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#EndSARS: Nigerians in Diaspora Hold Peace Rally in London, Condemns Violence by Protesters

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Some Nigerians in the United Kingdom, on Thursday, held a peaceful rally to condemn the violence occasioned by the #EndSARS protests in their home country. 

Numbering in their hundreds, the Nigerians stormed the Nigerian House in London calling on their compatriots to give peace a chance. 

They also urged Nigerians back home to embrace the March4Nigeria rally that is presently ongoing across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory as well as other parts of the world. 

In a statement signed by Coordinating Chairman, Philip Amraevughe and member, Alvine Emechetta, the group said the current situation in Nigeria is a cause for concern. 

While admitting that it is in place for the youths to demand an end to police brutality, the group noted that this should not be at the detriment of the country’s peace, stability and progress.

According to them, the EndSARS protests have been hijacked by hoodlums, hence the need to March4Nigeria to send a strong message to these political thugs and their sponsors. 

The group reckoned that there is no other place to call home and as “such should not allow ourselves to be used as agents of destruction”. 

The statement added that the unity of Nigeria is sacrosanct, and the objective of the March4Nigeria is in total agreement with this statement of the fact.

However, the group warned, “those sponsoring acts of violence in Nigeria to desist from such enterprise and allow the government the time to implement the long-lasting reforms”. 

The Nigerians assured that the country will achieve its goals under President Muhammadu Buhari. 

Read the full speech below:

My dear youths of Nigeria, we all must be concerned about the state of affairs in our beloved country.  We all have a right to agitate and drive home our demands to the government to put an end to police brutality in Nigeria.

We have indeed shown that our voices can be heard in a most commendable fashion. For days, we were on the streets with the symbol of our unity, the national flag. For once, the world saw in us the strength of the youths in Nigeria.

We are all victors that spoke in one voice towards the betterment of our great country. Consequently, this March4Nigeria is to call on all of us to ensure that the future of our great country is not ruined by those that are angling to see to the disintegration of Nigeria. 

We all should be worried about the level of violence that has erupted and has seen to the death of scores of people on the streets of Lagos, Abuja and other parts of the country. Indeed we must join our voice to condemn this act of violence that is fast getting out of control. 

This March4Nigeria consists of those of us that joined our voices in demanding for an end to police brutality in Nigeria and that the government has accepted to implement our demands should give us a reason to hold back and not resort to violence of any kind. 

I know for certain that those perpetrating violence across Nigeria are not one of us and do not believe in our noble cause of seeing to an end of police brutality that has claimed the lives of young Nigerians in their prime. 

We must quickly realize that the once peaceful protests have been hijacked by agents of those that are against the interest of Nigeria.  By those that are hell-bent on seeing to the disintegration of our great country. 

I stand here to say that in the history of our great country, the youths have not been known to be violent. This has been the case from time immemorial and a reason why we must tread with caution at the risk of us been branded as criminals.

When I look into the crowd, I see intellectuals; I see visionaries, I see young and budding entrepreneurs, I see those that are passionate about our country. I see a group of people who are burning with passion for making Nigeria great again.

I also see a group of people that abhors any form of violence, and would never resort to looting, burning of police stations, attacking law enforcement officers and other forms of criminalities that are ongoing in Nigeria. This is not only condemnable, but it is also anti-growth, it is anti-progress, and it is anti-unity.

If I must add at this juncture that indeed the strength of Nigeria lies in the resourcefulness of her youths that dot the nook and crannies of Nigeria. Consequently, we must use this medium to condemn the attacks been perpetuated by hoodlums and political thugs that have seen the perfect opportunity to unleash violence to the detriment of the peace and unity in Nigeria. 

I firmly believe that this much the bulk the youths in Nigeria are aware of and have necessitated the convoking of the March4Nigeria to indeed send a strong message to those that are hiding under the EndSARS campaign to cause conflict in Nigeria. 

In the light of the above, I am calling on those that are still agitated to give peace a chance and embrace the March4Nigeria rally that is presently ongoing in Nigeria and other parts of the world. 

This generation of Nigerians and indeed the future generations have no other place to call home and as such should not allow ourselves to be used as agents of destruction. I condemn the riots in the same breath that I condemn the police brutality. 

Nobody likes riots. Money is lost. Properties are destroyed. People get hurt and killed. Riots become a reason to institute martial law and brutalize citizens, generally with little regard for what those citizens did in the riot. People who participate in riots don’t tend to be happy at the time or look back fondly on their memories of them afterwards. 

Let’s get something else clear right away — the term “riot” isn’t all that useful. It describes any disorganized outbreak of violence, but people running out and breaking things for the fun of it is not the same as violence in response to ongoing injustice. That is not what the youths of Nigeria represent or intended with the EndSARS protests. 

To draw a false equivalence and claim that rioting and violence taint a cause, make the oppressed just as bad as the oppressors–by that standard nothing accomplished is untainted. Trust me; it won’t be about the story itself; it won’t be about riots or property damage or civil unrest or law and order. Any more than it will be, specifically, about body cameras or written police procedures or deliberations. Any more than it will be about ballistic analyses or autopsies or expert testimony on how exactly a spine gets broken. 

My Nigerian youths, we are at a crossroad. We have to choose between getting things rights and getting things worse. I am convinced that we do not want to get things worse hence the need for all of us to condemn in its strongest possible terms the level of violence that has erupted in parts of Nigeria. 

The unity of Nigeria is sacrosanct, and the objective of the March4Nigeria is in total agreement with this statement of the fact. There can be no peace without unity. Our demands for an end to police brutality cannot be achieved in an atmosphere of lawlessness, arson, and loss of lives. 

I am using this medium to send a strong message to those sponsoring acts of violence in Nigeria to desist from such enterprise and allow the government the time to implement the long-lasting reforms in the operations of the Nigerian Police Force. 

We condemn violence and lawlessness in Nigeria, as there is no alternative to peace. We are carrying out this March4Nigeria because we believe in one Nigeria. Our message is that of peace and unity. Our message is that of an unflinching commitment to sustainable peace and progress in Nigeria. 

As we March4Nigeria, we March4Peace, we March4Progress and we March4 unity, and this much we must achieve God helping us. I thank you all for your perseverance so far and together we can make Nigeria great again. 

God bless the youths of the federal republic of Nigeria.

God bless Nigeria.

Thank you. 

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We Won’t Allow Hijab In Kwara Mission Schools, CAN Insists

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The Christian Association of Nigeria in Kwara State has insisted that it will not allow its pupils to wear hijab, despite the Kwara State Government’s directive that Muslim female pupils in Christian mission schools should wear hijab.

The state government, last week, said it had approved wearing of hijab by Muslim female pupils in Christian mission grant-aided schools in the state.

It also said the 10 Christian mission schools closed down in the wake of the hijab crisis would be reopened on Monday, March 8.

However, the state branch of the Christian Association of Nigeria said it would not agree to the use of hijab in schools established by Christian missions, alleging that they were surprised that the government was trying to make a decision on a matter that was still before the Supreme Court.

CAN said, “The body condemns the use of hijab in Christian missions grant-aided schools as this will cause discrimination in schools and allow terrorists to easily identify our children and wards.”

Two missions, Evangelical Church Winning All and the Kwara Baptist Conference, said they would not allow the wearing of hijab in their respective schools when the schools reopen on Monday.

The leadership of ECWA said it would not welcome the directive in all its schools in the state.

The Chairman, ECWA Ilorin District Church Council, Rev John Owoeye, who spoke at a press conference in Ilorin on Friday, said ECWA schools were established by Christian missionaries for purposes of reaching communities with the love of Christ and to meet educational needs of the indigenes irrespective of religious affiliations, among other reasons.

The ECWA church leaders, who demanded return of ECWA schools to them, said since 1974 when there was agreement on collaboration between the state government and the proprietor for the school to be grant-aided schools, “the policy has never been total takeover of our schools by the government.”

Owoeye, who said Christians are bona fide citizens of the state, added, “We have equal rights under the provisional constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

He argued that the government was aware that Christian Religious Knowledge teachers were not posted to Muslim grant-aided schools and that the gathering of Fellowship of Christian Students was not allowed in Muslim grant-aided schools.

“Similarly, we want the government to be informed that her decision and plan to provide hijab and enforce its use in our Christian mission grant-aided schools will not be tolerated as it is an infringement on our freedom of religion as enshrined in the constitution of Nigeria,” he said.

Also, the President of Kwara Baptist Conference, Rev Victor Dada, in a separate press conference, said the mission would not allow the use of hijab in its 38 schools across the state, adding that the government was wrongly advised in taking the decision.

Dada argued that the state government took a wrong decision by its blanket approval of wearing of hijab for female pupils in mission schools.

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“The state government was wrongly advised to take that decision. The state even acted in contempt of court as the case is still pending before the Supreme Court.

“We want to warn the government that the step it wants to take by approving the use of hijab for all public schools and grant-aided schools in the state will lead to an avalanche of reactions, the end of which no one can predict.

“With this move, the state government is saying the Muslims’ purported rights are superior to those of the Christians.

“What we are saying is that no one, whether the Kwara State Government or even the Federal Government, can force hijab on our children or in our schools. We shall not hesitate to use all legitimate means to protect our heritage. We will defend our faith and protect our property.”

Meanwhile, Muslim stakeholders in the state have urged the state government to stand by the rule of law in taking a final decision on the hijab issue.

In a statement signed by its Chairman, Alhaji Is-haq AbdulKarim; and Secretary, Professor Ibrahim Abikan, the Muslim Stakeholders said the state branch of CAN, which engaged the state government in a legal battle over the issue of ownership of the grant-aided schools since 2013 lost its two cases in Ilorin High Court in 2016 and the Court of Appeal in 2019.

In a related development, Chairman, Kwara State branch of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, Olu Adewara, said the union was not part of the hijab crisis currently going on in the state.

The NUT Chairman, Adewara, told reporters, “The hijab matter is basically an issue between the government, the Muslim parents and the owners of these schools, regardless that such schools are grant-aided by the government. The NUT is not involved because this is not a matter bordering on teachers’ rights.”

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My Ex-Wife Lied Against Me, She Is An Adulterer —Fani-Kayode

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Former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, has said his ex-wife, Precious Chikwendu, lied against him, adding that he didn’t beat her at any point in time during their relationship.

Fani-Kayode also alleged that Chikwendu was an adulterer who tried to seduce his friends while he was in detention.

The former beauty pageant had accused her ex-husband of beating her up at several times including when she was pregnant.

The ex-wife further accused Fani-Kayode of confining her to a hospital when she attempted to escape.

Chikwendu subsequently demanded for full custody of their four sons.

The former beauty queen made the allegations in an affidavit she deposed to in support of an originating motion brought pursuant to Section 69 of the Child’s Rights Act, 2003.

But in a statement by his Media Consultant, Oladimeji Olaiya, the ex-minister described all the allegations as “lies and falsehood”.

The statement was titled, ‘Press statement on the vile and baseless allegations of Precious Chikwendu against Chief Femi Fani-Kayode’.

It partly read, “The statement of claim and affidavit that was filed in court by one Precious Chikwendu against Chief Femi Fani-Kayode is filled with lies and falsehood.

“Not one thing that she has alleged there is true. She is a pathological liar and a slanderer and we intend to prove this in court.

“We believe that the children’s lives would be in danger if they are with her and we shall prove this in court.

“Neither is it true that she was ever beaten by Chief Fani-Kayode or anyone else in his staff and security team, either when she was pregnant or not pregnant and it is not true that she was subjected to any form of physical or mental abuse from them.”

The statement also noted that Chikwendu walked out of the marriage despite pleas and entreaties.

“She walked out on her own saying she was hearing voices even when the entire household was begging her to stay and she abandoned her husband and four young children to meet other men outside.

“After she finished having her fun Chief Fani-Kayode refused to let her back into his and resolved to keep her out of his life. This is the best decision he has made in the last 7 years.”

Fani-Kayode also accused his ex-wife of adultery, saying, “Chikwendu’s only pastime was to post pictures and words on Instagram and sleep with men outside.

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“She also tried to seduce a number of Chief Fani-Kayode’s friends when he was in detention and extort money from them.”

Though Chikwendu demanded the full custody of her four sons, Fani-Kayode said the children’s lives would be endangered if left in her care.

“On one occasion she beat her first son so badly that his face swelled up like a football and he had to be rushed to the hospital where she admitted to her offence to the doctor. We have pictures of his damaged and badly swollen face.

“His crime was that he had called one of his 3 nannies “mummy” and this angered Chikwendu who then flew into an uncontrollable rage and punched him in the face in front of 7 nannies.

“On a separate occassion in front of three Pastors she also beat one of the triplets mercilessly simply because he had dared to cry during prayers. Again we have evidence of this and the Pastors and nannies will testify,” the statement added.

“We urge members of the public to wait until the truth is revealed about Chikwendu, her mental and physical abuse of her own children, her mental illness, her numerous attempts to murder Chief Fani-Kayode and his four children, her adulterous ways, her unfathomable cruelty, her gold-digging ways, her violence and so much more before they make up their minds,” it concluded.

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Firm Donates COVID-19 Safety Kits To Ekiti Govt

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A private firm, Wemmy Industries Limited on Friday, donated facemasks and other COVID-19 safety item to Ekiti State Government to curb the spread of the virus.

The items included 108 cartons of disposable surgical facemasks and 72 cartons of antiseptic hand wipes.
Mr John Egbedofo, Southwest Regional Manager of the firm said that the donation was in fulfillment of the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

Egbedofo added that the focus was to contribute to efforts at curtailing the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus.
He said the gesture would also be extended to severe medical facilities in the state including the Oba Adejugbe General Hospital in Ado Ekiti, Specialist hospitals in Ikole Ekiti and Ikere Ekiti.

Also to benefit are Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Ado Ekiti and Federal Teaching Hospital, Ido Ekiti.

Receiving the items on behalf of the government in Ado-Ekiti, the Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Dr Oyebanji Filani, said the medical consumables and personal protective equipment would assist in tackling communicable diseases.
Filani appreciated the company for the gesture and assured that the items would be used judiciously towards achieving the desired results.

He solicited the continued support of more corporate bodies, NGOs and individual philanthropists towards improving the lot of the people.
In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mr Akinjide Akinleye, described the donation as laudable and worthy of emulation by similar business outfits.

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