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Insecurity Threatening Nigeria’s Existence,  Gbajabiamila Warns

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The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, on Thursday said the three arms of the Federal Government must take all necessary actions to tackle the security challenges facing Nigeria.

Gbajabiamila decried the spate of insecurity, saying it had disrupted the lives of the people as well as threatened the continued existence of the country.

The Speaker stated this in Abuja while declaring open, a two-day workshop on promoting effective legislation and oversight of the security sector in Nigeria, which was organised by the House Committee on National Security and Intelligence in collaboration with the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Foundation

A statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi, titled ‘All Arms of Government Must Work to Address Security Challenges, quoted him warning against the dire consequences of allowing the security crises to persist.

He said, “We are at this moment experiencing in many parts of our country, significant internal security challenges that have disrupted the lives of many of our citizens and led to a loss of lives and property at a scale that cannot easily be quantified.

“These internal security challenges threaten the very existence of the Nigerian state because they undermine public faith in the government’s ability to fulfil its fundamental obligation to protect the lives and property of citizens.

“Across the three arms of government, we have a shared responsibility to take all necessary actions to meet these challenges head-on. This is what the people who elected us rightly expect.”

According to Gbajabiamila, national security is generally understood to be the preserve of the executive arm of government. He said as a result, the general public and the political class often do not know what the legislative role in national security is or ought to be.

The Speaker said, “This knowledge gap presents an ongoing limitation on the policy-making and oversight role of the legislature as it pertains specifically to the challenges we face in the national security sector. Workshops such as the one we have gathered here for today are an essential tool in reversing this gap.”

He added, “The realities of the moment require that we be willing to speak honest truths about the things we haven’t gotten right so that we can then focus our energies on making sure that we do better for the future.

“I encourage all of you to remember that a lot of the hopes we have for our country depend on our ability to guarantee the safety of our people and the security of property and investments. And from this remembrance, I hope we can find the motivation to do all that this moment requires of us.

“Key followers of the House would notice that security has been a very important part of our work. It’s part of our legislative agenda. When I came in, I visited three key states affected by insecurity. I went to Katsina, Borno and Zamfara.”

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Lagos Relaxes Curfew, Now 8pm to 6am

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Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has reviewed the curfew imposed on the state to curb the civil unrest in the aftermath of the #EndSARS protests against police brutality.

The governor made this known on Sunday evening in a statement by his Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso.

The commissioner stated, “The curfew in Lagos State has been reviewed. Restriction time is now 8 pm to 6 am.

“Lagosians are enjoined to plan their journey times as they go about their lawful businesses. Public schools remain shut till further notice.”

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Ohanaeze Dissociates Self Kanu’s Comments, Decries Attempt to Pit Yoruba Against Igbo in Lagos

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The apex Igbo socio-cultural and political body, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has dissociated itself from inciting comments made by the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, over the ongoing carnage in Lagos State.

President General, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, said this on Thursday in a statement titled, ‘#EndSARS: Alleged destruction of Yoruba economic assets, the Ohanaeze position’.

He said, “We wish to state that Ohanaeze is also outraged by the vituperative and inciting outrage of the leader of IPOB on the #EndSARS activities in Lagos and disassociate the body completely from them.”

The organisation said the statement was in response to a press statement earlier issued by a pan-Yoruba group, the Apapo O’Odua Koya on the ongoing youth uprising in Nigeria particularly in Lagos as it relates to Ndigbo youths.

Nwodo said, “We find the statement disheartening, not necessarily because of the untruth in its sentiment, but that it’s obviously being engineered and targeted at the age long good relationship between the Igbo and the Yoruba.

“Ohanaeze strongly believes that the press statement is craftily drafted showing a skillful use of underhand tactics to achieve a set goal, which in this case is to set Yoruba against Ndigbo.

“We are ready to vehemently resist this in our time, knowing the historical affinity of these two great ethnic groups dating back to the days of Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe through to the famous handshake across the Niger propagated by our iconic leader Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu- Ojukwu.

“This spontaneous relationship built by our forefathers over the years has been strengthened in the last three years by the political emancipation movement, being propelled by the Southern and Middle Belt Leadership Forum made up of four ethno-political bodies of Ndigbo, in the South East, Afenifere in the South West, PANDEF in the South-South, Adenomere and the Middle Belt Forum in the North Central Nigeria.

“Ohanaeze feels based on intelligence available to it that the motive of this disturbing statement is not only to overtake the mileage covered by this group in setting their people free from the hegemonic bondage but to ensure its destruction.

“Ndigbo are focused and unequivocal about what they want in a contemporary Nigeria as already articulated in the terms of engagement of this group which is to restructure Nigeria for a true federal system where justice and equity will reign.

“We therefore wish to refute any position being ascribed to Ndigbo even if such position is being adduced by an Igbo that is not within the realm of the struggle to free Nigeria as encapsulated in the terms of agreement of these ethnic nationalities.”

Ohanaeze denied allegations that the Igbo youth involvement in Lagos #EndSARS protest was part of a grand design to destroy Yoruba economy.

This, he said, was for the obvious reason that Ndigbo had most of their businesses scattered all over the country particularly in Lagos and would not be involved in crippling an economy they were active participants in developing.

“Only a fool living in a glass house uses stone to settle scores,” he added.

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Obiano Declares 24Hours Curfew As Hoodlums Attack Police Stations in Anambra

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A police officer and three other persons died on Thursday as hoodlums attacked various police stations in Anambra State.

The police officer, whose name is yet to be ascertained, was killed and burnt by hoodlums in Nnewi, Anambra State.

Police spokesperson, Haruna Mohammed, in a situation report, said three other people suffered various degrees of injuries.

He said the victims were rushed to hospital for medical attention, adding that they were responding to treatment.

He said five persons were attacked in Onitsha and taken to hospital for medical attention, where three have been confirmed dead while two others were receiving treatment.

He further disclosed that the protesters attacked Nnewi police station, set it ablaze and vandalised patrol vehicles and other property.

Mr Haruna listed other police formations attacked to include Nnewi Area Command, 3-3 Division, Ogbunike/ Isiuwulu, Nnobi, and Itchy divisions as well as Peoples Club police post.

The statement by the police reads: “On the 21/10/2020 at about 11:30 pm hoodlums in large number under the guise of “END SARS” protesters attacked Nnewi Police Station, set it ablaze and vandalised patrol vehicles and other exhibits but were prevented from assessing the armoury to cart away arm due to strong resistance placed by police men on duty.

“Similarly, on the 22/10/2020 between 3:30am and 5:pm,the hoodlums in large number equally attacked Nnewi Area Command,3-3 Division,Ogbunike/ Isiuwulu, Nnobi, and Itchy Divisions as well as peoples club police post, burnt Police vehicles and set the facilities ablaze carting away exhibits kept at the divisions.

“Meanwhile, one police officer was beheaded and burnt to ashes while three others sustained various degrees of injuries. The injured police officers were rushed to the hospital for medical attention and they are responding to treatment,” he said.

The spokesman said seven other police stations in the state namely, CPS/Area Command Onitsha, Ogidi, Awada, Inland Town and B Divisions successfully repelled the attacks and chased the hoodlums away.

“Also, police operatives in collaboration with members of the communities comprising youth, vigilante and community leaders at Okpoko, CPS Awka, Oraifite, Otolo, Amichi and Oba vehemently resisted attempts by the hoodlums to attack the police stations.

“However, five persons were attacked in Onitsha and taken to the hospital for medical attention where three have been confirmed dead by the medical doctor while two others are receiving treatment,” he said.

Mr Haruna said other government property burnt or destroyed include High Court Ogidi, Idemili North local council secretariat while the Zik statue at DMGS roundabout was vandalised.

The spokesman said some arrests were also made by the police.

Meanwhile, the state governor, Willie Obiano, has declared a 24-hour curfew in the state, beginning 8pm Thursday, to curtail the outbreak of violence in the state.

The governor made the announcement during a statewide broadcast.

According to the governor, the curfew has become necessary due to unpleasant incidents recorded so far, as well as rising tension in the land.

He declared that all schools and markets in the state be closed down, adding that all large gatherings in any form are banned.

While describing the anger of the #EndSARS protesters as justifiable, Governor Obiano charged youths in the state not to resort to violence.

“I am immensely proud of what you have achieved so far. But we must not succumb to the morbid attractions of violence; no matter the provocation, no matter how justified our anger and no matter how easy it all might seem. Violence does not yield fruitful results,” he said.

He said security agencies are on notice to do the needful, asking them to resist all efforts to provoke them to use extreme force.

“All law enforcement officers charged with ensuring compliance to the restriction on movement must resist the temptation of applying excessive force while attempting to bring the situation under control.

“We cannot afford to repeat the same mistakes that created the problem we are trying to solve in the first place,” he said

Mr Obiano assured all non-indigenes living in the state of their safety and security promising that “the government of Anambra State will not allow you to come to any harm.”

The governor called on stakeholders including the clergy, traditional rulers, youth leaders, among others, to lend their voices and help address the escalating situation.

He revealed that the sum of N200 million has been approved to compensate families of those affected by SARS brutality in the state.

He concluded that this is not the time for destructive rumours, but a time to unite and keep Anambra safe.

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