Some well-meaning Nigerians, under the aegis of March4Nigeria, say some purported EndSARS protesters are mobilising hoodlums to wreak havoc in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and Lagos.
According to the group, these extremist elements will relaunch violent uprisings under the guise that their members are being hounded.
The group said they will also blame the routine law enforcement process, freezing of accounts and the placement of some persons of interest on a no-fly-list.
Speaking at a press conference on Monday in Lagos, National Secretary, Comrade Onimisi Bello said funds for the exercise has already been laundered online using cryptocurrencies.
The March4Nigeria, however, condemned the move to incite Nigerians back to the streets, as it could jeopardize the Federal Government’s proposed police reform.
While calling on parents to guide their children against being used as agents of destruction, the group urged security agencies to use all necessary force to protect the law-abiding citizens.
Read the full speech below:
Gentlemen of the press, you will recall that Nigerians took to the streets to protest against police brutality as typified by the activities of the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). The protests were peaceful, and Nigerians tabled five-point demands that the Federal Government promptly accepted, which gave rise to the concept of 5for5. Part of the government’s response was the termination of the infamous SARS.
These protests were christened “#EndSARS” consistent with the demand for an end to SARS. When the protests continued even after the government has liquidated SARS and accepted the demands, some of us became worried as we had expected, logically, that there would be a retreat from the picket lines to allow the government to implement the agreed changes.
We soon found out that the protests have been hijacked by selfish and dangerous interests. It became obvious that these elements were paying celebrities, commercial activists and clout chasers to incite Nigerians on social media. The same elements hired thugs and hoodlums to disrupt the same protests they were mobilising people to be part of.
The intentions of these elements for the protests soon became obvious as they proceeded to shut down major roads and public infrastructure. They reportedly precipitated the Lekki Toll Gate incident to justify the industrial scale arson and looting that they unleashed on the country. Several major businesses will take years to recover from this attack many smaller businesses will never recover.
Upon the discovery of the insidious plan of the element, the patriots among us called a halt on protests and began the March4Nigeria movement. We shifted focus to holding the government accountable for implementing the 5for5 demands. We believe that more can be achieved through dialogue and continuous engagement as opposed to destructive confrontation.
The dangerous elements that attacked Nigeria have retained the #EndSARS label even when SARS has been terminated. This is why #March4Nigeria distanced itself from what is now #EndSARS movement. It has no relationship or connection whatsoever with the original protest against police brutality, high handedness, abuse of human rights and extra-judicial execution.
We have now uncovered plans by these extremist elements to relaunch violent protests under the brand #EndSARS to undermine the Nigerian state. The excuse they will use for these fresh rounds of protests is to allege that their members are being hounded. Specifically, they will cite the routine law enforcement process, the freezing of accounts linked to crime and the placement of some persons of interest on a no-fly-list, as the basis to spark off these violent protests.
An early indication of this plot is the withdrawal of their representatives from the Lagos State Panel of Inquiry citing the aforesaid law enforcement processes. This move by the #EndSARS elements is to undermine the panel on one hand while inciting people to rush back to protesting based on sentiments.
There has also been an escalation of inciteful social media posts to draw Nigerians back to the streets while the hoodlums that were used for arson have again been placed on standby. Funding for the payment of the hoodlums has been laundered online using cryptocurrencies that have been converted to foreign currencies, transferred to unanimous accounts and the money is being converted to Naira and held in cash to evade scrutiny of law enforcement agencies.
Furthermore, the #EndSARS protesters have reportedly drawn up a list of government and private assets and businesses to destroy to spark reprisals that will then snowball into a tit-for-tat all-out war along ethnic or sectarian lines.
What we have been made to understand is that these people will prioritize Lagos and Abuja for their provocative protests and attacks. Abuja is being targeted to cause the country the maximum international and diplomatic embarrassment since the international media focus on the city in their coverage. Lagos is being targeted as part of a strategy to crumble Nigeria’s economy on one hand and to cause ethno-sectarian strife there on the other hand because of its cosmopolitan nature. The protests will equally be launched in other states with a plot to commit further arson and looting to intensify the assault on Nigeria’s economy.
#March4Nigeria condemns the plan to incite Nigerians back to the streets under any guise as this will directly interfere with what we are expecting from the Federal Government in terms of reform. The organic timeline of three months during which we want to put the government to the test will be impacted since any distraction caused by having to manage protests will hurt the long-term feasibility of the changes we have demanded from government. The focus should be on pressuring the government to perform and not distracting the entire country.
Given what the country experienced when the #EndSARS protests were hijacked by these same persons, #March4Nigeria calls on all security agencies to use all necessary force to protect the law-abiding citizens of the country, including pre-emptively taking the ringleaders of this destructive clique into custody until they no longer pose any threat to the rest of us. They are not genuine protesters just as their agitation has lost legitimacy with the carnage and murderous campaign they launched against the country.
We urge parents to warn their children and wards not to be used by agents of darkness to carry out looting of properties, burning of police stations and killing of innocent Nigerians in the name of #EndSARS. They should impress on the young people that there are laws in Nigeria and the law is either on one’s side or against one, depending on what choices the individual makes.
We equally call on the international community and NGOs to caution those in contact with them to desist from plunging Nigeria into any crisis. Affiliation or interaction with the international community should not be misconstrued as a licence to commit crimes and kill law enforcement agents without consequences.
#March4Nigeria urges state governments to review their crisis response plans in other to be responsive in deploying mitigating measures to counter the national meltdown being planned by these extreme people.
It is our fervent prayer that those who had supported the extremist elements of the #EndSARS protests in error will now retrace their steps and withdraw support from them and also point the way in how to neutralize the threat they pose to other Nigerians. To continue supporting the movement when it has exposed the direction of its long-term plan will be a great disservice to the nation.
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.
Discard CNN Report On Lekki Shootings Targeted At Demonising Nigeria’s Military – Group
The March4Nigeria movement has urged Nigerians and the international community to disregard CNN’s report on the Lekki shooting in Lagos, noting that it is targeted at demonising the Nigerian military.
The group said after a careful scrutiny of the report, it concluded that CNN has joined campaign of calumny against the Nigerian government as well as the military.
Speaking at a press conference in Abuja, Director of Publicity, Deborah Ndace said CNN was irresponsible with its report, following an already existing narrative that was in the public domain.
The March4Nigeria movement, however, demanded an unreserved apology from the American news channel to the federal government, the Nigerian Army as well as the Nigerian people.
While calling on Nigerians to ignore CNN, the group urged the international community to question its credibility as an organisation for engaging in acts that are divisive and promote violence.
Read full statement below:
You are all welcome to this press conference meant to put issues in proper perspectives with regards to the recently released report by the Cable News Network (CNN) with regards to the involvement of the Nigerian Army in the EndSARS protest at the Lekki Tollgate in Lagos Nigeria.
We wish to state that after careful scrutiny of the report, it was identified that it was indeed an attempt to demonize the Nigerian Army whose only offence was standing on the side of democracy by averting what was clearly a coup attempt at our nascent democracy.
The CNN in its report was tactically evasive in addressing the issues, but instead, it elected to tow the dishonorable path of making wild goose allegations against the Nigerian Army without the necessary facts to back their claims.
The March4Nigeria is not only alarmed that an organization that has built a reputation of responsible journalism over decades would throw caution into the wind in furtherance of the agenda of a select few at the detriment of millions of people that rely on it for news reportage across the globe.
The focus of the CNN on Nigeria is not a coincidence, but rather a well-orchestrated plot by some very powerful interest hell-bent on truncating the democratic experience in Nigeria and to give international credence to their nefarious plot, the likes of the CNN was coopted to lead this campaign of calumny against the government of Nigeria, as well as the Nigerian Military.
This is nothing short of irresponsible journalism that can only be perpetuated by a leading proponent of Fake News in the United States of America attempting to expand its antics to the African continent.
It was expected that CNN would stay true to the tenets of journalism by undertaking a thorough investigation. Instead, it relied on an already existing narrative that has already been in the public domain and gotten stale.
It is also despicable that a news medium such as the CNN would put out such half-truths with the ultimate aim of escalating issues that have received the required response from the government and other critical stakeholders in the country.
In the light of the above, the March4Nigeria is stating in unequivocal terms that the report by the CNN is indeed malicious and a great disservice to the journalism profession in all ramifications.
We are consequently aligning with the position of the federal government in demanding an unreserved apology from the CNN to the federal government, the Nigerian Army as well as the Nigerian people whose sensibilities have been insulted by the highly lopsided report.
We also wish to remind the proprietors of the CNN that Nigeria is not by any stretch of the imagination the United States of America where it has consistently attacked the administration of President Donald Trump.
The importance of the CNN tendering an unreserved apology is to correct the wrong its report has had on the psyche of members of the unsuspecting general public in Nigeria and outside the shores of Nigeria.
We are also using this medium to call on the international community to question the credibility of the CNN as an organization for engaging in acts that are divisive and promote violence as exemplified in its report on the EndSARS protest in Nigeria.
Nigerians must also be aware that the CNN is indeed acting the script of some vested interest that have been targeting our nascent democracy without success. Nigerians must, as a matter of necessity, come in one accord to condemn the CNN report in its totality.
The implication of allowing the CNN to get away with this treatise on Nigeria is that more ferocious attacks would be launched against our democracy and critical institutions such as the Nigerian Army, which would be our greatest undoing.
The exigency of time requires all hands to be on the deck in the interest of peace and sustainable development. We must not sit and watch while the likes of the CNN demonize and rubbish the efforts of the government and the Nigerian Army in the restoration of law and order in Nigeria.
Thank you all.
Politics3 months ago
Electricity Tariff Hike: Review Is A Painful Adjustment – President Buhari
Politics4 months ago
Party Crisis: Progressives Governors’ Forum DG Calls For Constitutional Review
Politics5 months ago
PGF Boss, Lukman Denies Media Report of Division Among APC Governors
Politics1 year ago
Ignore Tinubu’s Comment, He Cannot Speak for South-West – Activist
News2 years ago
Armed Forces Need N9bn Annually For Shoes, Boots, Says DG Defence Research
Investigation4 months ago
NDDC Spent 1.3trn Between 2015 And 2019 – Senate Report
News2 years ago
Amaechi Endorses AAC Guber Candidate in Rivers
Politics2 years ago
Emir Sanusi Plots Cancellation of Kano Rerun Election