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[FULL TEXT] Buhari’s National Broadcast 22ND October 2020

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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.

  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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:

a. paying three months salaries of the staff of 100,000 micro, small – and medium – enterprises,
b. paying for the registration of 250,000 businesses at the Corporate Affairs Commission,
c. giving a grant of N30,000 to 100,000 artisans; and
d. guaranteeing market for the products of traders.

  1. These are in addition to many other initiatives such as;
    a. Farmermoni,
    b. Tradermoni,
    c. Marketmoni,
    d. N-Power,
    e. N-Tech and
    f. N-Agro.
  2. No Nigerian Government in the past has methodically and seriously approached poverty-alleviation like we have done.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Let me at this point reaffirm the Federal Government’s commitment to preserving the unity of this country.
  6. We will continue to improve good governance and our democratic process, including through sustained engagement.
  7. We shall continue to ensure that liberty and freedom, as well as the fundamental rights of all citizens are protected.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. For you to do otherwise will amount to undermining national security and the law and order situation. Under no circumstances will this be tolerated.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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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Terrorism: PDP Berates Buhari Presidency for Blaming Slain Farmers

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said it alarmed by the reckless and bizarre attempt by the Buhari Presidency to rationalize the gruesome beheading of 43 innocent Nigerians by insurgents in Zabarmari, Borno state.

In a statement sent to Grassroots.ng on Tuesday, PDP expressed outrage by the Buhari Presidency’s claims that the farmers were killed because they failed to get clearance before going to their farms; a statement, which is also an admission that the Buhari administration has been overwhelmed by terrorists and can no longer guarantee our compatriots a normal life.

”Our party submits that it is weird, reprehensible and repulsive that the Buhari Presidency now seeks to turn itself into a mouthpiece of terrorists by this subtle attempt to rationalize the killing of innocent and hard working Nigerians.

”This unpatriotic stance smacks of support for acts of terrorism and mindless killing of our compatriots by a government whose Commander-in-Chief had promised Nigerians to lead the battle against insurgents from the front.

”Our party is forced to hold that attitudes such as the unpatriotic remark of the Buhari Presidency embolden insurgents in their ceaseless attacks in our country.

”Such also provides further insights into the escalation of acts of terrorism in our country in the last five years.

”It is indeed shocking that the Buhari Presidency has graduated from making bogus claims of having degraded terrorism to the embarrassing point of blaming unprotected and helpless Nigerians for falling victims of terrorist attacks. This, to say the least, is the height of leadership failure of the lazy, lethargic and incompetent Buhari administration.

”It is therefore insensitive for the Buhari Presidency to have shown this huge lack of empathy, which amounts to a spat on the grave of the slain as well as an unpardonable slap on the faces of the generality of mourning Nigerians.

”Perhaps this also informs why their party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), has not deemed it fit to have a word of lamentation for the death nor consolation for the bereaved.

”Our party therefore calls on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately withdraw the offensive statement by his Presidency and apologize to Nigerians, particularly the people of Borno state.

”The PDP also restate our call to Mr. President to heed the demands by Nigerians to rejig our security architecture as well as replace his service chiefs with more competent hands in the interest of our nation.”

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Gov. Akeredolu Admits Nigeria Is In Deep Security Crises After Gunmen Killed Monarch

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Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu admitted that Nigeria is in deep security crises after the killing of a first-class monarch in Ondo State on Thursday by gunmen.

The Olufon of Ifon in Ose local government area Ondo state, Oba Adegoke Adeusi, was murdered by yet to be identified gunmen.

Grassroots.ng understands that the monarch who was returning to Ifon from Akure after a meeting, got kidnapped along Elegbeka area when the incident happened.

However, on Friday morning, the Governor who visited the scene where the incident happened, alluded to the fact that the country is indeed, in a serious security crisis beyond the ordinary.

Recall that the Olufon of Ifon, Oba Israel Adeusi, was shot dead at Elegbeka area in Ose Local Government area of the State, along Benin-Owo-Akure highway by gunmen suspected to be kidnappers while returning to his domain from Akure, the state capital.

In a statement issued by the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Donald Ojogo, the governor stated that “this is a heinous crime” which he said is too heavy and unbearable.

While disclosing that security agencies, especially the Nigeria Police, have already been directed to fish out the perpetrators of the crime, he said all will be done to unravel those behind the act.

Meanwhile, Akeredolu advised that caution should be exercised from making public reference in statements or utterances in respect of the “great loss”.

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Senator Abbo Explains Why He Defected To APC

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The lawmaker representing Adamawa North Senatorial District, Senator Elisha Abbo has explained why he defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The lawmaker on Wednesday told newsmen that he left the PDP for his State Governor, Ahmadu Fintiri, so he could replace him.

Grassroots recalls that Senator Abbo made known his decision to defect in a letter read out by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, at the start of the day’s plenary.

The announcement was made amidst cheers from mostly APC senators at the chamber.

He also said he decided to leave the PDP because of the “mismanagement” of the party’s issues by Governor Ahmadu Fintri of Adamawa State, which he said has led to the recent crisis in the state.

“Thus, in living up to the expectation of the good people of Adamawa North Senatorial District, I hereby defect from the PDP to the APC with effect from today being Wednesday, the 25th day of November, 2020,” part of the statement read.

The lawmaker was asked for the real reason he is leaving the PDP. He was also asked if he was overwhelmed by the governor and the crisis in the party, hence seeking solace in the APC.

In his response, the lawmaker said that internal democracy in the party has suffered in the last one year since the governor assumed office.

He said he was never overwhelmed by the governor, whom he described as insecure. He also said he could not be overwhelmed because he fought hard to bring the governor into power.

“If there is no crisis, how do you have another party in the PDP? There is a crisis in the party in Adamawa State and the governor is the cause of the crisis. He is insecure.

“I cannot be overwhelmed because I know how hard I fought to bring Governor Fintiri to power. Go and check the record, I am not boasting. I am the main man that fought to bring Fintiri to power.

“My local government, Mubi North, is the second most populous in the state. The outgoing governor of Adamawa State is from Mubi North. I am the PDP there. Every PDP steward is from Mubi North, yet they couldn’t defeat me. I defeated all of them because I moved with the grassroots.

“If anyone is saying he is more powerful than me, then let 2023 come, we will meet them there. One thing about elections is that today, people are becoming wiser and wiser.

“So, to answer you, the governor did not defeat me. The governor did not chase me out. I actually gave way so that I will go and take his seat from him,” he said.

Responding to a PDP statement calling for his resignation, he simply wondered why the party did not ask Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State, who recently defected to the APC, to resign.

“Did they ask Umahi to resign? Go and ask them. Governor Umahi just defected from PDP to APC as a sitting governor of Ebonyi State. Did they ask him to resign? Tell them to resign from the secretariat.” He said.

His defection comes weeks after the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in Maitama ordered him to pay N50 million as compensation to Osimibibra Warmate, a lady he assaulted in 2019

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