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PDP Congress In Niger State Disrupted

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The Peoples Democratic Party’s congress in Niger State has been disrupted by violence following agitation by supporters of the incumbent chairman of the party who want him to stay on for a second term.

After waiting for more than six hours for the commencement of the congress which was scheduled to hold by 10 am, some youths began protesting, alleging that there was a plan to impose another candidate Mukhtar Mohammed on them by conducting an election.

Such a move, they said, was contrary to an initial agreement reached by the party members to affirm the current chairman Tanko Beji.

The two contestants for the Chairmanship position are the incumbent chairman, Tanko Beji, and Mukhtar Mohammed.

Things took a turn for worse when a former Deputy Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Baba Shehu Agaie, was attacked by a mob upon his arrival to the venue.

He was hit several times with sticks for allegedly withholding tags that were meant for delegates from his area before being rescued by security personnel.

Even with the presence of security operatives, the agitators could not be tamed.

As anger boiled over, giving way to violence, members of the electoral committee led by the PDP governorship candidate in Borno State in the 2019 general elections were whisked away by security guards who shot into the air to disperse the agitators.

As of the time of this report, many supporters of the PDP were still around the party’s secretariat amid speculations that a secret congress might still hold.

None of the party leaders in the state could be immediately reached for comments.

Meanwhile, some of the delegates and other members who spoke to Channels Television have expressed disappointment over the way the congress turned out.

A member of the party, Ibrahim Bilyaminu described what happened has unfortunate.

“PDP is one big family. So, we are not happy with what happened today,” Bilyaminu said.

Another member, Yusuf King, said, “It is a shame to our party.”

Prior to the congress, some top members of the party under the aegis of PDP Stakeholders led by a former Deputy Governor Dr Nuhu Zagbayi had accused the immediate past Governor, Dr Babangida Aliyu, of undue interference in the party.

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#EndSARS Protests: Patriotic Elders Rally Support For Buhari, Say Nigeria Must Come First Before Other Interests

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The Patriotic Elders Council (PEC) have thrown their weight behind President Muhammadu Buhari, noting that the country comes first before other interests.

The group’s backing, contained in a statement signed by Alhaji Ari Gwaska on Friday, follows public reactions that trailed the EndSARS protests across the country.

Recall that some governors had expressed maximum support for President Buhari amidst pressure from Nigerians and the international community.

The Northern States Governors’ Forum called on all Nigerians to resist what they described as enemies of the nation by supporting the president

And according to PEC, the arson, crime and violent dimension that accompanied the mass action is “condemnable, absurd and unacceptable to every sane and sensible Nigerian”.

The group said, ” there is no need to set the country on fire because the interests of a few elites are endangered or in jeopardy”.

The PEC further said elder statesmen such as former President Olusegun Obasanjo cheering the youths towards the path of destruction will face judgement someday.

The patriotic elders noted that youths are the emblem of the strength of any country and a symbol of its heritage.

The group, however, urged them to maintain total loyalty to Nigeria; protect and defend their only country as it is their only worthy asset.

Read the full statement below:

The ugly dimension of the on-going #EndSARS protests in some parts of the country over the unlawful acts of the Nigeria Police unit, the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) should disturb every patriotic Nigerian. We acknowledge the intricate abuses and unprofessional conducts of SARS over the years, precipitating the protests.

The Patriotic Elders Council (PEC) also immensely appreciates the endurance of Nigerians, particularly youths who constitute the bulk of our agile population, worse hit by the unlawful acts of Police brutality and extrajudicial killings as signposted by SARS operatives.  Nigerians deserve empathy and the anger is justified. We align with President Muhammadu Buhari and the youths that there is every need to address the abnormalities, restructure and reform the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) entirely.

By it, in the last few days, President Buhari has taken active steps in this direction in the wake of the #EndSARS to assuage the protesters and Nigerians in respect to the demands placed before the government. These include the immediate disbandment of SARS, the dismissal and commencement of prosecution of suspected erring SARS operatives and a directive to State Governors to constitute Judicial Panels of Inquiry for aggrieved Nigerians to make submissions of the rights abuses by SARS officials, with a promise to restructure and reform the NPF immediately.

However, despite these measures, the #EndSARS protests have refused to abate and unfortunately have become violent and bloody, especially in some Southern states. The killings, arsons, destructions, breach of the public peace, law and order, the brigandage and carnages have posed a serious threat to national cohesion and security.

The metamorphosis of the #EndSARS protests into areas alien and incompatible with the original reasons instigating the protests signifies a bad omen. It shows some vested political interests are sponsoring and fueling the mayhem in the country for devious reasons to achieve ulterior motives.

Nigeria generally has been volatile in the period preceding the 2019 general elections, and we all know, some non-state actors secretly plotted to inflict heavy violence and bloodshed on Nigerians. But God averted the doomsday and President Buhari acted proactively to maintain public peace, safety and security throughout the conduct of the elections.

We are conscious of the fact that some political actors defeated in the general elections have nursed a permanent grudge against the victors. It is also undeniable that several underground failed plots have been orchestrated by some political undertakers to make Nigeria ungovernable. It is stating the obvious.

Therefore, the transmutation of #EndSARS protests into violence and bloodshed, in apparent abuse of democratic liberties is gleaned from this prism. And the refusal of the protesters to listen to the voice of reason, in preference for killings and destructions of public and private assets of Nigerians have a strong cord to the existing disenchantments by unjustifiably disgruntled elements in the country.

There is no need to set the country on fire because the interests of a few elites are endangered or in jeopardy. The happenings in the country now are condemnable, absurd and unacceptable to every sane and sensible Nigerian. The fire we have ignited in the country and on ourselves cannot be left for government alone to extinguish. It is our collective responsibility to calm frayed nerves, right the perceived wrongs and ensure peace and security returns to our country.

This is not the right time to sit on the fence, make public inflammatory and inciting statements to embolden the protesters, hoodlums, hooligans and criminal elements to cause more harm and destructions. It smacks of beating the drums of war which will do no one any good. At such trying times, people look unto leaders, serving or past for direction and solace.

To this end, we find the public statements credited to former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and other elder statemen reckless, inciting and wayward. We are particularly piqued at Obasanjo’s irreligious fabrication of lies against President Buhari by accusing it of neglecting the youths, which has led to the agitations. Buhari is a youth-friendly President and there is abundant evidence everywhere in the various subsisting national youth empowerment schemes in the country.

Nothing can be so dishonest as that claim by a former Nigerian leader like Obasanjo.  If Nigeria has found itself at the crossroads now because of massive youth unemployment and frustrations, Obasanjo is a major culprit. When he served, the ex-President dubiously sold all public companies, industries and national assets to himself and cronies. He callously squandered Nigeria’s treasures and mortgaged the future.  It is uncharitable for the same leader to berate President Buhari who is struggling very hard to re-fix Nigeria and repair the destructions he caused while in office. To now incite protesting youths with such reckless and callous comments is an indication of a mockery of the same compatriots he feigns to speak for their interest. Obasanjo has the reputation of a spoiler and destroyer, but tacitly seeking to bolster youths to compromise national security is very unpatriotic and senseless.

Elder statesmen like Obasanjo and his likes, who are delightfully cheering the youths towards the path of destruction will face God’s judgement someday. And we believe the verdict would be harsh and history can never forgive them.

The incensed elders calling for war should have a rethink. And youths persuaded and goaded into destructive acts against their country and people should remember, they have no other country than Nigeria. PEC makes bold to reiterate that no nation survives a civil war twice. Nigerian youths must rise above the instincts of self-destruction.

PEC calls on protesting youths to sheathe the sword and embrace dialogue at all levels. We are pleading with our children to quit the streets. Youths are the emblem of the strength of any country and a symbol of its heritage.

Therefore, Nigerian youths must maintain total loyalty to Nigeria; protect and defend their only country.  It is their only worthy asset. War can never be a substitute for peace or any magnitude of frustration.  Those who are out to destroy Nigeria will be put to shame.

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CSG, Yoruba Youths Back Arewa Youths on National Unity, Peaceful Co-Existence

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The apex Yoruba youth group, Yoruba Council of Youths Worldwide alongside the Coalition of Southern Group (CSG) have expressed support for the proposal by the Arewa Youths Consultative Forum (AYCF) to strengthen the national peaceful dialogue and unity.

In a statement signed Friday in Abuja by the President of Yoruba youths, Aare Oladotun Hassan, said there is need to urgently and collectively address the varying degrees of issues of mutual interests.

“While reiterating the issue of insecurity is most important matter on the table, while we see the hydraheaded challenges of FSARS, with much emphasis for its scrapping in the Southern Nigeria, based on recorded excessive highhandedness, serial extra judicial killings and wanton corruption, we must as well consider its positive vantages too in fighting the dreaded scourge of terrorism, banditry, cultism and other violent crimes in Nigeria.

“Hence, the need for a deliberate call for a National Security Dialogue on State of the nation, for we cannot afford to go back to the locusts days of street armed robbery and violent crimes.

“While withdeep heart of grieve, we commiserate with the families and friends of the heroes and martyrs of the struggle of #LekkiEnsarsMasacre.

“It goes to say that we seek out explanation from the Inspector General of Police, Chief of Army Staff and Chief of Defence Staff to jointly explain who authorized the monumental disaster of of 20-10-2020.

“With deep regret and disappointment, we eqaully condemn the lies of ‘No Casualty of loss of lives” from Governor Babajide Sanwolu of Lagos State, it indeed shows proven lack of empathy and understanding of the magnitudes of the offense against humanity.

“This is crystal clear genocide committed against harmless and peaceful protesters.

“It is high time we workout a best solution approach towards resolving the growing tide of violence and arsons, particularly within Southern regions, hence the need to join our voices with the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) for fundamental demands for police reforms and adequate funding.”

While expressing displeasure over what is described as misguided looting of shops and other ugly activities, the group said: “We are displeased with the invasion and removal of starf of office of Oba of Lagos and burning of the palace of Oba Elemoro in Ibeju Lekki by hoodlums who took advantage of the Endsars protest to wreck monumental havocs and irreparable attacks on our High courts, local government secretariats, police stations and Area ‘J’ Commands, mass destructions of government infrastructures across the country built with tax payers money.

“We therefore take a joint stand with our Northern friends onthe end insecurity campaign, as a matter of necessity, indeed we did all to avert this double jeopardy but yet the inevitable occurred.”

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#EndSARS: Nnamdi Kanu, IPOB Have Unleashed War On The Yoruba Nation – CPYY

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The Council of Patriotic Yoruba Youth (CPYY) has blamed Nnamdi Kanu and his proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) for the attack on innocent #EndSARS protesters and the arson that followed in Lagos State.

In a statement signed by its President,
Fagbemi Olanrewaju, on Friday, the CPYY said Kanu had declared war on the Yoruba nation and effectively carried out his threat.

Recall that peaceful #EndSARS protesters were shot by unknown gunmen at Lekki tollgate on Tuesday while the Oba of Lagos palace, TVC headquarters, The Nation Newspaper and others were attacked by hoodlums the following day.

And according to CPYY, this was a well-thought-out plot by Kanu to destroy the economic advantage of the Yoruba nation and make them subservient to the Igbo’s whose property and businesses were left intact.

The group said targetting Yoruba businesses “marks a despicable low even for a scoundrel like Nnamdi Kanu, whose trademark as a coward that abandoned his so-called struggle and fled abroad to instigate attacks from his bolthole”.

It added that it is “most irresponsible to hijack the #EndSARS protests, which objectives are noble, and deploy the same as a vehicle for pursuing a failed separatist agenda”.

The group, however, assured that the Yoruba nation will continue to “live by and display the high sense of civility for which our respected culture is known and will never descent to IPOB’s miserable depth”.

It urged the Federal Government to investigate the targeted arsons and shooting of #EndSARS protesters at Lekki tollgate.

Read full statement below:

The Council of Patriotic Yoruba Youth has had the opportunity to conduct an initial assessment in the aftermath of Tuesday, October 20, 2020 event at Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos in which pandemonium broke out as #EndSARS protesters that had camped out there in defiance of a curfew announced by the state government were fired upon by hoodlums suspected to have been rented by IPOB.

On the following day, there was widespread arson across the state with the destruction of the Nigeria Ports Authority building, Oriental Hotel, Television Continental (TVC) studios, the Nation newspapers head office, the Palace of the Oba of Lagos, the family homes of Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwoolu, BRT depot in Oyingbo with scores of buses, other BRT locations and buses, looting of ShopRite outlets, burning of the police station and vehicles, burning of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) vehicles, and destruction of several other homes.

Because the nearby CCTVs were earlier disabled and power supply (illumination) cut off before the Tuesday attack, the jury is still out as to the specific details of the gunmen that opened fire on the protesters. There has been outrage that the troops around the location fired the shots, but the videos shared by the protesters themselves showed that the soldiers were firing at inclined angles, which effectively meant they were shooting into the air. There was also the issue of the massive deployment of fake news to inflame passion over the incidents, particularly false news items that announced that several celebrities were killed, unrelated photos of accident victims and even promotional movie stills (like an actor carrying a body draped in Nigerian flag) were used as proof of casualty from the attack. Actress, Eniola Badmus, for instance, had to come forward to debunk trending news reports that she was killed at Lekki Toll Gate. Suffice to say, the ground has been set for what was to unfold on Wednesday.

The leader of the proscribed terrorist organization, Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, on online interactive radio, actively coordinated the attacks by miscreants on Wednesday. He gave the names, identity and locations of people to be attacked. Those leading the attacks provided updates to Kanu who urged them on to carry out more attacks. Go and look for weapons and arm yourselves …build weapons, if you don’t have any gun construct one, even ordinary catapult build one, go and use it and destroy them… Anywhere you see Sanwoolu you attack him, Tinubu, his hotel must be burned down…”

True to Kanu’s directive, the Igbo mob went to town and destroyed property they believed to belong to Tinubu and Sanwo-Olu, including the magnificent Oriental Hotel, which ownership has never been proven to be Tinubu’s. Other Yoruba owned assets were thoroughly vandalized, including the Palace of the Oba of Lagos. What played out was the fulfilment of IPOB’s long-standing threat to deal with the Yoruba because of their political tolerance of northern Nigeria.

These wanton arsons, on the surface, appear to be targeted at individuals, like the Oba of Lagos, whom the Igbos have promised to deal with because of his election period comments in 2015 that betrayals will suffer consequences from the deities. But in reality, the target is the entire Yoruba nation. The objective is to destroy the economic advantage of the Yoruba nation and make them subservient to the Igbo’s whose property and businesses were left intact – if the mob were truly not a posse of IPOB militants it would have destroyed everything in its path and not spare the assets of Igbo people. What transpired on Tuesday was a pure manifestation of Nnamdi Kanu and his IPOB targeted Yoruba businesses and personalities using #ENDSARS protests after his directive for Igbos to attack the Yoruba and the fact on the ground, including the feedback provided to Kanu by leaders of the arsonists, confirmed the targeting of respected Yoruba people and key businesses.

There is further evidence that points out that the burning of police stations by some so-called hoodlums was to provoke security agencies to pick up arms against the citizens and this was masterminded by the IPOB cells in Lagos.

The Council of Patriotic Yoruba Youth condemns this provocation in the strongest terms possible. The targeting of Yoruba businesses marks a despicable low even for a scoundrel like Nnamdi Kanu, whose trademark as a coward that abandoned his so-called struggle and fled abroad to instigate attacks from his bolthole. We find the conduct of the arsonists abhorrent, particularly when they stole the identity of soldiers to kill innocent and genuine protesters just so they could provoke the situation whereby they made their arson appeal like a justified reprisal. It is most irresponsible to hijack the #EndSARS protests, which objectives are noble, and deploy the same as a vehicle for pursuing a failed separatist agenda.

The Yoruba nation will persistently live by and display the high sense of civility for which our respected culture is known and will never descent to the miserable depth to which IPOB and its sympathizers have sunken. We will continue to hold onto the belief that the Igbo nation is not defined by the addiction to violence that is prevalent among the terrorist elements from that ethnic group. We will however reply their provocations with the robust institutional frameworks that exist to deal with such errant behaviour.

Consequently, all true Yoruba sons and daughters should resist the temptation to be drawn into a tit-for-tat circle of violence that the IPOB cells want to plunge the entire country into the chaos they hope will help achieve their separatist agenda.

We call on the Federal Government to especially investigate the targeted arsons, which are not part of #EndSARS protests that had responsible Nigerians across all ethnic affiliations taking part. The investigation should extend to how Tuesday’s incident at Lekki Toll Gate was manipulated by IPOB terrorists to produce the outrage that left people indifferent while they unleashed the state-wide attacks the following Wednesday.

The Council of Patriotic Yoruba Youth demands that the Federal Government immediately approach the United Kingdom’s authorities with the recording of the radio broadcast that Kanu used for coordinating the Tuesday’s terrorist attacks to take into custody to come to answer for his actions. The same evidence should be provided to Interpol to bring Kanu in because his crime is international in these regards.

On the desecration of the Oba of Lagos’ Palace, we call on the state government to deploy the strongest scorch-earth policy against perpetrators until they return the stolen artefacts and perform the necessary cleansing rites. The state’s traditional council must also outlaw the use of any traditional title (eze, obi etc) by Igbos in the state going forward because of the disdain their people have shown for our traditional institution, which they have always been keen to subjugate.

Finally, we urge those affected by the arsons to stay strong in the confidence that as Yoruba they will always be reborn anew as the phoenix; out of the ashes of IPOB’s destruction more stately edifices shall arise.

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