These demands were geared towards wholesomely reforming the police. From the way we see it the demands that were tabled included items that should be dealt with immediately, on this short term, on the midterm, and long term. 

As outlined, we realize that it will take time for each set of demands to be implemented depending on whether it’s something that will be done immediately or something that will cover a period of months or years. The logic is that protesters will then allow the government time to implement these demanded changes. 

This perhaps informed the decision of some people to drop out of the protest because they want the government to have time to respond to the things that they have asked for. This does not in any way negate the rights of those who decided that they will continue to protest in fact we seem that they now moved beyond the demand for police reform to include other things, some of them are even asking for the sack of the government, which was not something that was originally on the table. 

What this means is that serious minded people returned to their legitimate businesses and activities while waiting to see how the government implement the changes that they have demanded. From the way we look at it, this has made those who are still protesting to change their tactics by doing things to force others to become part of the protest. We now see them increasingly blocking roads in a way that prevents people from getting to their workplaces, from getting to their places of business, and even in some instances from accessing lifesaving treatment. 

In Abuja for instance, protesters obstructed the airport road, knowing that it is a major access for people traveling out of the city and heading to the airport to catch their flights. A particularly sad outcome from this was the case of the woman reportedly in labor, who died because she could not get to the hospital for lifesaving intervention. In the same city, there are reported incidents of motorists getting their vehicles smashed in by the unruly protesters. In Osun state, there was the sad incident of protesters attacking the state governor, they then went on rampage and burnt down a mall in the state capital. 

In Benin City, Edo state: Protesters broke into two  prisons  and set free inmates that include hardened criminals, killed two police officers and set numerous properties on fire . They also set up bonfires, obstructed free flow of traffic and serially manhandled security operatives.

Ibadan, Oyo State: protesters obstructed the road and forced people to trek long distances while those going about their legitimate business were harassed endlessly. Lives of innocent citizens have also been lost in this state. 

Lagos is also lockdown from the protesters, who made harassment of those not supporting their protests a standard modus operandi.

In other cases, the information we are getting is that protesters are randomly shooting at people, killing them, and depriving them of their lives apparently in their bid to frame law enforcement agencies to be  responsible for killing protesters. This perverted strategy is intended to make the government appear as being repressive and the law enforcement agencies as engaging in human rights abuses. 
 
In reality, it is the protesters that are now involved in abuses. They are the ones who obstruct people from having free access to move around, they are the ones who prevent people from seeking their daily livelihood, they are the ones beating people up, they are the ones destroy people’s property and they are the ones depriving people of their lives, Where are the ones hacking into people’s digital accounts and making publishing private information of public office holders and government employees thereby depriving people of their right to privacy. 

We the coalition of civil society groups numbering over 100 are therefore saying that #EndSARS protesters must stop the growing cases of human rights abuses that are being recorded at their protests. We cannot be campaigning against right abuses and then become guilty of things that we are against. 

We like to conclude this briefing by stating that: we are calling on leaders of thought all over the world to prevail on #EndSARS protesters to respect the rights of other citizens. 

We further demand that they prevail on the government to change its approach of allowing some people run riot simply because they are hiding under the identity of youth to protest. The government must step in to bring order and sanity to the protests whilst the protesters continued to interfere with the ordinary citizens and stopping people from going about their legitimate businesses is unfair, inhuman and unacceptable. We call on the international community, the US Ambassadors to Nigeria, British High Commissioner to Nigeria and all men of good conscience to call the errant members of the protests to order.

We fear that these innocent citizens will be forced to defend themselves if nothing is urgently done. 

Thank you and God bless you all.

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#EndSARS: Inter-Faith Group Berates Adeboye, Oyedepo Others for Defending Same Sex Marriage Against God’s Commandment

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The National Inter- Faith and Religious Organisations for Peace (NIFROP) has expressed displeasure with Pastor E.A Adeboye, Bishop David Oyedepo and other respected clerics over alleged links to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBTQ) community in stoking the #EndSARS protests

In a statement signed by Director of Publicity, Rev. Steven Onwu, on Monday, the clerics said the intention is to overthrow the government and install a pliable replacement that will repeal the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act 2013.

Protest across the country demanding an end to Police brutality has intensified despite disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and subsequent formation of the Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT).

In the last couple of days, the protest has taken a violent twist, raising questions about the original intents.

NIFROP said it is “hocked at the unholy alliance between some otherwise respected clergymen with their churches and LGBTQ Community to destroy Nigeria”.

The clergymen, however, advised their colleagues supporting the LGBTQ protests to repent and seek God’s forgiveness for their sins assuming they committed same in ignorance.

The group urged Nigerians to shun these protests henceforth in order not to be contaminated by the sins of LGBTQ.

Read full statement below:

National Inter- Faith and Religious Organizations for Peace (NIFROP) is disappointed other decision of some leading clergymen to team up and enter into only alliances with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, queer, (LGBTQ) community in stoking dissention and crisis in the land through the hijack of the #EndSARS protest.

The protest that began as a legitimate agitation for an end to police brutality and abuse of human rights, particularly by the now rested SARS unit, has now turned to the cause of unfolding bloodshed and wanton destruction of property across several cities of the world.

Concerned Nigerians had wondered how protesters were being fed and transported to protest venues only for us to discover that the massing on the streets is being sponsored by the LGBTQ Community, which had successfully hidden their involvement by using cryptocurrency and other dark mode of financing.

We surmise that LGBTQ Community’s objective for bankrolling this protests that have now turned violent is so that they can overthrow the government and install a pliable replacement that will repeal the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act 2013. It is of note that the Act tallies with the injunctions in the Bible, Quran and the other testaments that the people of God subscribe to. The faithful in Nigeria fully support the Act as none of us want the wrath of God to befall us.

The agenda of the enemies is now clear. For the LGBTQ community to proudly own sponsorship of the protests is an insult to all Christians and Muslims all over the country. It is reprehensible and condemnable in all ramifications. It is abominable that clergymen who should show the way have allowed their pursuit of worldliness to blind them to the directives of God.

NIFROP is therefore shocked at the unholy alliance between some otherwise respected clergymen with their churches and LGBTQ Community to destroy Nigeria, which is real cause for worry in the Body of Christ. We are appalled that Pastors and Bishop have delivered sermons for the youth to join and actively participate in protests whose long-term objective is to open the country up to gay, lesbian and other deplorable lifestyles.

We are further worried that these clergymen went further in their sin by taking money from God’s house to either support the protests directly or used in buying food items for the protesters. We wonder if these clergymen have deleted Leviticus 20:13 from their own versions of the Bible. Ananias and Sapphira were not as indiscreet with the resources of the Church.

NIFROP strongly condemns this decision of the senior clergymen to hobnob with the LGBTQ axis of evil; in violation of God’s injunction, they teamed up with sinners even after the legitimate #ENDSARs has ended just to destroy the country. The clergymen who lent themselves out for this evil are nothing but workers of iniquities in the vineyard of God.

We exhort Bishop David Oyedepo of the Living Faith Church, Senior Pastor (Dr.) Paul Enenche of Dunamis International Gospel Centre, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye with his Pastor Folu Adeboye as well as his son and all other clergymen that have supported the LGBTQ protests to repent and seek God’s forgiveness for their sins assuming they committed same in ignorance.

We urge Nigerians to shun these protests henceforth in order not to be contaminated by the sins of LGBTQ. Nigerians should continue to seek the face of God and pray for forgiveness for the way the LGBTQ Community lured a lot of people to sin.

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Crocodile Smile: Exercise Has Nothing To Do With #EndSARS Protests, Civil Rights Lawyer Warns

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Contrary to reports, a civil rights lawyer, Osuagwu Ugochukwu, says the Nigerian Army’s operation ‘Crocodile Smile’ has no relationship with the ongoing #EndSARS protests across the country.

In a statement on Sunday, Ugochukwu said the military has never involved itself in the civil uproar at all in any form whatsoever.

Protest across the country demanding an end to Police brutality has intensified despite disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and subsequent formation of the Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT).

In the last couple of days, the protest has taken a violent twist, raising questions about the original intents.

However, despite insinuations in some section of the media, Ugochukwu said to imply that the exercise is meant to stifle the #EndSARS protest is to say the least highly misinformed.

“My attention has been drawn to several media publications unjustly condemning the Nigeria Army and its Leadership over the announcement of ‘Cyber Warfare Operation’,” he said.

“This year’s Exercise Crocodile Smile VI is scheduled to commence from the 20th of October to the 31st of December 2020.

“For the records the Operation Crocodile Smile is a yearly exercise in the Nigeria Army calendar which usually holds from October till December.

“Thus to now insinuate that it is an exercise meant to stifle the on going ENDSARS protest is to say the least highly misinformed .The Crocodile Smile VI has nothing to do with the protest ongoing and the Military has never involved themselves in the ongoing civil protest at all in any form whatsoever. Nobody can claim or accuse the Military of interfering with the ENDSARS protest at all including the hardest of the critics. The Army has acted professionally since the civil protest started over two weeks ago”.

The human rights lawyer, however, urged Nigerians to go about their lawful activities as the Crocodile Smile VI exercise starting nationwide from next week has nothing to do with ENDSARS but a yearly operation set out by the Military to discharge its constitutional duties .

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