Enough Is Enough, IGP Warns #ENDSARS Protest Hijackers [LEADERSHIP]
As the killings, destruction of properties and massive looting by hoodlums who have hijacked the #EndSARS protest across the country continue unabated, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, yesterday warned that enough was enough of the carnage.
Accordingly, he ordered the immediate mobilization of all police operational assets and resources to bring an end to the wanton violence, killings, looting and destruction of public and private property.
Force PRO, DCP Frank Mba, said the IGP gave the order to all Assistant Inspectors General of Police (AIGs), Commissioners of Police (CPs), Heads of Police Operational Units, Squadron and Base Commanders in charge of Zonal/State/FCT Commands, the Police Mobile Force, Counter Terrorism Unit and the Special Protection Unit, on Saturday.
He charged them to reclaim the public space from criminal elements masquerading as protesters in some parts of the country.
A statement by Mba noted that “in addition, CPs/Heads of Police Formations in the various states have also been charged to mobilize their men and work in sync with the Command CPs in the areas where they are domiciled, to dominate the public space and ensure peace and safety in the affected areas.”
The IGP, while noting that “enough is enough” to all acts of lawlessness, disruption of public peace and order and wanton violence which have resulted in indiscriminate looting of shops, malls and ware houses, damage to property and loss of lives in some parts of the country, further directed the police strategic managers to personally lead and coordinate the operation and use all legitimate means to halt further slide into lawlessness and brigandage.
The IGP enjoined law-abiding citizens not to panic but rather join forces with the police and other members of the law enforcement community to protect their communities from the criminal elements.
He further called for the understanding and cooperation of the citizens, assuring that the action is geared towards ensuring public order and safety and public security in our communities.
The IGP however warned ‘trouble-makers’ not to test the collective will of the nation by coming out to cause any further breakdown of law and order.
Hoodlums On The Loose, Continue Rampage, Looting Of COVID-19 Palliatives Warehouses
Meanwhile, angry youths led by hoodlums in their thousands yesterday broke into some of the COVID-19 palliatives stores in some states and carted away several food items.
Some of the items carted away include rice, cartons of indomie, sugar, spaghetti among several other items, with some labelled CACOVID-19.
Apart from foodstuff that, some other household items including matrasses, zinc, cushion chairs among other items were equally looted.
At Gwari Avenue and Barnawa in Kaduna South local government area of Kaduna State, some security personnel were sighted watching as hoodlums looted the warehouses without making effort to prevent the angry youths.
In Jalingo, the Taraba State capital, the hoodlums also broke into a palliatives warehouse and at the time of filling this report, people were still looting the warehouse, and no security operative was on ground to prevent them.
Also, there was pandemonium in Bukuru, Jos South local government council, yesterday when hundreds of hoodlums stormed the NITEL warehouse where the state government stored the COVID-19 palliatives meant to be distributed to the less privileged and carted them away.
As the looting of the palliatives at the NITEL warehouse was going on another set of angry youths stormed the Jos International Breweries JIB Potakabine where hundreds of thousands of cartons of Indomie noodles were stored.
Unfortunately, they were highly disappointed this time around as they met an empty hall; the palliatives had been distributed in the month of September.
Some of the looters came all the way from Jos North, Angwan Rukuba, Gangere, Tudun Wada, channel 7, among other suburban areas.
They came with trucks, tricycles and cars with the hope of loading foodstuffs, and in the process constituted heavy grid lock along the Bukuru express way for more than five hours.
Following the development, Governor Simon Lalong again announced the reinstatement of the 24-hour curfew earlier imposed in Jos South and Jos North local government areas of the state.
Governor Lalong in a statement he personally signed recalled that he had announced a 24-hour curfew in Jos South and Jos north local government areas on October 20, 2020 in response to the disturbances that arose when hoodlums hijacked the #ENDSARS protest leading to the destruction of lives and properties.
According to him, after an assessment of the situation, the curfew was relaxed from the hours of 6am to 8pm from yesterday 23rd October 2020.
He however lamented yesterday that some hoodlums broke into the warehouses where palliatives delivered to the state by the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development last week were stored awaiting distribution and carted them away.
He further said the looting has spread to other facilities and is gradually degenerating, thereby threatening the peace and security of the state.
FG To Institutionalise Virtual Engagements Post-COVID-19 [LEADERSHIP]
Dr Isa Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, said the Federal Government had approved the institutionalisation of virtual engagements post- COVID-19 period.
Pantami said this at the first Annual Digital Nigeria Day with theme `Digital Economy, A New Frontier for Economic Prosperity’, in Abuja on Saturday.
The minister said the day was established in Nigeria on Oct. 23, 2019, following President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval to recognise the day, to bridge the digital divide gap and expand the mandate of the ministry.
He recalled that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved it then and gave the directives to commence implementation of digital Nigeria on Oct. 24, 2019, which birthed the day.
He also said Oct. 24 was also established by the UN General Assembly in 1972 to be celebrated as the World Development Information Day to address issues on digital divide.
According to him, ICT is becoming obsolete because the world is migrating to digital economy which is all encompassing, adding that virtual engagements which was adopted as an alternative means of running governance in many climes with the advent of COVID-19, needed to be sustained.
The minister said it was in line with the developmental regulation pillar of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) toward a digital economy.
He said other pillars include digital literacy and skills, solid infrastructure development, service infrastructure, soft infrastructure, digital services development and promotion, digital society and emerging technologies.
“We presented a national policy on virtual engagements in Federal Government institutions and the policy has been approved last week.
“The policy institutionalises virtual engagements which will be recognised even after COVID-19 and will be accommodated in public service rules.
“Our public service rules are under review now and the policy will be accommodated in the new rule,’’ Pantami said.
According to the minister, there are already existing policies which will foster implementation of the NDEPS and there are others in draft form which we are working toward approval.
He said such policies are the National Policy for the Promotion of Indigenous Content in Telecommunications Sector, National Policy on Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship, National Policy on SIM Card Registration, among others.
He also said the government was working to improve broadband penetration, cyber security, increase patronage of locally-made ICT products to consolidate on digital transformation and economy.
Pantami said the ministry had two digital virtual learning platforms with over 66,000 and 114, 000 enrolments respectively to build digital skills and emerging technologies.
Protest N960bn Economic Losses Inch Nigeria Close To Recession [LEADERSHIP]
Nigeria may be inching close to recession quicker than earlier envisaged as economic losses arising from the #EndSARS protest amounted to about N960billion, LEADERSHIP Sunday investigations have revealed.
Already, the nation’s economy is still bleeding from about three months of total and partial lockdown imposed by the federal and state governments to curb the spread of the rampaging coronavirus in the country, leading to high inflation, low disposable income, increased unemployment, shrinking government revenue, forex volatility, among others.
The protests, which brought the nation’s economy on its kneel for 16 days, has added insult on injury, further dragging the nation backward in its bid to move farther from recession.
The World Bank had earlier predicted that Nigeria is facing “potentially the most severe downturn in four decades…even if the coronavirus outbreak is contained.”
According to the World Bank report released in August 2020, the double whammy of the oil price fall, and the COVID-19 pandemic had put Nigeria on the path to economic ruin and the country may not get out of it quickly if significant policy changes are not made.
The report pointed out that the oil price collapse was destabilising the economy and affecting fiscal and external balances, and growth, even as the COVID-19 pandemic was reducing foreign remittances and adding to the households’ loss of income and consumption.
It also noted that foreign capital inflows are also expected to decline adding to external payment pressures.
In the wake of all these, and at a time the country was looking towards external borrowing to finance its N13trillion 2021 national budget, economists said this was not the best of times for Nigeria to continue to incur additional costs, which the #EndSARS protests seem to have brought on the country.
The experts said from experience, it will take the country several weeks and months to recoup back the N960billion economic losses which arose from the protests and its attendant effects on the nation’s economy.
Meanwhile, LEADERSHIP Sunday checks showed that the economy was losing about N60billion daily, translating to N960 billion for the 16 days the protest lasted.
The youth protesters had, during the protests barricaded major highways within Lagos and Ogun States to push home their demand for an end to police brutality and scrapping of Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), whose operatives were accused of killing and injuring innocent people in the country.
Lagos-Ibadan Expeessway, Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway, Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, and most major and inner roads within Lagos were barricaded by the angry youths and became impassable for people to go to their places of work, thereby affecting the flow of economic activities majorly in Lagos and neighbouring Ogun State.
Companies had to instruct their workers to work from home, while the offices remained closed.
Although, there were similar protests and vandalism in Abuja, Ogun, Edo, Anambra, Akwa-Ibom, Cross River, Ekiti, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, among others, our investigations revealed that Lagos remains the most affected state where hoodlums hijacked the protests, taking advantage of the 24-hour curfew imposed on the state by the State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, between Tuesday and Friday, to vandalise and set ablaze public buildings, robbing shops and carting away goods worth several billions of Naira in the process.
The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) had on Tuesday disclosed that the economy had lost N700billion in 12 days as at Monday, October 19, 2020, to the protests which led to restriction of business activities across the commercial centre of the country. This translates to about N60 billion losses daily.
The losses, according to findings, arose from partial operations of players in the manufacturing, financial, aviation, maritime, oil and gas sectors, as they could not conduct full operation, hence limiting the profit that ought to accrue to them.
However, the estimated losses do not include public and private properties that were vandalised during the three-day curfew in Lagos State, running into about N50billion. When this is added to the previous losses, it took the total loss to over N1 trillion.
Sectorial experts who spoke to LEADERSHIP Sunday confirmed this losses, calling on the government and the protesting youths to come to an agreement, so that normalcy could return.
Meanwhile, fuel scarcity looms as loading of petroleum products from major facilities in Lagos which feeds other South West States and parts of North Central, had been halted in the last three days, following intense breakdown of law and order, especially in Lagos.
LEADERSHIP Sunday reports that all public and private petroleum products depot in Lagos and adjoining States of Ogun have shut operations while trucks line up along road corridors as protesters block key entry points to depots.
Mr. Akin Akinrinade, chairman, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Lagos chapter confirmed to our correspondent that for four days, petrol tankers have not been able to load.
“We have approximately 4,000 trucks of 33,000 liters capacity each loading from both privately operated and public depots run by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC. As I speak with you in the last three days no single truck has left the depot. Those that successfully loaded on Monday were unable to leave because of road blockade and then the curfew announced by government,” Akinrinade said.
Bardo: Community Where Rural Women Contribute To Buy Healthcare Facilities [LEADERSHIP]
MUH’D ZANGINA KURA tells the story of how women from a rural community in Jigawa State, came together to boldly take matters into their own hands and provide an ambulance for their community.
The story of Bardo community in rural Jigawa is an inspiring one of how determination and strength made women of the community, to come together to bring about a solution to a disturbing problem – that of healthcare.
As such a group of women with what they had, came together to contribute towards buying an ambulance to support basic healthcare in times of emergency.
In this community, women, especially those of child bearing age, have for years, lived in agony and fear as most, when pregnant have to travel for 39km to access healthcare services to aid deliver them of their babies.
The closest hospital to Bardo village is about 39 kilometres. These women are often being transported on motorcycle or carried on a cart drawn by bulls to the hospital when in labour and for other emergencies. Many who could not safely make the trip have lost their lives.
Jigawa State where Bardo community is located, is one of the states in the federation with a high rate of maternal and child mortality. To worsen matters, high cases of severe acute malnutrition and stunted growth among others, plague the state.
According to NDH survey in a 2018 report, the mortality rate of every 1,000 birth stands at 203 in the state.
Jigawa, being a rural and agrarian state with a high poverty rate, struggles in reaching out to every community in the state. Bardo village in Taura local government area is one of such communities. Experts have blamed this on low literacy levels poor healthcare indices coupled with poor economic and social standards.
Bardo community looks like any other village setting in Nigeria, with modern facilities next to non existent.
The cultural conservatism of the society is not totally missed by any first time visitor.
In spite of the lack of basic amenities, the community has a high population. Children can be seen playing and women of child bearing age with a baby strapped on her back or in her arms and of course, some women with pregnancies, their deliveries uncertain.
This has made the village a beneficiary of the Haihuwa Ladies Programme, in English called, ‘Save Motherhood’. It is an MDG programme through which the village was presented with a car, converted into an ambulance to transport pregnant women and other patients to hospital.
For some time now the ambulance has been a respite for Bardo village as well as other surrounding villages and communities, until it had an accident more than three years ago.
All efforts to get the vehicle repaired by Taura local government council has remained counter productive.
Narrating her nightmarish experience while being transported to hospital on a cart from Bardo village through the rough roads, Malama Zuwaira Kamaye of Fantai quarters of the village, stated, “ I am among those who experienced the pain of being transported on a cart to the hospital.
“ I know the pain and the agony women face while transported to the hospital on motorcycle or cart, it is not easy and I nearly died before we reached the hospital while being drawn on a cart.
“I suffered serious bleeding, the child also suffered. Thank God for some good samaritans from Bardo village who donated blood for me, I survived it and have a story to tell.
“The car we contributed money and bought, will surely help in ameliorating our suffering. Several women who are not attending hospital for delivery would be willing to go now,” she said in excitement.
The fascinating aspect of this is that most of the women who led the fund raising to purchase the new ambulance, are not women of child bearing age, but women of compassion and sympathy to the plight of others.
Halima Adamu Bardo, the chairperson of the coalition of 20 cooperative cluster of the beneficiaries of Federal Government Cash Transfer programme is in her 60s.
With no background of any formal education, Halima stands tall with a charismatic bearing and all the characteristics of a ‘MADIGA’ called natural leader. Her generosity and concern to the need of others is appreciated by every Bardo community member.
Seated in the comfort of her mud house, with a thatched roof, surrounded by trees, natural unpolluted breeze blowing from all angles, Halima Adamu Bardo told our Correspondent that after a deep consultation with Imams and other community leaders, the idea of raising funds from the social security grant was accepted.
She revealed that they have acknowledged the efforts of some youths from the villages, who contributed money to repair the old ambulance that had an accident. However, due to political and administrative bottlenecks they could not achieve the desired goals.
Halima noted that after receiving the social security grant, during the months they began to think of what they could do for the larger society, and the idea of contributing N2000 only in a period of two months by each beneficiary to buy the car ambulance, was overwhelmingly accepted.
“Today our dreams have been fulfilled, we have set a record and a reference point on how communities can join hands, to address the problems militating against them, without necessarily waiting for government’s intervention which may not come in a timely way.
“The social security initiative has made a difference in our lives. The cash transfer has raised our purchasing power and many women are now self reliant, engaged in smalls businesses in our village.
“Some may have looked at the N5,000 as small money, but to us it is big money. The capital of groundnut seller is not more than that. Similarly, the groundnut oil producer, Kunu ( Kamu) and Akara seller, Mai Awara, Mai Fura, Mai Goro (kolanut), their capital is not more than that,” Halima maintained.
In her submission, another contributor to the procurement of the ambulance, Ladi Saidu Bardo, spoke about their donation to the community in connection to the Cash Transfer programme which has raised their purchasing power.
“The problems we suffered over the years today, we addressed it through a little contribution.
“In the past, even if we want to do it, we can’t. But today the social security programme, has made it possible and easy for us. The domestic crisis has also reduced drastically due to the N5,000 intervention.”
Mrs Uwaliya Saidu Bardo who equally paid her N2000 contribution indicates, “We have done what is possible to us, now it remains for Governor Badaru to build an access road to our village, to make the transportation of goods and services to the villages very easy, including access to basic healthcare services.”
Mrs Uwaliya noted that not only Bardo community, but also other surrounding communities will enjoy the ambulance.
In an interview with the Bardo Community Coordinator Cash transfer programme Malam Musa Yusuf Bardo, he mentioned, “There are over 417 women who are receiving monthly grants in the village.”
He also noted that after payment of the two month contributions by the women, they topped it up with about N150,000 contributed by some youths for repairing the old car, to buy the new ambulance.
After the car was bought, in appreciation and encouragement to the women’s effort, a philanthropic organisation known as Nasiru Dano ( Danamanar Dutse) donated another car to the community.
Now the two cars are available for transporting men and women to hospital. To maintain and fuel the ambulance, patients will be charged N1,500.
In reaction to what the women of Bardo have achieved for their community, the Jigawa State coordinator, Social Investment programme, Conrad Bala Chamo notes that what the women did was in line with the philosophy and template of the programme.
He revealed that there are some other communities who have contributed money and repaired their boreholes, while also addressing other little problems in their villages.
IGP’s directive: Politicians, business moguls, lobby police authorities, retain orderlies [PUNCH]
There are indications that some politicians, business leaders, and other Very Important Persons may have lobbied police authorities to get waivers to retain their police orderlies.
The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, had in a police wireless message dated October 21, 2020 to all state Commissioners of Police, ordered the withdrawal of police orderlies attached to VIPs like politicians, business leaders and entertainers.
Adamu, however, exempted police orderlies attached to government houses and others attached to the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
The wireless signal with reference number, CB:4001/DOPS/SPU/FHQ/ABU/VOL./ORDER AND DIRECTIVES, was signed by the AIPOL, Protect, Force Headquarters, Abuja.
It read in part, “INGENPOL directs you withdraw all protect personnel yours attached to all VIPs except those attached to Government Houses, Senate President, Speaker of House of Representatives with immediate effect.
“Any ‘protect’ personnel found escorting or guarding any VIP with or without a firearm is deemed to be deployed by the commander and the commander will be sanctioned.”
It further directed the affected personnel to report to their respective command Commissioner of Police.
However, three days after the deadline of the directive, Sunday PUNCH checks revealed that some senators, members of the House of Representatives, business leaders and some top politicians who are not constitutionally allowed to have police orderlies are still keeping them.
Some senators who were still using police orderlies told one of our correspondents that they had settled the matter with the IG.
A security detail of one of the senators also told one of our correspondents on the condition of anonymity that he was not affected by the IG’s order.
He said, “The issue of withdrawing security details attached to senators have been sorted out with the IGP. We are not affected.”
A senator who also spoke on condition of anonymity said the senate leadership had resolved the matter with the police authorities.
“We are public officers who are exposed to attacks and it will not augur well if we are further exposed to danger when the police details are withdrawn,” he said.
Some other senators who also spoke on condition of anonymity confirmed to Sunday PUNCH that their police orderlies were still with them.
Adamu’s predecessors also issued similar directives which were observed in breach of the order.
Business leaders retain police orderlies
One of our correspondents also observed that while entertainers, local government chairmen and some party chieftains had their police orderlies withdrawn or reduced, several captains of industry, as well as ex-governors, living in highbrow areas such as Banana Island and Ikoyi in Lagos still had theirs intact.
For instance, the All Progressives Congress leader and former Governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu, was also seen with his police orderlies shortly before briefing the press at the Lagos State Government House while Rapid Response Squad patrol vans were seen parked in front of his home at Bourdillon, Ikoyi on Saturday.
The Public Office Holder (Payment of Pension) Law No 11 Official Gazette of Lagos State, 2007 states that former governors of the state are entitled to several perks, including houses, vehicles and security which includes eight policemen and two officials of the Department of State Services for life.
But a top police source who wished to remain anonymous said the police had tagged some persons as ‘very very important persons’ like captains of industry and former governors even though these categories of persons were not included in the original directive.
He said, “The IG ordered that we withdraw policemen from VIPs but there are certain categories of persons who we know their lives could easily come under threat if their protection is withdrawn, especially during this period of insecurity in Lagos.
“Tinubu falls into this category because he is a target. Of course, you don’t expect us to withdraw the policemen attached to billionaires on Banana Island, captains of industry, bank chief executives who could easily be attacked or kidnapped. Such persons are VVIPs.”
Sunday PUNCH, however, learnt that police escorts had been withdrawn from several other “less important persons” like entertainers and political party chieftains.
A party official who spoke on condition of anonymity for security reasons, said, “I have had police escorts for several years. However, on Friday, they were suddenly withdrawn from me at very short notice.
“I will try to get through to the IGP. If that doesn’t work, I would request civil defence guys since they also carry weapons.”
PSC, •Ex-CP, former DSS director condemn police protection for individuals
Speaking with one of our correspondents on Saturday, the Spokesman for the Police Service Commission, Ikechukwu Ani, said the IG’s directive was a step in the right direction. He said the PSC was working on a database to capture all policemen.
He said, “We are currently working on the database for the police. However, what we hear is that there are between 350,000 and 370,000 policemen in the system. This is not a definite figure but we are working on an accurate database.”
A former Director of the Department of State Services, Mike Ejiofor, also said anyone who felt his life was under threat should employ private security guards.
“I don’t support the burning of private properties but it seems the poor are now revolting. I have been saying that rich politicians should pay more attention to security in the country. We have less than 400,000 policemen and about 150,000 are with VIPs. This class segregation is too much,” Ejiofor said.
Also speaking with Sunday PUNCH, a former Commissioner of Police, Frank Odita, hailed the IG for the directive.
I’ve asked Sanwo-Olu about who ordered Lekki shootings – Tinubu
A former governor of Lagos State and National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, said on Saturday that he visited the incumbent governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to ask him if he had anything to do with the killing of protesters at the Lekki Tollgate on Tuesday.
Tinubu, who was at the Lagos House in Marina, also said he could not understand the rationale behind the looting, arson, invasion of police stations, stealing of arms and maiming of innocent persons that characterised the state for days.
Hoodlums had massively looted shops and set fire to several public and private properties, including Television Continental and The Nation newspaper, both of which have been linked to him. This followed the killing of some protesters at the Lekki toll plaza by soldiers.
Meanwhile, speaking to reporters after visiting the governor, Tinubu said, “I came to ask him pointedly; did he order the attack, or if he didn’t order the attack, who ordered it? Was it to his knowledge that people were attacked? That was all I needed from him.”
When asked the way forward, Tinubu said since the government had already set up a judicial panel of enquiry to investigate the allegations of human right abuses by officers of the now disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad, people who suffered casualty during the gunshot Lekki incident should volunteer information to the government.
He added, “Those who suffered casualty during the gunshots need to answer some questions too; how were they there; how long were they there; what kind of characters are they? Even those we want to help, we still must extract information that would help the government to prepare in future or understand how and when to react.”
He said the government showed sensitivity in listening to the protesters and taking actions, but that he wondered why some people resorted to violence. “But where are we getting the looting, the carnage, burning, invasion of police stations, stealing of arms and maiming the innocent (from)? It’s handshake beyond the elbow,” he added.
When asked when he returned to the country following reports that he was in France all along, Tinubu said, “I didn’t go nowhere; I’m a Lagosian. I still hold the title of the Asiwaju of Lagos. I’m still the Jagaban. Fake news is all over the place; they said Seyi my son was kidnapped, but he’s here with me and I didn’t pay any money to bring him here.”
Reps to differentiate FCT, Abuja in Constitution [PUNCH]
The House of Representatives is considering the proper definitions for Abuja and the Federal Capital Territory in the 1999 Constitution.
A bill seeking to differentiate the two locations passed first reading at the House on Tuesday.
Abuja is the capital of Nigeria while it is used interchangeably with the Federal Capital Territory.
The bill seeks to amend 88 places in the Constitution where Abuja or FCT is mentioned.
Sponsor of the bill, Mr Awaji-Inombek Abiante, said the bill sought to address the confusion in what Abuja and FCT meant.
Speaking to our correspondent, Abiante said, “If you go through those sections that require alterations, some of those who wrote the laws lacked knowledge of science or mathematics. There is what is called a state and a sub-state. Where is Abuja and where is the FCT? You say the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. Is Abuja inside the FCT or the FCT is inside Abuja? Let us define it. That is what we want to know. If they are the same, let us know so that we can have a correct nomenclature.”
Presidency to military, police: Restore order urgently with ‘moderate force’ [THE NATION]
Soldiers and police personnel are being deployed immediately across the country on the orders of the Presidency to stop the ongoing wanton destruction of public and private property by vandals and looters.
They are to apply “moderate force” where necessary, The Nation gathered authoritatively Saturday night.
Consequently, Police Inspector General Mohammed Adamu ordered the immediate mobilization of all police operational assets and resources to bring to an end the wanton violence, killings, looting and destruction of public and private property triggered by the #ENDSARS protests.
Over 2,000 convicted criminals and suspects facing trial are currently on the loose across the country after they were set free by hoodlums who forced open the gates of three prisons in Edo and Ondo states.
The 2,000 exclude detained suspects who were also set free when hoodlums attacked police stations in some states.
No fewer than 10 police stations were attacked in Lagos alone.
Many Nigerians are apprehensive about the danger posed by the fleeing criminals and suspects.
The deployment of soldiers and policemen, sources said last night, was one of the resolutions reached between President Muhammadu Buhari and his predecessors during their Friday virtual meeting.
It was gathered that the free reign enjoyed by hoodlums and looters who hijacked the #ENDSARS protests was possible because the military had no clear directive to intervene.
“Don’t forget we could not have just jumped into the arena and draw operational directives for ourselves. We act on orders and not sentiments and not even under pressure from anyone. We stand our ground no matter what,” a military source said.
The source added: “But I can tell you confidently that as at this morning (yesterday), we have received the necessary order and directive to deal decisively and apply moderate force to stop any form of act that will infringe on the rights of others.
“We could not do much because we were handicapped in the face of all atrocities. But this time around, we shall be decisive because it is clear now that criminals have taken over from supposedly genuine protesters.”
Buoyed by the directive, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu has already sent signals to all police commands and formations to reclaim the public space.
Aside the Police, all military formations across the country had, as at the morning of Saturday, October 24, 2020, received signals to that effect.
A military source who preferred anonymity confided in our correspondent that the lukewarm attitude of the military as the carnage raged in Lagos and other cities, especially in the Southwest was because there was no clear directive to deal decisively with hoodlums.
#EndSARS: Five killed as looting spree spreads [THE NATION]
The looting resulting from the #EndSARS protests turned tragic on Saturday with the death of at least five alleged looters in Jos, Benin and Enugu.
The looters’ targets remained warehouses and private buildings suspected to contain COVID-19 palliatives.
Cross River State appeared the hardest hit on Saturday.
There was apprehension that the situation in the state was fast approaching anarchy.
Apart from several government buildings that were looted, vandalized and burnt, the youths also invaded the homes of Senators Ndoma Egba and Gershom Bassey, stripping them of all valuables. Egba’s residence in Calabar was also torched by the hoodlums.
Looters also forced their way into the Ibadan property of Senator Teslim Folarin (Oyo Central) and made away with goods estimated at over N200 million.
Looters also struck in Kaduna State, forcing the state government to slam an all-day curfew on some communities in Kaduna South and Chikun local government areas.
Osun and Plateau state governments hurriedly re-imposed the 24-hour curfew they had lifted while security agents in the Federal Capital Territory and Anambra State had to fire gunshots to stop attempts to break into some warehouses.
But it was a calm day in Lagos. The easing of the curfew allowed residents to move about from 8am to 6pm and the streets were free of the armed gangs who had been in charge since Wednesday.
Two hundred and twenty-nine suspects who allegedly took advantage of the #EndSARS protest to destroy and loot public and private properties in different parts of the state are expected to be arraigned tomorrow.
Police Inspector General Mohammed Adamu on Saturday ordered the immediate mobilization of all police operational assets and resources to bring an end to the wanton violence, killings, looting and destruction of public and private property in parts of the country.
He said the country had had enough of the lawlessness of the last few days.
Three of the looters were feared dead in Jos, one in Benin and one in Enugu.
Youths in Plateau State had, early Saturday, swooped on warehouses in Bukuru and Jos to loot palliative items allegedly stored there.
The deceased were apparently trampled to death or died of suffocation, according to eyewitnesses.
The authorities declined to confirm the deaths but government re-imposed a 24-hour curfew and denied hoarding any palliatives.
Governor Simeon Lalong in a broadcast said the curfew was in response to the action of hoodlums who “ broke into the warehouses where palliatives delivered to the state by the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development last week were stored awaiting distribution and carted them away.”
The looting, according to him, has “spread to other facilities and is gradually degenerating, thereby threatening the peace and security of the state.”
He added: “to avoid further escalation, I hereby direct the immediate reinstatement of the 24-hour curfew earlier relaxed from 4pm today 24th October 2020 in Jos South and Jos North Local Government Areas till further notice.
“By this, security agencies are directed to enforce the curfew and ensure that all violators are arrested and prosecuted.
“I call on all citizens and stakeholders to continue to cooperate with government in ensuring the peace and progress of Plateau State.
In a separate statement, Information and Communication Commissioner Dan Manjang said the palliatives which government allegedly hoarded were “delivered to the state by the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Social Development and Disaster Management for distribution to beneficiaries in Plateau State.
“Unfortunately while the team from the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Social Development and Disaster Management alongside the state representatives were waiting for the coast to clear to commence the distribution, the stores were breached and the items carted away.
“The Plateau State Government therefore wishes to state categorically that it did not hoard any palliatives meant for the citizens of the state at any time.
“All the palliatives purchased by the state and those donated by private individuals were distributed equitably by the State Palliative Committee headed by His Excellency Prof. Sonni Tyoden, Deputy Governor of Plateau State.”
Looter shot dead in Enugu
A suspected looter was confirmed dead as hoodlums attempted to break into a post primary school in Enugu said to be housing palliatives.
But it was not confirmed whether he was shot by security agents or as a result of accidental discharge.
The information which went viral on social media of palliatives stored at the Queen’s School inside WTC estate was found out to be false.
Inquiries showed that the palliatives had long been shared and moved to designated points.
Enugu youths Saturday morning mobilised and started cleaning and clearing the roads previously blocked by protesters.
The youths who were shocked by the hijack of the EndSARS protest leading to violence and destructions came out en masse to say enough is enough.
One dead as hoodlums loot more warehouses in Edo
A looter also died in Benin while attempting to escape from one of the warehouses raided yesterday in the city.
Raided were the Edo State Government-owned warehouse on Medical Stores Road, Uselu, Benin, a warehouse on Golf Course Road, GRA Benin, an uncompleted building on Sapele Road, also in Benin, and a privately-owned warehouse at Eribo Estate, Textile Mills Road, Benin.
The mob, which had earlier in the morning been prevented by military personnel from carrying out the act, succeeded in breaking the human shield mounted by the military and entered the store in their hundreds.
A man allegedly died while attempting to escape from the warehouse with his loot.
Nigeria’s palm oil price highest in world market- Experts [THE NATION]
Price of Nigeria’s palm oil is over 200 % highest above the global market, The Nation can authoritatively report.
Confirming this development, an international trade expert, Dr. John Isemede, noted that Nigeria produces only one percent and consumes four percent of the total world oil requirement.
According to him, “At this moment, the price of palm oil in Nigeria is 200 percent above the world market price. The soap you have in your bathroom is from animal fat, because if palm oil is used to produce soap in Nigeria, people cannot afford it.”
Concerned over rising demand of palm oil, experts have stated that irrespective of the country’s recent drive and diversification in agriculture, Nigeria cannot meet the palm oil requirement of local demand in the next 15 years.
“In 1964 Malaysians came to Nigeria to take palm seedlings, and experts were also taken from Edo State to Malaysia, but today Malaysia and Singapore are producing 87 percent of the total world palm oil requirement,” Isemede said.
Going down memory lane, he recalled that “By 1966 when the military government came in, petroleum was contributing 9 percent to the national GDP, but today what is the price of petroleum products, the areas where we suppose to concentrate and challenge the regions and the State, we are busy importing petroleum products and not looking at areas where we have comparative advantages and as of today, let us not deceive ourselves Nigeria cannot meet the palm oil requirement of our local demand in the next 15 years.”
He reiterated that you do not need seven years to produce palm oil, but 15 to 24 months which has been developed by one professor in the University of Calabar.
He said, “If we believe that we have banned the importation of palm oil, what support is giving to local capacity and if we are looking at the local capacity, which of the three universities of agriculture is going to be working with palm oil producers, which seedling have we adopted? Secondly, where are the processors, where are the tank farms and how are you going to transport them? So we are still dancing around the value chain because we do not use the experts and if we do not use the experts, Nigeria that was producing 50 percent of the world palm oil requirement in the early ’60s, is now producing one percent because we have not been able to work with experts and give credence to them while also giving them the necessary support.
“Nigeria has the vast land to produce palm oil for the world because if Malaysia that is not as big as Lagos to Asaba combined with Singapore and their population is not up to half of Nigeria’s population and if you look at the journey, Nigeria started the journey before them, yet we still import palm oil from them. We need to challenge ourselves, challenge the universities and professors and put the best 11 not selecting people because they are family and friends otherwise we will be dancing round the circle.