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.
2. 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).
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. These are in addition to many other initiatives such as;
e. N-Tech and
14. No Nigerian Government in the past has methodically and seriously approached poverty-alleviation like we have done.
15. 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.
16. 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.
17. Let me at this point reaffirm the Federal Government’s commitment to preserving the unity of this country.
18. We will continue to improve good governance and our democratic process, including through sustained engagement.
19. We shall continue to ensure that liberty and freedom, as well as the fundamental rights of all citizens are protected.
20. 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.
21. 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.
22. 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.
23. For you to do otherwise will amount to undermining national security and the law and order situation. Under no circumstances will this be tolerated.
24. 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.
25. 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.
26. 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.
27. 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.
Cutting Costs of Governance: Presidency Should Lead Way – Ogunwale
A chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP in Osun State, Senator Felix Ogunwale has said the Nigerian presidency should lead the way for others to follow in cutting down cost of governance.
Senator Ogunwale spoke on Wednesday in Osogbo while fielding question from a panel at a programme, The Frontliners’ organised by the Osun State Chapter of Association of Veteran Journalists, AVJ.
He said the right thing to be done was for the president of the country to show commitment to changing the narrative by not only asking Nigerians to endure the current hardship but to demonstrate the willingness to also make all arms of government to also feel the impact in their budget.
“I have always said it that we are note being driven by ideas in Nigeria but money. You can’t be asking those in the National Assembly to reduce their pay now when in actual sense the reason for some of them being their is to amaze wealth.
“Do you know what to correct this, it’s if our president, I am not referring to the current president, it’s the day our president decide to be riding bicycle to his office, the day the balance in his account is not more than 10 million, the day our president refuses to take more aides than it’s necessary, the day our president doesn’t believe in amazing wealth.”
The chairman of the event, Dr. Muyiwa Oladimeji who also shared the views of the guest urged the people of the State to continue to support the Administration of Senator Ademola Adeleke to be able to achieve his dream of developing all sectors of the State.
He commeded the AVJ for championing such efforts geared towards charting a way forward on how to achieve all round growth and development of the society and the nation at large.
Earlier, the chairman, AVJ, Adepoju Atobatele had described the programme as another opportunity to get Nigerians engaged on salient issues of national and global dimensions on the Front Liners.
Atobatele said, the association considered it a duty as professionals in the pen fraternity, to deepen democracy by constantly provoking Intellectual disputes that would widen public horizon of issues that are germane to the wellbeing, progress, security as well galvanizing interest in the affairs of the Country.
He said “The FRONTLINERS has been very active in widening discussions and analytical assessments of issues, events and personalities involved in determining the socio-economic and political directions of our dear Country, Nigeria.
“These we are carrying out successfully with the resources available to us in different ways, through the instrumentality of the Media.
“Ours as a professional body of retired media practitioners, still active in the concept of information management, has thus taken it as a sacred duty to act as change agents in a society yearning for objective information dissemination.”
IMO: Oyetola holds bilateral talks with Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Jamaica
…as Nigeria sets to sign MoU with Saudi Arabia
The minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, on Tuesday, continued bilateral discussions with ministers and representatives from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Brazil and Jamaica, expressing Nigeria’s government interest in learning from their knowledge and experiences.
This was revealed through his media aide, Ismail Omipidan, in a statement issued on Tuesday evening.
Recall that Oyetola, on Monday, held bilateral meetings with representatives of Greece, Qatar, and Mexico, on the sidelines of the ongoing 33rd General Assembly session of the International Maritime Organization, IMO, in London, United Kingdom.
During his meeting with the Brazilian Chief of the Navy’s General Staff, Adm José Augusto V. da Cunha de Menezes, the minister said Nigeria would want to learn from the operations of the Brazilian coast guards, as the ministry was desirous of setting up one so as to further secure the maritime space and the country’s waterways.
Oyetola further noted that: “We want to also focus on sectors such as Marine Renewable Energy, Marine Mining, Subsea Cabling and Piping, Marine Genetics, and Biotechnology, so as to grow the marine and blue economy.
“As we continue to expand and develop the activities of the sector, there will be need to deepen security architecture within the maritime space. In this regard, we are considering setting up Coast Guards and we believe that they will complement the existing security architecture to further secure our maritime space.”
The minister while expressing Nigeria’s desire to tap into technology to revolutionalise the maritime sector, further said “technology and innovation are vital for boosting Nigeria’s trade and investment prospects within the Marine and Blue Economy. Advanced marine technologies, including innovations in maritime logistics and smart logistics solutions, will significantly enhance the efficiency and sustainability of maritime transport and port operations, making Nigerian ports more competitive globally.”
Oyetola also met the newly elected Vice President of IMO, who is the Bangladesh High Commissioner to the UK, Saida Muna Tasneem and Saudi Arabia’s Saleh bin Nasser AIJasser, who is the minister in charge of the Ministry of Transport and Logistics Services of Saudi Arabia, Department of Economic and Social Affairs.
Both Saudi Arabia and Nigeria during the meeting agreed to sign a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to cement their corporations, collaboration and partnership in the maritime space.
Twelve Calender Months Of Pace Setting Achievements – Odelade Hails Gov. Adeleke
The Special Adviser to Governor Ademola Jackson Nurudeen Adeleke on Rural Water and Environmental Sanitation Agency RUWESA, Chief Lanre Odelade has described the one year Administration of Governor Adeleke as pace setting.
Speaking with newsmen today,the Special Adviser says, the tactful method of Intervention in critical areas of the state’s economy and social welfare has given out the Administration as commited to the welfare and advancement of their living conditions.
Chief Odelade particularly lauded the state government for it’s quick response to correcting the infrastructural deficit,impaired health care delivery,and neglect of public sector workers,all of which were inherited from the previous ApC Governments.
The Special Adviser particularly noted the swift response of Government to water Provision which led to the sinking of solar and generator powered bore holes to the 332 wards in the state.
Chief Odelade is optimistic that Governor Ademola Adeleke will consolidate on the gains of the past one year with renewed focus on taking the local government Administration from the duldrums to the centre stage of development and self reliance in accordance with the five point agenda of the state government.
He called on the people to give maximum support to Governor Ademola Adeleke in his determined efforts to take Osun state to the promised land.
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