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Full speech of President Muhammadu Buhari’s broadcast on the #EndSARS protest

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ADDRESS TO THE NATION BY HIS EXCELLENCY, MUHAMMADU BUHARI, PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA ON THE ENDSARS PROTESTS, 22ND OCTOBER, 2020

Fellow Nigerians,

It has become necessary for me to address you having heard from many concerned Nigerians and having concluded a meeting with all the Security Chiefs.

I must warn those who have hijacked and misdirected the initial, genuine and well – intended protest of some of our youths in parts of the country, against the excesses of some members of the now disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

On Monday 12th October, I acknowledged the genuine concerns and agitations of members of the public regarding the excessive use of force by some members of SARS.

The choice to demonstrate peacefully is a fundamental right of citizens as enshrined in Section 40 of our Constitution and other enactments; but this right to protest also imposes on the demonstrators the responsibility to respect the rights of other citizens, and the necessity to operate within the law.

As a democratic government, we listened to, and carefully evaluated the five-point demands of the protesters. And, having accepted them, we immediately scrapped SARS, and put measures in place to address the other demands of our youth.

On approving the termination of SARS, I already made it clear that it was in line with our commitment to the implementation of extensive Police reforms.

Sadly, the promptness with which we have acted seemed to have been misconstrued as a sign of weakness and twisted by some for their selfish unpatriotic interests.

The result of this is clear to all observers: human lives have been lost; acts of sexual violence have been reported; two major correctional facilities were attacked and convicts freed; public and private properties completely destroyed or vandalised; the sanctity of the Palace of a Peace Maker, the Oba of Lagos has been violated. So-called protesters have invaded an International Airport and in the process disrupted the travel plans of fellow Nigerians and our visitors.

All these executed in the name of the ENDSARS protests. I am indeed deeply pained that innocent lives have been lost. These tragedies are uncalled for and unnecessary. Certainly, there is no way whatsoever to connect these bad acts to legitimate expression of grievance of the youth of our country.

The spreading of deliberate falsehood and misinformation through the social media in particular, that this government is oblivious to the pains and plight of its citizens is a ploy to mislead the unwary within and outside Nigeria into unfair judgement and disruptive behaviour.

On the contrary, both our deeds and words have shown how committed this administration has been to the wellbeing and welfare of citizens, even with the steadily dwindling revenues, and the added responsibilities and restrictions due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Government has put in place measures and initiatives principally targeted at youths, women and the most vulnerable groups in our society. These included our broad plan to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years; the creation of N75 billion National Youth Investment Fund to provide opportunities for the youths and the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Survival Fund, through which government is:

paying three months salaries of the staff of 100,000 micro, small – and medium – enterprises,

paying for the registration of 250,000 businesses at the Corporate Affairs Commission,

giving a grant of N30,000 to 100,000 artisans; and

guaranteeing market for the products of traders.

These are in addition to many other initiatives such as;

Farmermoni,

Tradermoni,

Marketmoni,

N-Power,

N-Tech and

N-Agro.

No Nigerian Government in the past has methodically and seriously approached poverty-alleviation like we have done.

With regard to the welfare of police personnel, the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission has been directed to expedite action on the finalization of the new salary structure of members of the Nigeria Police Force. The emoluments of other paramilitary services are also being reviewed upwards.

In order to underscore the importance of education in preparing youths for the future, this administration has come up with a new salary structure and other incentives for our teachers.

Let me at this point reaffirm the Federal Government’s commitment to preserving the unity of this country.

We will continue to improve good governance and our democratic process, including through sustained engagement.

We shall continue to ensure that liberty and freedom, as well as the fundamental rights of all citizens are protected.

But remember that government also has the obligation to protect lives and properties, as well as the right of citizens to go about their daily businesses freely and protected from acts of violence.

To our neighbours in particular, and members of the international community, many of whom have expressed concern about the ongoing development in Nigeria, we thank you and urge you all to seek to know all the facts available before taking a position or rushing to judgment and making hasty pronouncements.

In the circumstances, I would like to appeal to protesters to note and take advantage of the various well-thought-out initiatives of this administration designed to make their lives better and more meaningful, and resist the temptation of being used by some subversive elements to cause chaos with the aim of truncating our nascent democracy.

For you to do otherwise will amount to undermining national security and the law and order situation. Under no circumstances will this be tolerated.

I therefore call on our youths to discontinue the street protests and constructively engage government in finding solutions. Your voice has been heard loud and clear and we are responding.

And I call on all Nigerians to go about their normal businesses, and enjoin security agencies to protect lives and properties of all law abiding citizens without doing harm to those they are meant to protect. Let me pay tribute to officers of the Nigeria Police Force who have tragically lost their lives in the line of duty.

I would like to thank those state Governors, traditional and religious leaders who have appealed for calm and restraint. I also thank youth leaders who have restrained their followers from taking the law into their hands.

This government respects and will continue to respect all the democratic rights and civil liberties of the people, but it will not allow anybody or groups to disrupt the peace of our nation.

Thank you all. God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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Borno to close all IDP camps in Maiduguri Dec 31

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The Borno State Government says it will close all camps for internally displaced persons located within Maiduguri, the state capital, by December 31,

The state governor Babagan Zulum gave the indication on Friday while addressing State House correspondents at the end of a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja.

He said the decision to close the camps in Maiduguri was informed by the recent improvement in the security situation in the state.

According to him, the state government decided to close the camps to enable displaced persons to return to their ancestral homes.

He said, “I came to brief the president on efforts made by Borno state government in ensuring the return of internally displaced persons to their homes

“So far so good, Borno state government has started well and arrangements have been concluded to ensure the closure of all internally displaced persons’ camps that are inside Maiduguri on or before December 31.”

According to the governor, the state is collaborating with the federal ministry of humanitarian affairs on arrangements for the safe return of displaced persons currently in Niger and Cameroon.

“In addition to that, Borno state government is also making efforts, in collaboration with the ministry, to continue with the repatriation of Nigerians in Minawo camp in Cameroon,” he said.

“Furthermore, on November 27, the Borno State government will ensure the resettlement of IDPs that are living in Diffa province of Niger to Malumfatari, a local government area in Borno, where we don’t have human population because of the insurgency.”

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IPOB killed 175 security operatives in South-East, says FG

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The Federal Government has accused the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) of killing 175 security operatives and carrying out attacks on 164 police stations in the South-East.

Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, stated this during a press conference on Friday.

He said a 24-member presidential committee set up in June 2021 and comprising the police, the Department of State Services (DSS), the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), and Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), found that Nnamdi Kanu seized the 2020 EndSARS protests and “actively commanded and directed attacks on security personnel and facilities”.

“The committee finds as a fact, that consequent upon the instigating directives of Nnamdi Kanu, members of IPOB/ESN carried out massive attacks on democratic institutions especially INEC facilities with a view to hampering democratic process in Nigeria. These attacks that were carried out between October 2020 and June 2021 include the following,” the minister said.

“One hundred and seventy-five (175) security personnel were killed by IPOB/ESN, comprising one hundred and twenty-eight (128) Police men, thirty-seven (37) military personnel and ten (10) other security operatives.

“Killing of prominent Nigerians, (recently there were gruesome killings of traditional leaders: Obi 1 of Okwudor autonomous community, Eze E. Anayochukwu Durueburuo and Eze Sampson Osunwa of Ihebineowerre autonomous community as well as the killings of Chike Akunyili and eight others as well as the killing of  Alhaji Ahmed Gulak on 30th May. 2021).

“That as a consequence of Nnamdi Kanu’s broadcasts, there were 19 attacks on INEC facilities that resulted in the destruction of offices as well as burning of 18 INEC logistical vehicles, several election materials, equipment and ICT gadgets in Abia, Akwa-Ibom, Anambra, CrossRiver, Enugu, Ebonyi and Imo states.

“That 164 police stations and formations, including police headquarters, Owerri, Imo state were attacked by IPOB/ESN leading to the death of 128 policemen, 144 injured while 628 vehicles were destroyed.

“That 396 firearms and 17,738 ammunition were carted away during the IPOB/ESN attacks. That there were 3 IPOB/ESN attacks on the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS), including the headquarters of NCoS, Owerri, Imo state where 1,841 inmates escaped. That the headquarters of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), Umuahia, Abia state was also attacked by IPOB/ESN leading to the death of one officer.

Malami added that Kanu “is not alone in its subversive activities; he has accomplices in Nigeria and abroad, individuals and groups as well as state and non-state actors who are aiding and facilitating his campaign against the people and state of Nigeria.”

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I’ve not appointed any politician to beg Presidency – Igboho

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A Yoruba youth leader, Sunday Adeyemo popularly called Sunday Igboho, says he has not authorised any politician to beg the presidency on his behalf.

He stated this through his lawyer, Yomi Alliyu,

The Yoruba nation agitator was arrested with his wife, Ropo, at Cardinal Bernardin International Airport, Cotonou, while fleeing to Germany on July 16, 2021.

He has been in custody at a facility in Cotonou, Benin Republic.

A statement signed by Alliyu on Friday said they were aware that a politician and one other person had been putting pressure on Igboho and his wife for permission to speak with the presidency so that they could secure his release in Benin Republic.

“We have been reliably informed that some politicians are pressuring our client and his wife to give them endorsement to use at the presidency to justify their new found love and/or defection to the All Progressives Congress and/or curry affection from those in power,” Alliyu said.

“Let the whole world be aware, especially the presidency, that Sunday Adeyemo is totally apolitical with no special love or hatred for any political party as he has friends in all.

“He however respects the six elected governors of the south-west states as authentic representatives of his Yoruba race. Any document purportedly signed by Igboho or his wife endorsing, empowering or making anybody his mouthpiece other than his lead counsel should be disregarded and taken as fake.

“It is disheartening that a discredited politician with disreputable pedigree in Yoruba race and another retired security officer are pressurising our client and his wife to give them endorsements to Yoruba youths and the presidency without considering his unlawful incarceration in the Republic of Benin and health issues.”

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