A special report by the Centre for Human Rights and Crisis Management on the immediate cause of the escalation of violence across the country in the aftermath of the Lekki Tollgate incident in Lagos State
There has recently been an astronomical level of violence across the country, especially in Lagos state; from looting and destruction of public and private properties to social amenities and business concerns.
This indeed necessitated the imposition of a 24-hour curfew by the Lagos state government in a bid to bring the conflict in the state to a halt. Consequently, the Centre for Human Rights and Crisis Management commissioned a special rapporteur to investigate the immediate cause of the escalation of violence in Lagos and other parts of the country.
The report looked extensively on the various conspiracy theories at play and indeed separated the facts from the falsehoods, as well as those individuals and groups whose actions and inactions were responsible for the escalation of violence.
The peaceful protest by the youths demanding for the reform of the Nigerian Police Force was ostensibly hijacked by some thugs and hoodlums that went on rampage looting, maiming and killing innocent persons going about their normal businesses.
The crisis was further escalated by the activities of fake news merchants that utilized the social media space in propagating fibs that eventually heated the polity to boiling point.
It was also observed that the protest was hijacked from the moment the protesters refused to leave the streets even after the government had agreed to their five demands and initiated moves for dialogue, which was turned down and instead police formations and units became subject of attack, leading to deaths and injuries.
It was also observed that some individuals and organizations were discreetly propelling the youths to remain on the streets in defiance of the peace overtures made by the government at the federal and state levels.
Indeed groups such as The Alliance on Surviving COVID-19 and Beyond, led by Femi Falana (SAN) prominently heated the polity in several ways that include but not limited to; mobilizing social media influencers to project the government as insensitive to the demands of the youths; mobilizing logistics for street protest; mobilizing celebrities through his musician son, Folarin Falana (Falz) to discredit the efforts of government towards reforming the Nigerian Police Force as well as a host of other despicable acts that includes inciting press statements and communique.
The Centre for Human Rights and Crisis Management after a detailed investigation and analysis of the chain of events that eventually led to the breakdown of law and order in Lagos and other parts of the country identified that proponents of fake news indeed had a field day in ensuring that the protests gathered momentum.
The government of Nigeria as a matter of urgency and in response to the demands made by the youths directed the Inspector General of Police to disband the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and begin the process of evaluating the mental and psychological state of operatives of the disbanded outfit, and consequently the training and retraining of these operatives before redeployment to other police units and formations.
The various state governments also instituted a judicial panel of inquiry to investigate cases of human rights violations by the Nigerian Police and the recommendation of appropriate sanctions to erring officers.
The various law enforcement agents deployed to maintain law and order utilized minimal force and only in extreme cases of excessive looting of public and private concerns and arson that force was exerted to restore law and order.
The Nigerian Army indeed rose to the occasion as the personnel deployed to various hotspots was able to restore law and order without the use of force as multiple pieces of evidence indicates that troops utilized persuasion skills rather than force as erroneously reported in the social media space and other traditional media news mediums.
It remains incomprehensible how a segment of the population would elect to spread outright falsehood in the country to encourage crime and criminality at the detriment of peace and unity.
The Lekki TollGate incident was one of the means that was latched on to escalate violence in Lagos state and other parts of the country. The Centre for Human Rights and Crisis Management in its analysis of events indeed identified the ignoble role played by organizations such as The Alliance on Surviving COVID-19 and Beyond, led by Femi Falana.
The organization indeed issued statements that were provoking and inciting, wherein it alleged that the government was not responding to the demands of the youths and that it was business as usual in the operations of the disbanded SARS unit.
The Alliance on Surviving COVID-19 and Beyond did instigate the protesters through statements credited to it on the pages of newspapers and other news dissemination channels. It was also observed that the organization had formed a strategic alliance with Sahara Reporters to indiscriminately disseminate information that is inaccurate and to heat the polity and discredit the efforts of government towards the restoration of law and order in the country.
The Alliance on Surviving COVID-19 also made several attempts at painting a picture of plans by the government through the Nigerian Army to kill protesters on the street, which indirectly charged the already tensed atmosphere.
The Centre for Human Rights and Crisis Management as a result of this investigation concludes that indeed the immediate cause of the escalation of violence in Lagos state and other parts of the country were are a result of incitements by individuals and organizations. The Alliance on Surviving COVID-19 and Beyond, as led by Femi Falana was notorious in this regard with the multiple press statements and releases that were either mischievously or intentionally placed in the media in a manner that suggests ulterior motives.
It must also be noted that the government lost the narrative when it failed to realize that the peaceful protest was being hijacked by some forces when mobs began to target police units and formations, as well as policemen and women on duty.
The Centre for Human Rights and Crisis Management as a result of the findings in this report makes the following recommendations:
• That the government must identify those individuals and groups that incited the people into resorting to acts of violence
• That the Femi Falana led Alliance on Surviving COVID-19 and Beyond should be held liable for the escalation of violence in the country and for leading an uprising against the country and plunging the nation into a crisis of unimaginable proportion.
• That Femi Falana should appear before an investigative panel of inquiry to give an account of the activities of the Alliance on Surviving COVID-19 and Beyond
. That the government should trace the transactions of the Alliance on Surviving COVID-19 and Beyond in the past one month towards ascertaining the level of complicity in the funding of the street protests across the country.
• That the security agencies must begin the process of mopping up small and light weapons in circulation in parts of the country.
Dr Thomas Uzah,
COVID-19: Coalition Salutes FG, NPHCDA Overall Early Arrival Of Vaccine
With the expected arrival of coronavirus vaccines into the country on Tuesday, the National Coalition on Vaccine Awareness and Administration (NCVAA) has applauded the Federal Government and National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA).
The group, at a press conference on Monday in Abuja, noted that this is a big step in containing the rampaging contagion that has consumed millions across the world.
Nigeria will become the third West African country to benefit from the COVAX facility after Ghana and the Ivory Coast when it receives 3.92 million doses of the vaccine.
And the convener, Gabriel Agogo, speaking on behalf of the coalition, said Nigeria can not be left alone in the global immunisation against the disease, especially with the conspiracy theories and propaganda being peddled around.
He urged all Nigerians to become agents of this public awareness and actively partake in the immunization to protect ourselves, our families and the public health of the nation.
The NCVAA, however, called on all Nigerians irrespective of partisan, religious and ethnic affiliations to come out en mass to mobilize their families and friends for the Covid-19 vaccine administration as a way of totally defeating the spread of the coronavirus disease and saving humanity from its destruction.
Read the full statement below:
The leadership and members of the National Coalition on Vaccine Awareness and Administration (NCVAA) salutes and welcome all of you to this press conference. We also salute the courage and perseverance of Nigerians in the firm determination to fight Covid-19 to a standstill by observing the Government protocols to curtail its spread. Our case would have been worse, had Nigerians failed to imbibe self-discipline.
As all of you are aware, we have lost thousands of our brothers and sisters to the pandemic since it broke out in Wuhan, China in February 2020 and became a world health threat. And many more people infected by the virus are still hospitalized in different hospitals in the country. We prayerfully wish them a speedy recovery.
But the good news is that majority of Nigerians are uninfected by the Covid-19 pandemic. It is this larger population of Nigerians free from the venom of the Covid-19 pandemic that our Government is more interested in insulating from the deadly disease. It is in this light that we have decided to create public awareness of the arrival of the Covid-19 vaccine for immunization through this press conference and other necessary public enlightenment activities, to attract massive public awareness to it.
Therefore, we have decided to address Nigerians and draw their attention to the arrival of the Covid-19 vaccine in the country and the kick-start of the Covid-19 vaccine immunization exercise nation-wide. The vaccine is a proactive public health safety measure, which we believe will automatically arrest the spread of Covid-19 and put a halt to the other public inconveniences it causes if all of us avail ourselves to the immunization which is free of charge to everyone.
We wish to let all Nigerians know that the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari has acquired and taken possession of millions of dosages of the Covid-19 vaccine. It is a scientifically approved immunization vaccine, certified by the World Health Organization (WHO) for onward worldwide circulation to fight the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
Nigeria cannot afford to be left out of this global trend. Nigerians should therefore emulate other very religious nations like Saudi Arabia, Rome, India, Australia, Sweden and a host of other countries worldwide which have accepted the Covid-19 vaccine and immunized their people with it. These countries have overcome the Covid-19 pandemic as a result of the intake of the Covid-19 vaccine. And with our collective resolve now, we shall also overcome it.
We find it imperative to emphasize this point because of the underground campaigns, conspiracy theories and propaganda peddled by perpetual anti-progressive forces in the country, who have aligned the Covid-19 vaccine to some unproven and barbaric death claims. There is no scintilla of truth in these negative assertions on the Covid-19 vaccine
Permit us to sound it loud and clear that the Covid-19 vaccine is approved by WHO, the global health body, after several scientific and clinical tests, before certifying it as safe for all humanity. So, in Nigerian, we must guide against repeating the same mistake which opposed the idea of launching a G5 network for telecoms in Nigeria. We are too enlightened to be deceived by those who wish us no good.
Nigeria is a very strategic country in the African continent, which cannot afford indifference or antipathy in the global fight against the deadly Covid-19 epidemic. NCVAA is aware of the campaigns of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) on the Covid-19 vaccine and has decided to add its voice to it. We expect all Nigerians to become agents of this public awareness and actively partake in the immunization to protect ourselves, our families and the public health of the nation.
NCVAA is hereby calling on all Nigerians irrespective of partisan, religious and ethnic affiliations to come out en mass to mobilize their families and friends for the Covid-19 vaccine administration as a way of totally defeating the spread of the coronavirus disease and saving humanity from its destruction. We must resolve today to victoriously conquer the Covid-19 pandemic, in the same manner, we defeated Ebola, bird flu, SARS which occurred years back.
The Covid-19 vaccine is advantageous in several ways. Socially, the immunization against Covid-19 will secure us against contracting the coronavirus disease and ensure greater chances of our freedom from other allied ailments which comes with the Coronavirus and restore our social and communal interactions.
The Covid-19 vaccine is not only capable of saving the lives of the entire humanity, but it can completely prevent hospitalizations’ and the mass deaths we have experienced in the past over Covid-19. It will save us from agonies and pains associated with it. All conspiracy’s theories against the vaccine should therefore be discarded.
Also, medical scientists and researchers who have painstakingly worked and developed the Covid-19 vaccine have attested to its nearly 100% effectiveness at preventing other related severe illnesses related to it, like the common cold amongst others. Taking the vaccine is akin to the popular African proverb which alludes to someone using one stone to kill two birds.
Furthermore, a general public immunization against Covid-19 nation-wide in Nigeria would ease the Government lockdowns and other disproportionate or stifling public health measures, which causes us varying disruptions in our everyday operations. This is why we have found it expedient to endorse the NPHCDA Campaigns. It is now a direct invitation to every Nigerian not only to take the vaccine but become the chief propagandists of this good message of redemption from the grip of Covid-19.
NCVAA profoundly thanks the Almighty God for His Grace upon us; we salute the medical scientists for their wisdom in developing the Covid-19 vaccine and finally, the FGN under President Buhari for securing the vaccines and their early delivery to us. It shows we have a Government and a leader who is sensitive to the public health of Nigerians. We immensely thank all of you.
Thank you all and journey mercies to your various destinations.
Insecurity: Group Demands Collective Action By Governors
The Coalition for Truth and Justice (CTJ) has charged state governors to rise to the occasion as chief security officers of their states and stop playing politics with human lives.
The coalition, which made the call at a press conference, on Monday, in Abuja, also noted that collective action is required to end the tide of insecurity across the nation.
In his address, the head of the secretariat, Comrade Ohene Dominic, said the lackadaisical attitude of some governors has escalated criminal activities in the country, adversely causing untold hardship on the people.
Dominic said their failure to commit resources to security has made schools and other places of importance more susceptible to attacks by unscrupulous criminal elements.
According to him, these governors should be treated as saboteurs whose interests is on how they can amass wealth by dipping their hands in state coffers to sustain their lavish lifestyles.
The Coalition for Truth and Justice therefore called on all well-meaning Nigerians to henceforth begin to demand accountability from the various state governors.
On their part, the coalition, however, urged the governors to wake up from their slumber and do the needful as this is not the time for playing to the gallery.
Read the full statement below:
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
Welcome to this press conference standing on the existing protocol.
The peculiarities of time occasioned by the unwholesome activities of criminal elements across that country have once again brought out the national question on how state governors have abdicated their responsibilities as Chief Security Officers of their states.
It is indeed worrisome that this trend has continued unabated and largely responsible for the escalation of the activities of criminal elements across the country which has indeed caused untold hardship on the people.
The various cases of kidnappings and armed banditry in some states are consequences of the lackadaisical attitude of some governors that have been engaged with playing politics to the detriment of human lives.
It is unacceptable for this trend to continue because of the larger consequences which if not abated could spiral out of control and Nigeria might be engulfed with acts of criminalities, so much so that might lead the country on the path of regression.
The Coalition for Truth and Justice as a critical stakeholder in the country is aware that some governors have deliberately allowed criminal elements to have a field day in their states because of what they aim to achieve politically. Consequently, we must ask questions hence this press conference to put issues in proper perspective before the generality of Nigeria towards making the country safe for all concerned.
It is our considered view that if the various state governors had been alive to their responsibilities, the embarrassing incidences of kidnappings of school students in public schools would not have been possible.
It is indeed shameful that some state governors would commit huge resources to pursue endeavours that do not have a direct impact on the lives of the citizens while ignoring the need to provide adequate security for schools and other places of importance that are susceptible to attacks by unscrupulous criminal elements.
It is gladding that this much was highlighted by a fellow governor wherein he stated that governors have failed in providing security in their states in their capacity as Chief Security Officers. It remains despicable that the song on the lips of most governors is that they are not in charge of the security of their states; we beg to ask what they have been doing with the security votes that are accruing to states monthly. How have these monies meant for security spent by the various state governors?
If the governors also claim not to have the required funds to provide security in their states, we also beg to ask where they get the funds with which they pursue their political agenda during times of elections.
It remains a sad tale that this anomaly has thrived over the years and the various state governors have been playing politics with human lives and they seem to have no grouse with how innocent school children are abducted from their dormitories. They also have no grouse with how under their nose, militant groups are grouping and entrenching acts of violence that have led to scores of death and destruction of properties.
It is thus our stand that the various state governors can be regarded as saboteurs whose interests lie in how they can amass wealth by dipping their hands in state coffers to sustain their lavish lifestyles.
The Coalition for Truth and Justice is using this medium to call on all well-meaning Nigerians to henceforth begin to demand accountability from the various state governors with how they have been utilizing the security votes that run into billions of naira monthly.
It is also our stance that the federal government must begin the process of holding state governors accountable for avoidable security breaches in their states and taking steps to ensure that monies meant for security are not diverted to private pockets.
The Coalition for Truth and Justice is using this medium to appeal to the federal government to withhold allocations to states whose governors have been found wanting in the discharge of their responsibilities as Chief Security Officers of their states.
This is our opinion would make the governors wake up to their responsibilities and ensuring that they live up to expectations in this critical task at hand because if funds are continually made available to these non-performing governors, it would be tantamount to economic waste.
The Coalition for Truth and Justice is of the considered opinion that Nigerians must begin the process of tasking the various state governors on accountability and commitment to entrenching good governance for the task at hand requires all hands to be on deck.
The state governors must also wake up from their slumber and do the needful as this is not the time for playing to the gallery. Nigerian Governors must wake- up to their responsibilities and stop playing politics
Thank you for your attention in this regard and we expect to see results in the coming days, weeks, and months in Nigeria.
God bless Nigeria.
RCCG Prayer Walk: Province 11 Pastor Prays For An End To COVID-19
Pastor Tunde Benjamislani , The Pastor RCCG Throne Room Parish Transcorp Hilton Abuja Parish , prayed for a permanent end to covid-19.
The Pastor stated this in Abuja while leading the global maiden prayer walk of the Redeemed Christian Church of God.
The Pastor stated that the Prayer walk was a global one going on co-currently in all the 119 nations of the world .
He also stated the prayer walk was an instruction received by the general overseer Pastor E.A Adeboye
Politics6 months ago
Electricity Tariff Hike: Review Is A Painful Adjustment – President Buhari
Politics7 months ago
Party Crisis: Progressives Governors’ Forum DG Calls For Constitutional Review
Politics8 months ago
PGF Boss, Lukman Denies Media Report of Division Among APC Governors
Investigation7 months ago
NDDC Spent 1.3trn Between 2015 And 2019 – Senate Report
News2 years ago
Armed Forces Need N9bn Annually For Shoes, Boots, Says DG Defence Research
Politics2 years ago
Ignore Tinubu’s Comment, He Cannot Speak for South-West – Activist
News2 years ago
Amaechi Endorses AAC Guber Candidate in Rivers
Politics2 years ago
Emir Sanusi Plots Cancellation of Kano Rerun Election