Aidoghie Paulinus, Fred Ezeh, Abuja, Rose Ejembi, Makurdi, John Adams Minna and Lukman Olabiyi
President Muhammadu Buhari has cautioned protesters against allowing “anarchists” hijack their gatherings.
The president stated this when he granted audience to the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare in Abuja.
Dare, who briefed State House correspondents quoted Buhari to have advised the youths to always be on the alert so that miscreants would not take advantage of their genuine intention.
“Firstly he said, he recognises their democratic rights to protest.
“Secondly, he made an appeal that this protest wherever held, should be done in a peaceful manner.
“And thirdly, he said the Nigerian youth should be on their guard to make sure that elements that would infiltrate and distract them from the very purpose of their protest should be prevented from doing so,’’ he said.
The minister, who disclosed that he updated the president on developments concerning EndSARS demonstrations by youth across the country, said the president assured the youth that their five-point demands would be implemented.
According to him, plans were on to implement long lasting reforms that will give birth to a new Police Force that the country will be proud of.
“The President assured me that the demands of the protesters are being met in a timely fashion, some have been met already and the process to meet others is on.
“So, he says he has accepted their demands and government is already responding at various levels.
“The president said the youth of this country have spoken, he has heard and he has since gone to work for the youth of our country; not only as a President but as a father.
“Indeed, he said, he is a father to this generation of our youth and his desire is to see that they are well protected, that they live in a country where they enjoy their freedoms and they do not suffer from any form of Police brutality.
“The president promised that he will ensure that the reforms as promised are met and he will make sure that they are long-lasting and that the reforms will deliver for our country a Police Force that we will be proud of.”
The minister said the president acknowledged that Nigerian youths were a great resource to the nation, adding that government has heard their cry and government would ensure that all their demands were met.
The minister also quoted the president to have said that the youth of the country would be celebrated by government at all levels, “for their vast potentials and skills, since the future of Nigeria lies in their hands.’’
Govs’ forum begs protesters
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has appealed to the protesters to call off their action.
The forum made the call in a communiqué issued by its Chairman and Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, in Abuja after its 20th emergency meeting, yesterday.
“The continuation of the protest has exposed the fragile economic fundamentals of the country, particularly as criminal elements and hoodlums have hijacked the protests by maiming innocent citizens, looting and destroying properties.’’
They told the protesters to dialogue with government at both national and state levels to ensure they were not taken over by hoodlums, who were instigating breakdown in law and order nationwide.
“The governors resolved to activate a judicial panel of inquiry to receive all cases of police brutality by officers of the disbanded SARS unit.
“Each state is also expected to kick-start a compensation mechanism for all victims.
“The forum resolved to endorse the call by demonstrators for improved governance, predicated on an enforcement regime that takes into cognisance the fundamental human rights and liberties of all citizens in the country, ” the communique read.
The NGF disclosed that the body had also resolved to act on every demand made by the #EndSARS protesters.
It, however, expressed concern over the shifting nature of the demands, saying the development creates uncertainty over the exact expectation and ultimate goal of the protesters.
The forum condemned the attack on Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun by armed youths while the governor was addressing protesters in Osogbo.
Protesters chase away workers, block Lagos-Ibadan expressway
In Lagos, protesters attacked vans belonging to the Rapid Response Squad (RRS), a unit of Nigeria Police and injured members of the squad.
The incident occurred at Herbert Macaulay Way in Yaba around 10am.
It was gathered that the vans had gone to pick officers who were on duty overnight when they were attacked by the protesters.
A video showed the hoodlums in their large number attacking the RRS vehicles.
One of the officer was caught and beaten thoroughly. The police officers were with guns but declined to shoot at the protesters.
It was gathered that some of the officers who were injured by the protesters have been taken to undisclosed hospital for treatment.
In another video, protesters were seen chasing an RRS pick-up vehicle around Lagos-Ibadan expressway, at Secretariat end.
The RRS truck met a brick wall and had to reverse to escape the onslaught.
Earlier, the the protesters had shut down the state Secretariat and preventing workers from gaining access into the premises.
They locked all the entrance to the secretariat and prevented motorists and pedestrians from coming out and going into the premises.
The Governor’s Road had remained one of the major venue where the protesters gather everyday with some even sleeping overnight to continue the protest the next day. But, yesterday, the protesters took over the entire secretariat and prevented workers from going into their offices and carrying out their daily duties unlike before.
Commuters stranded as youths block Minna-Suleja highway
For the second time in one week, protesting youths in Niger State have blocked the Minna-Suleja highway insisting that until their key four points demands were met, they would not leave.
The placard carrying youths, numbering over 1,000 took to the highway as early as 7am and blocked the entry city gate to Minna, the state capital.
All travelers to and from Minna were stranded.
Last week when they took to the street, they were demanding an end to the poor supply of electricity by the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC), banditry in the state and bad state of federal roads across the state.
The youths have increased their demands to include end to bad governance and corruption in high places.
The protesters were led by chairman, Youths Council of Nigeria (NYC), Niger State chapter, Bashir Bello, chairman, Northern Youths Coalition Group, Mohammed Mohammed and Convener Nigeria Youths Lead, Estu Mohammed
They said they had kept quiet for too long over what they called “decaying system” at all levels and vowed not to leave until their demands were met.
Nigerians in South Africa in solidarity march
Hundreds of Nigerians based in South Africa said they would join the #EndSARS protests in solidarity with Nigerian youths demanding an end to police brutality and good governance among others tomorrow.
They made the disclosure in a statement by the President of the Nigeria Union South Africa (NUSA), Mr Adetola Olubajo, in Lagos.
“Nigerians based in South Africa will gather on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020 for a Peaceful Protest March to the High Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in Arcadia, Pretoria.
“A memorandum will be submitted to the Nigerian High Commissioner, Amb. Kabir Bala.
“The Peaceful Protest March is in support and in solidarity with Nigerian youths back home in Nigeria with regards to the ongoing #EndSars, #EndSWAT, #EndPoliceBrutality Protest,’’ Olubajo said in the statement.
“We have been following the protest with keen interest to see what direction the Nigerian government will follow.
“But unsatisfied with the government’s response and pace in dealing with the issue, we deem it fit as Nigerians based in South Africa to join our voices to appeal to the Nigerian government to meet the demands of millions of Nigerian youths all over the world.’’
Ploy to intimidate north -Miyetti Allah
Fulani socio-cultural organisation, Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, has accused some politicians in the South of masterminding the protests t.
The herdsmen claimed it was a ploy to undermine and overthrow a democratically elected government of President Muhammadu Buhari, and also intimidate the North to give up its rights to rule beyond 2023.
A statement jointly signed by its Alhaji Bello Bodejo and Alhasan Saleh, questioned why the youths would continue to protest and disrupt socio-economic activities after their demand for the disbandment of SARS has been granted by the Federal Government.
Man stabbed by ‘hoodlums dies in Abuja hospital
Anthony Onome, one of the protesters stabbed on Saturday when he and other agitators protesting against police brutality were attacked by suspected hoodlums in the Kubwa area of Abuja is dead.
Onome rushed to the National Hospital, Abuja, and admitted at the intensive care unit where he died.
Tayo Haastrup, the hospital spokesperson, confirmed his death to TheCable on Sunday night.
Haastrup identified the deceased as one of those in the hospital’s morgue but said he could not confirm where he had been brought from.
Protest wake up call to Nigerians leaders – Ortom
But Benue Governor, Samuel Ortom, has said the protests is a wake up call to leaders of the country to rise and demonstrate sincerity in tackling the problems confronting the country.
Ortom who stated this at a press conference in Makurdi posited that the protesting youths were asking salient questions that deserved only honest answers backed by the commitment on the part of the leadership of this country.
The governor, who acknowledged the peaceful nature of the protests all over the country commended the resilience of youths and other Nigerians on their dogged stand during the struggle.
He added that the spontaneous protests reflected the daily pains and frustrations of Nigerians in the face of unemployment, zero economic growth, insecurity and corruption, stating that the people justifiably want an end to impunity, police brutality, herdsmen attacks, banditry and other crimes bedeviling the country.
Kaduna gives commission 6 months to probe brutality
Acting Governor of Kaduna State, Dr Hadiza Balarabe has given the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Police Brutality six months to conclude its work and submit its report, saying that the demand for accountability in policing is a national issue.
She noted that the federal and state governments have endorsed the demand for police reforms and described the constitution of the inquiry as a firm signal that impunity will not be tolerated.