Some well-meaning Nigerians have blamed the failure of state governors to deliver the dividends of democracy to their people for the civil unrest and insecurity witnessed in parts of the country.
The group, under the aegis of March4Nigeria Initiative, said the governors should be held responsible for the escalation of the EndSARS protest into violence.
Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday in Abuja, National Coordinator, Comrade Augustine Adie said some governors have constituted themselves into demigod, leading to agitations and disenchantments in the polity.
Comrade Adie noted that the “discovery of COVID-19 palliatives stored in various warehouses across the states is indeed a vindication of the efforts of the federal government towards improving the lives of the people in ways too numerous to mention”.
Describing the attitude as “appalling and inimical to sustainable growth and development in Nigeria”, the group said it is time for citizens to hold their governors accountable.
The March4Nigeria Initiative, however, tasked the governors to do the needful in their different states with regards to delivering the dividends of democracy.
It also hoped that the governors would admit their mistakes and retrace their steps in the way and manner they govern their various states.
Read full statement below:
Ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of the leadership of March4Nigeria, I warmly welcome you all to this press conference put together in the wake of the aftermath of the EndSARS protest in Nigeria that resulted in quite unpleasant events across the country.
The March4Nigeria Initiative is constrained to lend its voice to bring an end to bad governance in the country, which is rife at the state and local government across the country. We must all admit that the activities of most governors and local government administrators are somewhat responsible for the various agitations and disenchantments in the polity because these governors have constituted themselves into mini gods.
The recent discovery of COVID-19 palliatives stored in various warehouses across the states is indeed a vindication of the efforts of the federal government towards improving the lives of the people in ways too numerous to mention.
However, it has become clear that most governors are not in tune with reality either by omission or commission, as it is inexcusable for food items meant for the people during the coronavirus pandemic are kept from the people for God knows why.
The March4Nigeria initiative views such actions as counter-productive and ultimately against the interest of the country in this critical point of our existence, hence the need for demonstration of responsibility in governance at the state and local government levels because they are indeed accountable to the people that voted them into office.
The hoarding of the COVID-19 palliatives is just one example of how things are going wrong at the state and local government levels, which by and large undermines the efforts of the government at the centre.
When one takes a cursory look at budget performance across the 36 states of the country, one would be confronted with tales of underperformance and a lack of commitment to uplifting the standard of living of the people.
The March4Nigeria Initiative views such disposition as appalling and inimical to sustainable growth and development in Nigeria. It is also instructive to state that not until citizens start to ask questions on accountability from state governors and local government administrators, we would be going round in a vicious circle.
Citizens must be charged to ask questions on the performance of budget across the 36 states of the federation. Citizens must also demand transparency from governors in the conduct of state business, as only this can guarantee socio-economic development at the state and local government levels.
It is thus a statement of the fact that should the governors continue in such fashion, sustainable development would elude us, and we would all bear the brunt of our actions and inactions.
The March4Nigeria initiative is using this medium to task the various state governors to go to work and do the needful in their different states with regards to delivering the dividend of democracy to the people.
We are also tasking the various state governors to display a strong commitment to complementing the efforts of the federal government in tackling the various challenges in the country. We also acknowledge the fact that some governors have been quite cooperative with the federal government in addressing security challenges in their domains.
It is thus our considered opinion that if this attitude is replicated across the 36 states of the federation, Nigeria would be steady on the path of economic growth and development. Thus, the governors and local government administrators must shun all acts of corruption in their domains.
This is on the heels that the level of corruption at the state and local government levels is indeed mindboggling and should indeed be the focus of any genuine EndSARS campaign in the country. If this trend is no curtailed, sustainable development will continue to elude us and youth restiveness would not abate.
There must be an entrenchment of transparency and accountability in the states and local government to ensure that Nigeria makes substantial gains in our quest for development.
It is also our considered view that if there are no attitudinal changes on the part of governors; Nigeria might remain a project that won’t be completed for a long time to come.
The March4Nigeria Initiative is advocating for collectiveness and synergy between the federal government and the state governors towards ensuring that the people enjoy the dividends of democracy.
We thank you all for your time, and we desire that state governors would realize their mistakes and retrace their steps in the way and manner they govern their various states. This remains the only option left towards setting Nigeria on the path of greatness.
Thank you all, and God bless
Breaking: CNN Retracts Initial Report Soldiers Killed 38 at Lekki Tollgate During #EndSARS Protest
The Cable News Network has retracted its initial report, which said operatives of the Nigerian Army killed 38 persons at the Lekki Tollgate in Lagos State on October 20, 2020.
The international broadcaster did this a double retraction on its Twitter handle it titled: “Clarification.”
In the “Clarification,” CNN said it did not attribute the death toll to Amnesty International and also failed to say in the report that the 38 persons killed were not just at the Lekki tollgate but across the country during the #EndSARS protest.
It tweeted: “Clarification: This tweet from October 23 did not attribute the death toll from protests in Nigeria to Amnesty International. The tweet also did not make it clear that the death toll was for protests across the country.”
But it did both in its tweets and reports anchored by Stephanie Busari on the incident as attached to this report.
Though the first paragraph of the amended story on the incident on October 22, 2020 said the reported 38 deaths on October 20, 2020 was nationwide, what it tweeted on October 23, 2020 was that the military did the killing that day.
In that same first paragraph of the story, the international broadcaster attributed its source of death of 56 persons to Amnesty International, a position it then retreated in the early hours of Friday.
It wrote in the story, which video link is also attached: “At least 56 people have died across Nigeria since the #EndSARS protests began on October 8, with 38 killed across the country on Tuesday alone, according to human rights group Amnesty International.”
The Nigerian Government had through the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, written a protest letter to the Management of CNN complaining about the authenticity of a report that put together various videos of the Lekki Tollgate shooting.
However, CNN followed it up with a Part 2 of the report.
The Nigerian Army had also disputed both the initial report on the October 20, 2020 shooting and the two parts report on the video evidences CNN claimed justified its position on the shooting incident.
Reactions to the “Clarification” by CNN had been pouring in since it was done at about 10:05pm Nigerian time on Thursday.
However, the broadcaster has not said anything on the two parts report that followed in the last one week.
Lekki Shooting: CNN Carried Out A Hatchet Job On The Army – International Journalists
The report by Cable News Network (CNN) on the shooting at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos was a “poor” hatchet job targeted at the Nigerian Army, the International Institute for Investigative Journalism (IIIJ) has said.
In an electronic statement signed by special rapporteur, Francois Deburoiche, on Wednesday, the IIIJ said it came to this conclusion following a careful investigation on the events that led to the escalation of violence at the toll gate.
After forensic analysis of CNN’s report, the International Institute for Investigative Journalism noted that there were some missing details in the American television channel’s piece.
According to the institute, the report was carried out in poor taste, lacking professionalism and objectivity. It added that the claim of use of live bullets and testimonies of victims were all tales.
The institute, however, advised the television channel to retract and admit error in the documentary.
Read the full statement below:
The International Institute for Investigative Journalism is issuing this press statement with the best of intents after a careful investigation on the events that led to the escalation of violence at the Lekki Tollgate in Lagos Nigeria during the EndSARS protest.
A team of investigative journalists with extensive experience in conflict situation interrogated the various claims made by the American Cable News Network in its report on the Lekki Shootings and came up with a comprehensive analysis that found gaps that were not filled in the CNN documentation of the events at the Lekki Tollgate in Lagos Nigeria.
The CNN documentary on the EndSARS protest in Nigeria was released to the general public with lots of inaccuracies. These accuracies were detected after an extensive forensic investigation by the International Institute for Investigative Journalism.
It is thus our opinion that the report was carried out in the poor taste, lacking in professionalism and objectivity. This is a great betrayal on journalism by the CNN, which indeed violated the known tenets of journalism.
The videos and images used in the CNN report were not subjected to adequate scrutiny. Consequently, it lacked credibility for use by an organization of repute such as the CNN. This fact was also buttressed by the fact that the CNN report was very hasty in its conclusion by indicting the Nigerian Army of culpability in the events at the Lekki Tollgate.
Our position remains that the CNN erred substantially in its report that was highly misleading to the general public in Nigeria and other parts of the world. The documentary also failed woefully to highlight the events that led to the reign of violence in parts of Lagos state but instead rehashed the issues under different subheadings with minimal evidence that indicts the Nigerian Army of wrongdoing at the Lekki Tollgate.
The International Institute for Investigative Journalism concludes that the CNN documentary was prejudiced in its analysis as well as presentation which fall nothing short of a poor hatchet job with the undeniable intent to discredit the Nigerian Army operation at the Lekki Tollgate in Lagos Nigeria.
The analysis by CNN in the documentary was hasty in its categorization with regards to the use of live bullets by soldiers at the Lekki Tollgate. The report attempted to portray the use of excessive force by soldiers, while the accompanying videos and images did not depict such.
The credibility of those interviewed in the documentary was also suspect with the choice of words and the facial and body expressions of the victims as well as their relatives. Thus much was revealed by forensic analysis as the emotions portrayed didn’t match their words.
The International Institute for Investigative Journalism is of the considered opinion that the CNN carried out a hatchet job that is targeted at the Nigerian Army institution. We as a result of this classify the CNN documentary as highly misleading and with the capacity to cause disquiet in Nigeria.
The CNN must retract and admit error in submission in its documentary on the Lekki Tollgate shootings. The International Institute for Investigative Journalism faults the CNN documentary in all ramifications.
Why Army is Boosting Land Power, Buratai Speaks at War College Lecture
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai, has said that the Army War College Nigeria (AWCN) has continued to churn out highly-capable operational commanders, with a very good understanding of operational art and the requisite skills for the effective application of land power.
Buratai, was the special guest of honour at the ‘Graduation Lecture’ of Course 4/2020, in Abuja. The COAS, who had earlier commissioned the War College Office Extension Building, further said the building is made up of offices, Central Auditorium with 450 seating capacity, a lecture hall and a lounge with 180 and 120 seating capacity, respectively.
According to Lt. Gen. Buratai, the War College was conceived to address the observed gaps in the professional military education of Army’s personnel at operational level. The Commandant of AWCN, Maj. Gen. SE Udounwa, expressed gratitude to the Army Chief for tirelessly supporting the College, especially in the area of infrastructural development.
The AWCN was established in 2017 to bridge the gap between the tactical and strategic level training by producing well trained, educated and inspired operational level leaders for the Nigerian Army.
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