Good morning Africa, welcome to Teller Africa Political News roundup of today newspaper headlines in Nigeria for today,Wednwsday,21,2020
1. #EndSARS: Address Nigerians Now – Senate Tells Buhari
The Nigeria Senate has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately address Nigerians on the ongoing #EndSARS protest rocking most parts of the country.
The Senate gave the directive during its plenary on Tuesday.
The lawmakers also ordered the Nigeria police to protect all #EndSARS protesters to prevent hoodlums from hijacking their genuine action.
While urging #EndSARS protesters to halt their march to enable the federal government meet their demands, the Senate asks President Buhari to set up a judicial panel of inquiry made up of eminent Nigerians that would be respected by the youths to identify the notorious SARS operatives and ensure their arrest and prosecution.
Recall that the Senate had earlier gone into an emergency closed-door session over what is believed to be related to the ongoing #EndSARS protests across the country.
The Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan on Tuesday, as soon as the lawmakers settled down for plenary, called for an emergency session, prompting the legislators to go into a closed-door session.
2. #EndSARS: This Is Just Half Time, We’ll Be Back After The Curfew – Falz Tells Govt
Multi-talented Nigerian entertainer, Falz has told the government that the #EndSARS protests won’t stop until all their demands have been met.
He, however, appealed to all the protesters to stay at home and respect the curfew declared by the Lagos State government on Tuesday.
It will be recalled that the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, earlier on Tuesday, declared a 24-hour curfew in the State starting from 4pm, 20th October 2020.
The governor lamented that the #EndSARS protest against police brutality has degenerated into a monster that is threatening the well being of the society, adding that he has watched with shock how what began as a peaceful protest has degenerated with criminals and miscreants now hiding under the umbrella of these protests to unleash mayhem on Lagos state.
Reacting to the government declaration, Falz in a statement on his Twitter handle, accompanied with a video post, agreed with the government that it was better to respect the curfew than for more protesters to lose their lives.
He, however, argued that the original protesters have remained peaceful and accused the government of introducing the criminal elements into the protest to discredit the calls by the protesters.
He said Nigerian leaders are exhibiting signs of a failed government but they will continue to make their demands known until the government responds.
Falz added that the protests will continue once the curfew is lifted.
3. #ENDSARS: Lagos Lost N700BN In 12 Days – LCCI
At least N700 billion has been lost in Lagos state in 12 days, due to the ongoing #EndSARS protests, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has said.
According to LCCI president, Toki Mabogunje said the protests have crippled economic activities in the country.
In a statement released by the body, the situation is due to disruptions, blockades and barricades around major cities and interstate highways.
The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry is concerned about the negative impact that the protracted nature of the EndSars protests has on business activities across the country,” she said
She complained that the economy hasn’t recovered from the devastating effects of the COVID- 19 pandemic.
She said urban areas particularly has been affected in the past 12 days.
“The Nigerian economy has suffered an estimated N700 billion loss in the past 12 days.”
She commended the youth on the significant progress made in achieving good governance, adding that it was necessary to move to dialogue as the next stage of civic engagement to avoid a “complete breakdown of law and order.”
“The protest has achieved some significant outcomes given the reawakening that it has generated in reforming the shortcomings in our political governance and the fact that some of the demands of the protesters have been met,” Mabogunje said.
She said dialogue is needed in order to avoid a situation where even more hardship is inflicted on the very citizens that the protesters are seeking to protect.
The LCCI president went on to plead with President Muhammadu Buhari to listen to the leadership of the protests in order to specify action plans in achieving the agreed demands.
4. FG Confirms Number Of Prisoners That Escaped In Edo
President Muhammadu Buhari-led government on Tuesday confirmed that two Custodial Centres in Benin City and Oko in Edo State were attacked on Monday.
The Director of Public Relations in the Ministry of Interior, Mohammed Manga confirmed this in a statement released on Tuesday.
Manga in his statement noted that at the last count, 1,993 inmates escaped from custody.
He further stated that the hoodlums looted the custody and took away weapons.
Manga added that the attackers came in large numbers with dangerous weapons and attacked the officers on guard duty.
5. Gbajabiamila Vows Not To Approve 2021 Budget Except…
Femi Gbajabiamila, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, has vowed not to approve the 2021 Appropriation Bill presently before the National Assembly.
Naija News reports that both the Speaker of the House and President of the Senate have to sign bills passed by the National Assembly before they are transmitted to the President for assent.
In his opening remarks at the plenary on Tuesday, Gbajabiamila said he won’t sign the budget if provisions are not made for the compensation of the families of victims of police brutality in the last decade.
He also stated that he would withhold is signature if the implementation of the agreement between the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Federal Government is not captured by the budget.
The Speaker noted that the expectations from the ruling class were high, stating that, “Our people expect action and we just deliver.”
He also disclosed that the House is considering the establishment of an independent body that investigates and recommends errant security operatives for sanction and prosecution.
7. Gov. Sanwo-Olu Declares 24-Hour Curfew In Lagos State
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has declared a 24-hour curfew in the State starting from 4pm today 20th October 2020.
This is coming after Suspected hoodlums disguising as #EndSARS protesters on Tuesday set the Apapa Iganmu Police Station in Lagos State on fire.
The governor in a post on Twitter noted that the protest against police brutality has degenerated into a monster that is threatening the well being of our society.
Sanwo-Olu in series of tweets wrote, “Dear Lagosians, I have watched with shock how what began as a peaceful #EndSARS protest has degenerated into a monster that is threatening the well-being of our society.”
“Lives and limbs have been lost as criminals and miscreants are now hiding under the umbrella of these protests to unleash mayhem on our state.”
“As a government that is alive to its responsibility and has shown a commitment to the movement #ENDSARS, we will not watch and allow anarchy in our dear state.”
“I, therefore, hereby impose a 24-hour curfew on all parts of the State as from 4pm today, 20th October,2020. Nobody, except essential service providers and first responders must be found on the streets.”
8. #EndSARS: Buhari Meets With Defence Minister, CDS
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday held a closed-door meeting with the Minister of Defense, Major General Bashir Magashi, and the Chief of Defense Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, at the State House.
Although there was no official information confirming the agenda of the meeting, as at the time of filing this report, sources within the State House, suggested it was all in the bid to tame the escalating violence trailing the #EndSARS protests.
Naija News recalls that all forms of protests in Lagos State have been banned until further notice.
The Lagos State police command in a statement on Tuesday announced that no form of #EndSARS protest will be allowed in the state due to the new development of violent attacks on police officers.
The statement reinstated that the 24-hour curfew imposed by the Lagos State Government with effect from 4pm of today 20th October, 2020 is in full force.
9. #EndSARS: Sanwo-Olu Opens Up On Shootings At Lekki Toll Gate
The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has broken his silence on the shooting of peaceful #EndSARS protesters by security operatives at the Lekki toll gate on Tuesday.
The Governor in a statement issued on his behalf by Gbenga Omotoso, the state commissioner for information and strategy, said his administration didn’t authorize the shooting of protesters, adding that he had earlier told security operatives not to arrest anyone.
He also ordered an investigation into the shooting of innocent #EndSARS protesters which occurred on Tuesday at the popular Lekki toll gate plaza in the state.
“The State Government has ordered an investigation into the incident,” the statement read in part.
“Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has advised the security agents not to arrest anyone on account of the curfew, which he urges residents to observe for the peaceful atmosphere we all cherish.”
He promised to do all within his power to address the situation.
Governor Sanwo-Olu also appealed to the people and residents of the state to remain calm and not allow hoodlums to totally hijack their protest demanding for better governance in Nigeria.
He urged them in the statement not to allow “criminals, who had hijacked the noble protest of gallant youths, to succeed in their evil plan of turning the state upside down”.
Federal Government was set To Apply For A $11billion loan to construct Lagos To Calabar Rail.
Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, said, yesterday, that the Federal Government was set to apply for a $11billion loan to construct Lagos to Calabar rail.
Amaechi made the disclosur y during an interactive session with the South-East and South-South Professionals of Nigeria, SESSPN, in Lagos.
The group had taken advantage of the Minister’s presence in Lagos to hold talks with him on challenges facing the regions, particularly in the areas of security, power, social integration and representation in the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government.
Amaechi on why railway work was yet to commence in the South-East, said, “I hate tribalism. I’ve said this before. For me, I’m a Nigerian, and what informs my decision of choosing which rail line to construct at any point in time, is the economics of rail; and currently, the economics shows that Lagos to Kano has the capacity to move 30 million tonnes of cargo per year.
“I did same analysis for Port Harcourt to Maiduguri rail line and it’s 11 million tonnes. We are currently doing the analysis for Lagos to Calabar to know how many tonnes of cargo can be moved there per year.
So, we started with the Lagos to Kano rail line. President Olusegun Obasanjo approved it, President Jonathan started construction on it by doing Abuja to Kaduna and President Buhari told us to complete all previous projects.
“Now, we are applying for $11billion loan to construct Lagos to Calabar rail. There was no design for Port Harcourt-Maiduguri. We knew that the first thing to do was to commence a feasibility study, after that, we’ll do the design. It’s now they’ll start to do the site drawing.
In the next three months, they will be doing that, you’ll start shouting again: why are they not constructing? You forget that Ibadan to Kano, they are just finishing the design now, that’s why they’ve not started construction.
“The President told us that all rail lines in Nigeria must be standard gauge. So, we did a standard gauge design for the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri rail line. We went to Bonny to do the study and we did that study up to Maiduguri.
I did a feasibility study that brought it between $14 billion to $11 billion. “When we finished, we got approval from the President, but I realised that we may not get the money in this government.
I changed my course, and I said, while we are looking for money for the standard gauge for Port Harcourt-Maiduguri, let me ask for money to reconstruct the narrow-gauge at $3.1 billion.
And the President after much argument, accepted. After sometime, he agreed, that we can proceed with the narrow-gauge, while seeking money to construct the standard gauge”.
“At least, I’m sure that before we leave government, we would have done up to 80 per cent of that rail line.
Also, there was no line to Owerri, I added Owerri to the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri rail design, because of the Industrial Park and the University of Transportation in Ubima,” Amaechi added.