Soldiers, police take over strategic areas as #EndSARS protesters stay away – Newstrends
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Soldiers, police take over strategic areas as #EndSARS protesters stay away

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The plans by youths to hold another round of protests on Monday failed as military and police personnel took over strategic locations in some states.

President Muhammadu Buhari had threatened to deal with any act of hooliganism under the guise of peaceful protests just as the police warned that any form of demonstration would be crushed.

Organisers of the protests, who had raised awareness on the social media, had planned to mass on the streets to demand the release of all protesters detained during the first protest and unfreezing all accounts of their colleagues suspended by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as a result of the earlier protest.

Based on the fallout of the October protests while was hijacked by hoodlums resulting in orgy of killings, massive looting and destruction of property, the police on Sunday warned the organisers of the fresh protests to desist from going ahead with the plans as the country was yet to fully recover from the last incident.

Operatives of the Lagos State Police Command and soldiers from 81 Division Nigerian Army were on Monday deployed in strategic areas of the state to enforce the ban emplaced on the second wave of #EndSARS protests.

The security operatives were seen at black spots and known volatile areas.

The deployment of the military and police personnel was a follow-up to the warning issued on Sunday by the state command Commissioner of Police, Mr Hakeem Odumosu.

Ogun State Police Command also banned protest in the state, warning prospective protesters to desist from such action or face the full wrath of the law.

A statement by the command spokesperson, Mr Abimbola Oyeyemi, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), said while the command recognised that it was the right of citizens to protest to express their grievances over issues of governance, “there is, however, nothing at present that calls for such a protest in the gateway state, except for those who see troublemaking as a lucrative business.”

The army said the deployment of soldiers was nothing out of the ordinary but in continuation of their normal routine patrols.

The acting Deputy Director, 81 Division Army Public Relations, Major Olaniyi Osoba, denied claims that soldiers were deployed in Lekki tollgate to abort the proposed protest.

He said, “We have soldiers in that axis on their routine patrol but they are not at Lekki tollgate. Besides, the soldiers you saw were drawn from Operation MESA.”

He, however, noted that the army would show up if they were called upon like they did during the first wave of the protest.

The police also debunked allegations that a protest was held at Lekki tollgate despite the ban.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Olumuyiwa Adejobi, a Superintendent of Police (SP), said the viral but fake video of the purported protest was circulated to create tension and destabilise the security network put in place.

He said, “The command wishes to debunk the fake video that has been circulated to create tension and destabilise security network in the state.

“The video was one of the viral videos released during the recent violent EndSARS protest before the Lekki Tollgate plaza was set ablaze by the violent protesters on October 21, 2020.

“The command, therefore, urges the general public to regard the video as baseless and mischievous.”

However, protesters marched on Osogbo, the Osun State capital, to demand good governance.

The protesters, under the auspices of Face of #EndSARS Movement, converged on Ogo-Oluwa area of the state and marched on the state House of Assembly where they demanded an audience with the leadership of the house.

The protesters, led by a man identified as Mr Emmanuel Adebisi, carried different placards with inscriptions such as: “We are not fighting for any political party; #End Bad Judiciary in Nigeria; #End fake judicial panel of Inquiry in Osun; Unfreeze all the frozen accounts; We are Nigerian youths.”

The protesters called for the release of all detainees arrested during the demonstrations in October and asked the CBN to unfreeze the accounts of protesters.

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Computer Village Ikeja is residential not commercial area – LASG

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Computer Village Ikeja is residential not commercial area – LASG

Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on eGIS and Urban Development Dr. Olajide Abiodun Babatunde has said the state government is committed to the regeneration and development of urban areas of the state.

Babatunde disclosed this on Tuesday during an on-the-spot assessment of the Computer Village, Ikeja, where he stressed that area is residential and not commercial area.

A statement by Director, Public Affairs at LASBCA, Olaoye Olusegun quoted the special adviser as saying the Computer Village area within the state law is a residential but had grown into a full-blown market, which is against the Modern City Plan of the state.

He said the present administration led by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu was committed to the restoration of the master plan of Lagos which is being degraded and distorted.

He said, “The relocation of Computer Village presently in Ikeja to Kantagua in the Abule-Egba area of the state is in progress and when fully completed will boast of world-class facilities such as schools, hospitals, clinics, hotels, banking facilities, warehouses and storage rooms, which will make shopping more conducive and befitting of the mega city status as envisaged by the governor and as obtained in other modern cities of the world.”

“The current location of computer village in Ikeja was planned to be a residential area and that plan is being distorted by commercial activities within the area. We cannot fold our hands and allow the distortion to go on. The residential status of that area must be restored.”

He said further, “We are trying to do things in proper ways that will ensure that urban centres are regenerated, redeveloped, innovated, conserved in line with the THEMES+ agenda of present administration.

“The Computer Village area still remains a Residential Area and its Land Use has not been changed by the state government and this is the main reason the government is relocating the traders to Katangua for proper settlement.”

“If the rules say it is a residential area, then it must remain a residential area. Therefore, the government has to make provision and also accommodate the people who are in this area and that is the reason why the state government is developing Katangua into a model market,” he added.

He noted that Lagos State’s exponential growth would have serious consequences on its urban space if not properly planned. Hence the need for the relocation of the Computer Village to a more spacious area that would not have traffic implications and other consequences on the citizens.

The Special Adviser assured the shop owners and traders that the planned relocation would be transparent.

He said the state government would carry them along as nothing would be imposed on them.

He stressed that the relocation of the market would be done in consultation with all relevant stakeholders including the markets associations and owners of properties in the area.

Babatunde hinted that the regeneration and development of urban Lagos is not limited to the Computer Village alone but across the state.

He disclosed that shortly Lagosians would start feeling the positive impact of the redevelopment plans on traffic decongestion, security implications and other positive areas.

Accompanied on the assessment tour of the Computer Village are top management of the Lagos State Building Control Agency led by the General Manager, Arc. Gbolahan Owodunni Oki.

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Bandits block Gusau-Sokoto highway, abduct 26 passengers

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Sokoto State Commissioner of Police, Aliyu Hayatu Kaigama

Bandits block Gusau-Sokoto highway, abduct 26 passengers

Bandits operating along the Gusau-Sokoto highway struck again on Tuesday afternoon, abducting more than 26 people.

The incident occurred near Kwaren Kirya village in Zamfara State’s Maru Local Government Area, where assailants blocked the road and took people from a Toyota 18-seater bus and a Volkswagen Golf.

According to a resident of the neighborhood who spoke on condition of anonymity owing to security concerns, the frequency of such attacks is worrying, with robbers now blocking the road every day.

“As I’m talking to you now, about 30 minutes ago, these bandits have blocked another side of the road. They cleared the passengers of an 18-seater bus and a golf. The situation is worrisome because it has become an everyday thing for these people to be blocking the road,” the source stated.

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The resident also raised concerns about the village of Balge along the highway, alleging that it serves as a hideout for suspected bandits.

“There is a village when you pass that Kwaren Kirya called Balge, about 80% of settlers in that village are bandits,” the source added. “There was a time they were chased out of the place but a majority of the people there were bandits. We just need the government to help us and station military around the area.”

Calls have been made for increased security measures in the area, urging the government to deploy security outposts to curb the activities of criminals.

As of now, police authorities in the state have not issued any statements regarding the latest abduction incident.

Bandits block Gusau-Sokoto highway, abduct 26 passengers

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Flooding in Lagos affects 151 houses, says NEMA

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Flooding in Lagos affects 151 houses, says NEMA

On Tuesday, Command and Ipaja communities in Lagos bore the brunt of the heavy downpour, witnessing the impact on approximately 151 houses, according to Mr. Ibrahim Farinloye, the Lagos Territorial Coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).  

In a statement, Farinloye reported that a preliminary assessment of the affected areas revealed the evacuation of residents from 23 houses at Oke Ishagun, with 35 houses impacted in Isale Aboru, 29 in Ikola Community, and 15 in Olubodun Majiyagbe-Ajayi. Other affected areas included 12 houses on Makinde Street, 16 on Olokowo Street, and 21 on Adeola Street, among others.  

Farinloye assured that NEMA, in collaboration with relevant state MDAs, is actively working to alleviate the consequences of the flood on affected residents. He highlighted the commitment of Lagos State to enhance safety for its residents. 

 The excessive rainfall on Tuesday, coupled with a downpour earlier in the week, serves as a warning for what to anticipate with the onset of the 2024 rainy season, Farinloye noted. He emphasized the importance of adopting disaster risk reduction strategies and urged adherence to safety measures against flood disasters. 

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What you should know 

 Fortunately, there were no reported casualties or injuries due to the flooding. Farinloye expressed gratitude for this and underscored the significance of proactive measures to prevent future incidents. 

  • Meanwhile, NEMA’s Director-General, Alhaji Mustapha Habib Ahmed, appealed to Nigerians to proactively clear and desilt drainages. He urged Community Development Associations (CDAs) to play a pivotal role in coordinating neighbourhood activities to create safer environments.  
  • Ahmed also called on local government authorities to enforce sanctions against corporate organizations blocking drainages around their offices. He emphasized the need to prosecute residents dumping refuse in drainages, in accordance with environmental laws. 

The director-general lauded Lagos State for its decisive actions, including the demolition of structures obstructing drainages post-2023 rainy season. He encouraged other state governments to follow suit, taking bold steps to enhance environmental safety. 

Flooding in Lagos affects 151 houses, says NEMA

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