Some youth leaders, social media influencers and non-governmental organisations have confirmed that the #EndSARS protests across the country were hijacked by politicians and anti-Nigeria forces to destabilise the nation.
The group, under the auspices of March4Nigeria movement, also vowed to support the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari at a town hall meeting on Saturday in Abuja.
In a communique jointly signed by Olusegun Oloruntoba, Comrade Ibrahim Musa and Sunday Attah, its chairman, secretary and member respectively, the group said it drew its conclusion from participants who experienced significant violence and disruptions during the period.
According to the group, a circuit of internet fraudsters (Yahoo Boys), LGBTQ Community, owners of megachurches, the opposition and some international NGOs financed the protests while renowned clergymen, social media influencers and celebrities incited the populace.
Contrary to reports, however, the youths said the Federal Government was “responsive enough just as it was measured in being accommodating and tolerant of the protesters even in the face of unwarranted provocation of the state and law-abiding Nigerians”.
While urging the FG to initiate additional measures to address the terrorists’ infiltration and hijack of an initially peaceful protest, the group reaffirmed that there was no massacre anywhere in the country.
As part of its resolution, the youth appealed to the FG to actively track the implementation of the reforms agreed while also urging the #EndSARS protesters to halt the mass action.
Read full communique below:
Participants at the meeting recounted that Nigeria experienced significant violence and disruptions in October as a result of protests tagged #EndSARS by protesters. The protests originally began as demands for the dissolution of the Special Anti-Robbery (SARS) unit of the Nigeria Police Force because of the serial cases of highhandedness, brutality and human right abuses by operatives of the unit. In response to a five-point demand from the protesters, which the government agreed to meet, SARS was disbanded with other measures being announced.
They recounted that the #EndSARS was subsequently highjacked by multiple interests that then continued to randomly shift the goalposts by altering the demands while also refusing to name representatives or leaders to dialogue with the government. It was noted that the refusal to name representatives or leaders for the protests was a red flag that should have alerted the Federal Government and the rest of the world to the dark intents of those that orchestrated crisis for Nigeria.
Participants revealed how the protests were well funded across multiple cities such that protesters were being transported to locations in addition to being fed with delicious and expensive meals. Those identified to have at various times financed the protests included: a circuit of internet fraudsters (Yahoo Boys), LGBTQ Community, owners of megachurches, the opposition and some international NGOs. Incitement was done by renowned clergymen, social media influencers, opposition leaders and celebrities. The protesters became belligerent and began obstructing major roads to cause discomfort to Nigerians and sabotage the economy.
It was noted that under yet to be fully comprehended circumstances, pandemonium occasioned by reported gunshots at the Lekki Toll Plaza in Lagos state on October 20, 2020, was used as ground zero for the start of industrial-scale arson, looting and killing of innocent persons. The incident was also used to kick off a major international offensive against the country to force international sanctions.
In the aftermath of the Lekki incident, security personnel have been targeted, attacked and killed in addition to the more than N250 billion in damages while the true economic toll is projected to be in the region of N3 trillion. The protesters continued to insist that Mr President must address them while accusing the government of not being responsive.
It was also found out that the mob was not mindless as previously thought. A fugitive terrorist and leader of the proscribed terrorist group, Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu actively coordinated the attacks on businesses while the leaders of the hit squads reported back to him.
This orgy of arson took place even though the protesters were never able to substantiate their claim of a massacre. After a night of misplaced and misdirected outrage, the nation woke up the following day to not find any corpse even when the protesters had alleged that 78 persons were killed; Lagos state governor Babajide Sanwoolu confirmed there were no casualties from the pandemonium; one of the instigators, Enough is Enough (EiE), recanted its earlier claim that CCTV cameras were sabotaged before the incident as it admitted what was removed from the plaza were plate number cameras that the operator removed for safekeeping upon learning that protesters were going to vandalize the place; the billboard that was turned off as a matter of business decision and not on the directive of the state as protesters had alleged; the entire claim of Lekki Toll Plaza massacre was a hoax choreographed by one Obianuju Catherine Udeh (DJ Switch).
The global outrage was heightened by the deployment of fake news that included sharing of pictures from movies and presenting them as causalities from the protests, publication of pictures of accident causalities and claiming they died in the protests, re-circulation of old media and claiming the incidents portrayed in them happened in the protests. Local and international media have fallen for these fake news items, especially on their online and social media platforms, without having the courtesy to apologize and make corrections when they found out that they misled their audiences. Furthermore, there has been a deliberate blackout on reporting the atrocities of the protesters as they loot and commit arson – where there is any report they are conveniently explained away as hoodlums that infiltrated the protests.
Several nations: The United States, United Kingdom, France, Canada, the European Union and other countries have condemned Nigeria without getting the correct details of what transpired. The United Nations, African Union, International Criminal Court (ICC), Amnesty International and other organizations have similarly erred. US politicians, Joe Bidden, Hilary Clinton, members of US Congress, members of the UK Parliament, foreign celebrities amongst others have made interventions without the benefit of facts. The ignorance on the part of the above-identified was exacerbated by the international media organizations, like the CNN, which threw away journalistic ethics to act as channels for purveying fake news.
President Muhammadu Buhari has addressed the nation as a father. He has demonstrated that the government is saddened by the losses arising from the protests even as he confirmed that the demands of the protesters were already being met before the protests were hijacked by criminals. His speech assured that Nigeria will weather the storm. The many youth initiatives of his administration he revealed deserve to be supported and promoted.
After exhaustive deliberations on the observations made, participants noted that:
The protests were hijacked by hoodlums, which appears to be the original plans of the organizers, who had refused to identify leaders or representatives to dialogue with the government.
The protests were exploited by cyber terrorists, bandits and clout chaser on the internet, who leveraged the anonymity provided by online platforms to incite unsuspecting youth to attack their own country.
The President Muhammadu Buhari led Federal Government was responsive enough just as it was measured in being accommodating and tolerant of the protesters even in the face of unwarranted provocation of the state and law-abiding Nigerians.
There was no massacre anywhere in Nigeria; a massacre would have been there for everyone to see as opposed to the situation where the protesters resorted to revisionism in their desperation to make their claim pass integrity test in the face of lacking evidence.
Federal Government needs to initiate additional measures to address the terrorists’ infiltration and hijack of an initially peaceful protest with a few to identifying and dismantling the IPOB cells that were used to trigger mayhem in Lagos state.
Participants at the #March4Nigeria Town Hall Meeting resolved that:
#March4Nigeria will actively track the implementation of the reforms agreed by the Federal Government and will make suggestions for modifications and expansions as may be necessary with an insistence that there must be timelines and milestones to ensure that the process is not stalled.
All protests relating to #EndSARS are suspended going forward while the youth embrace constructive engagements with the government to give time for the implementation of reforms. To ensure transparency, details of engagements with government will be shared real-time using the advantage of virtual platforms.
#March4Nigeria calls on the international community and all the international media that reported hoaxes about the #EndSARS protests to fact check and publish retractions to their misleading reports.
#March4Nigeria demands that the United States, United Kingdom, France, Canada, the European Union the United Nations, African Union, International Criminal Court (ICC), Amnesty International, Joe Bidden, Hilary Clinton, members of US Congress, members of the UK Parliament and foreign celebrities that had recriminated Nigeria should withdraw their misguided statements and stick to facts in the future.
#March4Nigeria will set up a support system to provide counselling, emotional support and treatment for #EndSARS protesters who may be suffering psychological disconnection from reality and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in the wake of their failed attempt to sabotage Nigeria; DJ Switch will be prioritized for support owing to the tendencies she is exhibiting, which makes it necessary to recommend that she and others like her be placed on suicide watch.
#EndSARS: NDF Hails UK Parliament’s Intervention, Says It Is Testament Of Nigerian Army’s Progress
The National Democratic Front (NDF) has welcomed the United Kingdom’s parliament’s intervention on the EndSARS protests in Nigeria, describing it as confirmation of the Nigerian Army’s progress under Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Tukur Buratai.
According to the NDF, the keen interest shown by the UK indicates that President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration is on the right track.
The group, in a statement signed by its National Secretary, Dr Bolaji Abdulkadir, on Friday, noted that this may not be disconnected from the improved human rights record of the troops under the COAS as well as a sustained partnership with his counterparts in the UK.
While urging the troops to continue to make itself accessible to the world and genuine partners like the United Kingdom, the NDF also implored on allies never to give in to the antics of fake news being used by external forces to destabilize Nigeria.
The group, however, called on the authorities in the United Kingdom to sanction those who engage in frivolous discussions with ulterior motives meant to mislead and cause disaffection amongst nations.
Read the full statement below:
The National Democratic Front is issuing this press statement in light of the recent debate by parliamentarians in the United Kingdom Parliament with regards to the state of affairs in Nigeria and concerning the EndSARS protests.
The National Democratic Front appreciates the concerns and interventions of the United Kingdom been an ally of Nigeria in the global scheme of things. This fact is indeed buttressed by the close affinity between Nigeria and the United Kingdom.
We are also appreciative of the fact that events in Nigeria have elicited the interest of the United Kingdom Parliament that eventually culminated in the debate to put issues in proper perspectives with regards to the EndSARS protests and the events surrounding the violence that erupted afterwards.
It is the considered opinion of the NDF that such critical engagements should be sustained given that specific parameters are met, and the sovereignty of countries are not eroded for whatever reason and under any guise. We also believe that such engagement should be based on facts and the highest level of diplomacy.
The UK government has demonstrated that it has much confidence in the democratic ethos and norms of our dear country as being practised under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and cannot be swayed by the enemies of Nigeria.
The NDF wishes to put it on record that indeed some vested interests are out to undermine the efforts of the Nigerian government in addressing the security challenges in the country through the propagation of unsubstantiated information in the public domain, especially with regards to the violation of human rights by the security agencies in Nigeria.
The NDF wishes to inform members of the general public that the recent partnership between the Nigerian Army and the military of the United Kingdom are clear testimonies that the authorities in the United Kingdom have taken reasonable notice of the improved human rights record of our military under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari which has translated to the numerous visits to the United Kingdom by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai to engage other world leaders on the war against insurgency.
The Nigerian Army has been exemplary in the regard with the establishment of a human rights desk at all Nigerian Army units and formations across the country to address cases of human rights abuses by officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army.
It is also on record that the Chief of Army Staff in Nigeria has on numerous occasions been rewarded with awards in the United Kingdom for the success recorded in the prosecution of the war against terrorism in Nigeria. A few of such awards are by the Anti-terrorism Accreditation Board (ATAB) and Global Risk International United Kingdom, where the Chief of Army Staff was awarded the Pave The Way Award for exceptional bravery and peacebuilding in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region under Multinational Joint Task Force which are focal points of DAESH/ISIS.
The second award is – The Certified Master of Anti-terrorism Specialist Award. According to the organizers “Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai is the first African to get this award”. The National Democratic Front sees these awards as notable and in recognition of the selfless services of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai.
Whilst we salute and call our military leadership to continue to make itself accessible to the world and genuine partners like the United Kingdom, we also implore Nigeria’s partners never to give in to the antics of fake news being used by external forces to destabilize Nigeria.
We are by this medium calling on the authorities in the United Kingdom to place a financial tag on those who engage her in frivolous discussions with ulterior motives meant to mislead and cause disaffection amongst nations.
We also call for sanctions were not necessary and equally discipline those that intend to take undue advantage of her democratic culture. It is our considered opinion that this would go a long way in serving as a deterrent to individuals and groups with mischievous intents.
The NDF consequently views the recent report by the Cable News Network as one of such instances where the Nigerian Army has been targeted for public ridicule and condemnation.
Senator Elisha Abbo Defects To APC , Says He’s Joining Buhari ‘To Build Nigeria Of Our Dream’
The Senator who is representing Adamawa North in the Senate announced his defection in a letter addressed to the House.
Senate President Ahmad Lawan read the letter during Wednesday’s plenary session.
In the letter, Senator Abbo explained that his decision to defect to the APC is because of the mismanagement of the PDP in Adamawa state by Governor Umaru Fintiri. Abbo also said He’s Joining Buhari ‘To Build Nigeria Of Our Dream’
Senator Abbo has been in the news for assaulting a woman in an adult toy shop in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory sitting in Maitama, earlier in September, awarded N50 million damages against Senator Abbo, to be paid as compensation to Osimibibra Warmate, a female attendant at a sex-toy shop, whom he assaulted.
Justice Samira Bature gave the order in her judgment on the fundamental rights enforcement suit instituted by Warmate against the senator.
Earlier on July 3, 2019, the lawmaker was caught on camera physically assaulting a woman in Abuja, two months after he allegedly committed the act.
CCTV Footage Has Vindicated Nigerian Army Of Complicity In Alleged Lekki Massacre – Human Rights Lawyer
A human rights lawyer, Werigbelegha Zinaka has stated that the Nigerian Army has been vindicated of any wrong doing at the Lekki Tollgate incidence. He said this in an interaction with journalists on the sides at the ongoing hearing of the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution in Lagos.
The human rights lawyer who serves as an attorney for the International Human Rights Association at the panel also stated that from the CCTV footage that was analyzed, it indeed vindicates the Nigerian Army of any wrongdoing.
“The Judicial Panel of Inquiry has been very engaging with quite some revelations that indeed put issues in proper perspective. Worthy of mention is the revelation from the CCTV footage at the Lekki Tollgate that indeed explained the level of involvement of the Nigerian Army at the Lekki Tollgate.”
“All concerned parties viewed the CCTV footage, and I wish to state that it was clear that the consensus is that the Nigerian Army did not commit massacre as wildly alleged in some certain quarters in the country.”
He further stated that with the various presentations at the panel, there had not been any evidence to substantiate the fact that any life was lost at the Lekki Tollgate.
“This panel has been very meticulous in its analysis, and I can tell you that serious business is going on here. I can also say from all the submissions and reviews; there has not been any evidence to back the claims the lives were lost at the Lekki Tollgate incidence and most especially from the CCTV footage that was reviewed.”
“So it remains an illusion that the Nigerian Army committed massacre at the Lekki Tollgate. This is understandable given the role of fake news in the whole scenario. And ironically, those that were spreading all sorts from their comfort zones have refused to come to the panel to substantiate their claims.”
He further faulted the recently released report by the Cable News Network (CNN) stating that it was done in bad faith and not a reflection of the issues on the ground.
“The CNN report was highly misleading and with an ulterior motive in my candid opinion. It was obvious that the target of the report was the Nigerian Army, and it was very poor in its execution. It was more of a judgmental pronouncement than a news report, and I am not aware that CNN is an arbiter of the law. This much they must be aware of and the need for some level circumspection in analysis of issues of this nature.”
“We must call a spade a spade and understand that what the CNN attempted to do in its report was to influence the outcome of the Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution with regards to the involvement of the Nigerian Army. The backlash the report has received indeed says it all. And I believe that CNN must have learnt its lessons.”
It would be recalled that in the aftermath of the escalation of violence at the EndSARS protests, the Lagos State Government inaugurated a 7-member Judicial Panel of Enquiry and Restitution for Victims of SARS Related Abuses in the State.
Retired Justice Doris Okuwobi chairs the panel; other members are Mr Ebun Adegboruwa, SAN (representing the Civil Society); Taiwo Lakanu, a retired Deputy Inspector General of Police, Ms Patience Udoh, representing the Civil Society; Mr Segun Awosanya, Human Rights Activist, Mrs Olutoyin, Odusanya, Director, Citizens Mediation Center, as well as a representative of the youth-led protest and a representative of the Human Rights Commission.
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