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Strike Looms As FG, Labour Talks End In Deadlock

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The meeting between the Federal Government and Organized Labour to find a common ground on the recent hikes in electricity tariff and pump price of petrol, yesterday in Abuja, ended in deadlock with no fixed date for reconvening.

With this development, the prospect of industrial action and mass protest by labour and its allies is very high as leaders of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, meet today to take a definite action plan on how to respond.

This is even as the Trade Union Congress, TUC, also yesterday insisted it would not sit at the negotiation table with government unless the status quo was reverted to regarding price of petrol and electricity tariff.

TUC had earlier on Monday given the government a seven-day ultimatum to reverse the price and electricity tariff increases.

The Federal Government team at the meeting was led by Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, alongside five other ministers and chief executives of relevant government agencies, while Organized Labour was led by President of NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, and the TUC President, Comrade Quadri Olaleye.

Welcoming participants, Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, recalled that Nigeria lost N10.413 trillion to subsidy between 2006 and 2019, while between the year 2016 and 2019, it lost N2.193 trillion.

In his presentation, titled “Understanding the Impact of fuel Subsidy on the Nigerian Economy… and the Gains of Deregulation,” Sylva pointed out that if the sector was fully deregulated and the dollar exchange rate was fully factored in, the fuel price would not be N161 but N183 per litre.

He said with the present price increase, the price of fuel in Nigeria at N161 per litre was still the cheapest in the sub-region, compared with Senegal at N549 equivalent; Cameroon, N449; Benin, N359; and Ghana, N332, among others.

He said: “Between 2016 and 2019, we were losing an average of N1 billion a day because it was like a leaking basket. We import the thing, and as we bring it to Nigeria, it will leak out through all the borders. Before that, we are even losing as much as N3.7 billion a day because we would be importing the thing, as you are importing it is not enough because it was leaking out.

“So we now felt instead of this leaking basket that we were trying to manage, why don’t we try to see, so that we can at least make it profitable so that if it is sold at market price in Nigeria, even if it goes out of Nigeria, it is okay, it becomes business opportunity. At least, the government will not be losing from the process of importing.

“But even when we now raised the price, with deregulation today, in Nigeria our price is still N161 per litre, in Senegal the price of petrol is still N549, in Cameroon, it is N449 per litre. You can see that we are still the cheapest in this sub-region.

“Why have we kept it at N161? Frankly speaking, let us face it and this is what I will tell you. One of the things that the President considered; he said if you take it to the full scale of deregulation, today, prices should have been around N183 because you all know this.

“The cost of subsidy at the pump is different from the cost of subsidy at the FX (forex) site. At the FX site, we are still calculating it at N391 to the dollar, that is why you can still have N161. But you know that not all of us know today that the dollar cannot be bought at N391 but it is because we are still trying to see that the government should take some of the burdens.

“That is why you see that it is N161. If you are taking the dollars at the market parity price, and say let us calculate the dollar at N450 per dollar, it would have been N183 per barrel.

“So today, we can say yes, we have deregulated, but we can also tell you here now, we have not fully deregulated because of the concerns that the government have for Nigerians.”

‘Subsidy cost too high’

He explained that subsidy has caused Nigeria a whopping loss, adding that between 2006 and 2019, the government spent a total sum of N10.413 trillion, an average of N743.8 billion per annum; while between 2016 and 2019, the government had spent N2.193 trillion, an average of N548 billion per year.

However, on PMS plus forex (FX) subsidy between 2016 and 2019, he pointed out that the government had spent N3.663 trillion, an average of N916 billion per year.

He said: “You can see what subsidy cost us in 2011, subsidy cost us N2.105 trillion. We are talking of losing job, we are talking of people suffering, in 2010, it cost us N1.355 trillion, 2013 N1.316, and by 2015 the subsidy figure came down to N654 billion, by 2016 we didn’t even have any under-recovery. So, you can see that in 2018, prices came up again.

“So you can see that this is a policy direction that should have been taken long ago. No wonder every government comes to that point when they realized that subsidy was not sustainable but unfortunately some of those government did not have the political will; also the time probably was not ripe and they couldn’t take it because you can see that the cost of subsidy from 2016 to 2019 was N3.6 63 trillion, an average of N916 billion per annum.”

“You can see what subsidy cost us in 2011, subsidy cost us N2.105 trillion. We are talking of losing jobs, we are talking of people suffering, in 2010, it cost us N1.355 trillion, 2013 N1.316, and by 2015 the subsidy figure came down to N654 billion, by 2016 we didn’t even have any under-recovery. So, you can see that in 2018, prices came up again.

“So you can see that this is a policy direction that should have been taken long ago. No wonder every government comes to that point when they realized that subsidy was not sustainable but unfortunately some of those government did not have the political will; also the time probably was not ripe and they couldn’t take it because you can see that the cost of subsidy from 2016 to 2019 was N3.6 63 trillion, an average of N916 billion per annum.”

It’s a recurring issue — Wabba

Responding, NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, said: “With the very thorny issue of fuel price hike, for us as an organization, this is one issue that had been recurring for so many years. I think the only difference at this point in time is COVID-19.

“At the level of NLC, we have done many publications interrogating this issue, using the information provided by government and also putting across options that will be pro-people and also will be able to address the issue.

“The fundamental principle underpinning PMS subsidy is the fact that wholly, we import what we consume, and because of this, what also makes up the price includes issues like taxes, insurance, freights which if we are refining would have actually made the price to come down.

“This is one issue we have to deal with and government must summon the courage once and for all to address this issue and we have provided a lot of information for that to be addressed because the figure you gave us, N161, we don’t even know what constitutes the N161. Those issues that constitute the price is part of the inefficiency in the system which government hitherto has been paying and christened subsidy. Government cannot transfer the inefficiency to the people. Nigeria should refine its products.

“At this point, what do you have on the table to cushion the effects on workers, their families because they have been pushed to the wall and already at the edge? Do you have anything for us, so that we can now say that despite these challenges, this is what I have for Nigerian workers that they can be able to have something that can cushion this effect for them?

‘Minimum wage, purchasing power eroded’

“Already the value of minimum wage had been eroded. The purchasing power parity, when you compare with all West African countries, we are already on the ground. That is the reality. In Ghana, compare their minimum wage with our own, in all West Africa countries, including Niger, that has just started refining recently, they are now serving us with products. That is not how we ought to be.

“ I will talk briefly on electricity and to say if the other ministries and agencies had done what we are doing now through consultation, they would have been in a position to equally talk to others and we won’t be where we are today.

“I want to tell you that this is the first time I am seeing the NERC chairman and he does not know me. We are talking of a sector where the workers are critical stakeholders. Without the workers, we cannot generate electricity and we have spent many years on this.

“I am not sure we have met with the minister of power. We have spent so many years and we don’t know the challenges, we don’t know what they are passing through. Beyond that, we are consumers as other Nigerians. Beyond the power sector reform, the workers are supposed to control 10 percent shares.

“Therefore, we are equally owners. We heard the increase in tariff on air, how do we think that such a system could go on? This is about the fifth tariff increase since we started, and each increase does not go with increase, even in salaries.

“To you, the cost of production has to do with machine, it does not affect workers and your regulatory framework does not include whether the person working there is trained, whether he is feeding, whether he has conditions of service.

“These things are affecting us that each time we see increases, we seem to suspect that the regulatory commission has been hijacked. I want you to deny this because, if what you are talking of is profit maximization, you are tailoring towards the owner and not for the interest of the masses. And you know that there is 40 percent government ownership of the DISCOs and you need to inform this house when you declared dividends on government’s 40 percent.

“You announced before this house that you spent N1.5 trillion plus 40 per cent government ownership and that you are doing it for the private sector, a sector you say you have privatized and you have subsidised in trillion.

‘’I equally want you to give information on what was the tariff before privatization? How much was the megawatt being generated before privatization? How much was government spending before privatization? Let’s see whether government is spending up to N200 billion.

Now after privatization, we now subsidize with N1.5 trillion, still government’s 40 per cent ownership and you think all is well. We now have what is called private sector monopoly which is more dangerous than public sector monopoly.

“This thing has continued and I want you to tell us the module you used in increasing tariff, where you privatize without metering. It is important we get this at this critical point in our history because with this India module you adopted, you can go to the store to buy metre.

“Metre is not in short supply but here, you increase tariff, you do not metre. Even the woman that sells garri in the market brings the cup for measure. If you want to buy fuel, there is metre. It is not the duty of the consumer to provide metre.

Reverse fuel price, TUC says

On his part, TUC President, Comrade Quadri Olaleye, said the first solution was to reverse the fuel price hike and electricity tariff, pointing out that the TUC had already written the Federal Government and gave seven-day ultimatum for these demands to be met.

He said: “Government should take immediate steps to reverse the hike in prices as it affects Electricity, Petrol and all other social services in the country to the prices they were prior to the increase.; and provide adequate and quality healthcare and education for all to save the poor and the vulnerable at all levels.”

Endure electricity tariff hike, fuel price increase — APC

Meanwhile, ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, has asked Nigerians to endure the current hardship brought about by the recent hike in fuel pump price and electricity tariff, promising that the people would in the nearest future begin to reap the benefits of the deregulation policy.

It also urged organized labour not to be swayed by the antics of the opposition whose narratives it described as skewed.

The party in a statement by its Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Mr Yekini Nabena, yesterday, said it was not oblivious of the financial strains brought by the increase in fuel pump price and electricity rates, and urged Nigerians to endure now and enjoy the gains soon.

Noting that the reviews were crucial and hard-thought decisions by government., APC said: “On the positive side, the short and long-term benefits on the citizenry and our national life will become obvious and directly felt in critical sectors such as health, education, infrastructure and social services targeted at the poor.

“We point to shocking estimates by the Nigerian Institute for Social and Economic Research, NISER, which reports that the budget for fuel subsidies in 2019 was sufficient to enrol the entire population of Nigeria in the National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS. Further, fuel subsidies took over N10 trillion of our national resources since 2006.

“At least, the generality of Nigerians and stakeholders agree on a thousand and one reasons fuel subsidy has become unsustainable. The perceived benefits of fuel subsidies have long been overtaken by the previous corruption and drain on scarce resources that should be directed to other critical sectors.”

The party added that in line with the current administration’s deregulation drive and move to increase private-sector participation in the petroleum sector, ‘’the task before us now is to improve our local refining capacities which we are already on course to achieving and maintain a competitive, market-driven, transparent and accountable petroleum pricing template which meets global best practices, particularly in a developing country such as ours.

“While government works assiduously to solve the country’s electricity challenges permanently, it realizes that many Nigerians and businesses still rely on alternative sources for power supply to meet electricity needs, hence its current focus on improving electricity and service delivery, while also protecting poor and vulnerable Nigerians from arbitrary and estimated electricity billing.

“As with government’s decision to increase Nigerian worker’s minimum wage and other social investments, the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC administration takes the welfare of the citizenry seriously.

“We call on all stakeholders, government at all levels, private sector organizations, labour unions, civil societies, students and youth groups to support government’s decision on the ongoing deregulation exercise as the citizens will be the ultimate beneficiaries. We urge stakeholders, particularly organised labour, such as the Trade Union Congress, TUC, and the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, not to be hoodwinked by skewed opposition party narratives on the deregulation and electricity tariffs.

“The same partisans have failed to account for and return trillions of naira stolen from national coffers in the guise of subsidizing fuel and the degrading of the electricity sector under their watch, despite huge allocations and subsequent theft of the resources meant go improve the sector. We urge all to support the current administration’s economic policies to uplift Nigerians.

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Upon Femi Falana, The Blood Of The Innocent

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By Oni Johnson

Self-styled activist, Femi Falana (SAN), must be proud of what he has gifted Nigeria – a celebrity activist son, Falz, a key inciter of the #EndSARS protests that almost sent Nigeria back to the stone ages but for the timely intervention of the real patriot. This piece is however not about Falz, there would be another time to talk about the destabilization campaign unleashed on Nigeria by the community of bards, who at other time in history would have been starving. This piece is about Falana, the father, and the blood of the innocent dripping from his hands and trickling down the corners of his mouth like a vampire.

There is something unsettling about the way and manner the Senior Advocate has been persistent in demonizing the current administration. Not that Falana demonizing a government, any government, is a new thing. The concern here is that this same man would have been quoting legal tomes backwards had his one life ambition of becoming part of the government been met. Not everyone has forgotten that he was a staunch supporter of President Muhammadu Buhari until the position of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice went to another person. The Hell broke loose for this government since that mistake was made in the view of certain persons.

In the interventions that busybodies have made on the #EndSARS saga is distressing for the very reason that the premises of such exercise are faulty. The greatest fault being that people like Falana speak in absolute terms without recourse to what had transpired in the past and without regard for the impact that the decisions of now will have on the future. For instance, Falana – with celebrity activists like Aisha Yesufu, Deji Adeyanju, Omoyele Sowore, Reno Omokri and the hip-hop crowds of his son – simply ignored the decades of missteps by previous government and landed the entire blame on the incumbent administration. What this did was to incite the protesters against the government of the day, one would agree that government is a continuum but at what point should a balance have been struck to prevent the kind of chaos unleashed on the country?

All the panels investigating the violent protests and the associated looting must review the role played by past inciteful comments in throwing protesters into the frenzy of destruction they embarked on. Each day that the likes of Falana had penned venomous articles, granted toxic media interviews and threw shades at those in government was a building block in building the evil structure that almost ruined the country. Falana and his co-traveler did not engage in such activities in ignorance. What they did was systematic, a sustained campaign of incitement that could have let to only one outcome: an angered populace that egged to attack the government of the day and possibly illegally overthrew it through mob action.

Even after the protests began, at the innocuous stage when the exercise seemed justified, the expectation would have been for true statesmen and elders to take on mediatory roles. It would have counted for something if the elderly people that had been inciting the younger part of the population had urged caution, including the need to not engage in a long-drawn protest, which naturally has the vulnerability of being hijacked by criminals. No. That is not the Falana way. He continued to edge the protesters on.

Then the violence began. Still Falana did not relent, neither did he resort to the silence that would have been considered as befitting of his stature in view of his wholesale embrace of violence. He rather increased his verbal attack on the government and functionaries. If the other clout chasers are bereft of sense to stop inciting protesters, Falana, with his legal background should have known better. Instead, Falana, by his various utterances, TV appearances and public statements incited the youth.

The result? The Falana incited protesters went on a killing spree that resulted in several law enforcement personnel being killed by a mob that has been programmed to see itself as being on a vengeance mission against those in authority. The blood of the innocent is on Falana’s hands and as he continues to spew venom, the blood drips from the corner of his mouth.

There are those in government who have also failed to call Falana to order even when they have the responsibility to. The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbjo and political bigwig, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu are culpable in the inglorious murder of innocent Nigerians by not prevailing on their political charge, Falana.

Their failure to rein in their estranged associate could end up confirming conjectures that they are connected to the incitement of the mob to kill innocent Nigerians, especially the gruesome murder of police officers on lawful duty across several states of the country.

Given his penchant for throwing the International Criminal Court (ICC) in people’s faces when defend his terrorist Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) clients, it is time to make Falana appear before the Court at the Hague, not as counsel but as suspect on trial for instigating a pogrom against policemen and public office holders, and for putting the lives of all Nigerians at risk through the same incitement. I strongly recommend that the genuine human rights activists in the country rise up to this national challenge of dragging Falana before ICC at The Hague and his associates with him.

Johnson wrote this piece from Bariga, Lagos

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#EndSARS And The Professionalism Of The Nigerian Army

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By Nkechi Odoma

A lot of confusions have assailed Nigeria now over #EndSARS protests. Merchants of violence and bloodbath have taken control of parts of Nigeria in irrefutably dubious protests. Hidden retrogressive schemes have been hatched and re-enacted by various interests within the country. Surely, these demonstrations have become a mass exhumation and combination of satanic motives by groups, demonic interests, questionable personalities and regions in the country.

Most times, Nigerians fail to express their grievances against government, in a civil, lawful and orderly manner as permitted by the tenets of democracy operative in the country. But when Mr. President becomes constrained to deploy soldiers to restore abused public law and order, Nigerians again, make the Army fall- guys and brand them with all sorts of unproven violations of extant laws.

Quite truly, most of the people masquerading as protesters now, cannot convince anybody on why they are still demonstrating. It’s the extent of the pathetic poverty of the mind in most Nigerians, especially the youths who are now used as springboard to destabilize and destroy their country. And then the patrons are speaking in confusing tongues on the upheavals.

The voices of elder statesmen and former leaders of Nigeria who have brought the country to these doldrums over the decades hardly blend. In the day, they pretend decency, but in the night their guttural bewitching voices resonates with incitement of protesting youths.

Most worrisome, is the transmogrification of the #EndSARS protests into insane exploitation of national faultlines, such as religion, ethnicity, nepotism and regionalism. And it is being pulled with every might by the actors. The most surprising aspect of it is the blame mentality of Nigerians on President Muhammadu Buhari over the threats to national security and the breakdown of public law and order.

They exclude other leaders at lower rungs for the failings in Nigeria. Nonetheless vandalized shops, raided warehouses and targeted businesses of prominent politicians speak volumes. So far, none can point to any pin Buhari possesses as his corrupt possession while serving Nigeria.

It’s ironic that the same accusers of President Buhari’s apathy or dishonest claims of his neglect of the welfare of Nigerians in the guise of #EndSARS instigated breach of public peace are unwilling to allow him use his executive powers to restore public peace and order as the situation demands.

Two days ago, the BBC Hausa editor in Nigeria Aliyu Tanko wrote on the Lagos incidence of protesters/youths invading the palace of Oba of Lagos; “What began as a protest against the hated Police Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) has become a conduit for the youth to vent their anger with the people who have been in charge of Nigeria for decades, and demand change.”

Deployment of federal forces to protect lives and property of citizens when protesters become violent is not alien to law books. America’s President Donald Trump also applied the same measures in the case of #BlackLivesMatter protests in America in the wake of police brutality as sparked by the killing of Pastor George Floyd.

It’s ridiculous for Nigerians to keep viewing every phenomenon or destructive development from personalized prisms or sentimental camps. None cares about national or collective interest. What is in vogue now in the country over the farcical #EndSARS protests now is the animation of emergency activists and aimless crusaders of social justice or emancipation.

The same quoted BBC report also stated; “While those who backed and came out in support of the #EndSARS movement were peaceful; another segment of the youth saw the protests as an opportunity.” Which Government anywhere in the world would allow these brazen acts of criminality in the pretext of protests?

The Lagos Lekki Toll Gate shootings is often projected by these clan of people as the manifestation of President Buhari’s “civilian dictatorship” and militarization of Nigeria. The Nigerian Army are baselessly held culprits by promoters of the #EndSARS protests. But no Nigerian has so far displayed a recorded video of the sad incident implicating soldiers in the line of duty in Lagos and Lekki Toll Gate shootings’ in particular. But the international community is being persuaded and encouraged to implicate soldiers.

Therefore, idlers and fake news merchants in Nigeria have found an engaging job of tainting the image of the Nigerian Army. But whereas some fake news activists want Nigerians and the world to believe that the Army killed people in Lekki, all the videos/ pictures on social media seen on the incident have not even remotely linked soldiers to the shootings and killings.

By now, some dubious persons and ICT experts might be trying as hard as possible to doctor or re-work the videos to implicate soldiers. But Nigerians and the international community are aware. There is no amount of blackmail or hatred on anyone that can submerge truth. It resurfaces someday and definitely.

It’s strange that some Nigerians deliberately downplay the reforms and innovations the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and leader of the counter-insurgency operations in Nigeria, Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai has imposed on the Nigerian Army under his leadership. Before the Buhari Presidency, the Nigerian Army was a brute, uncultured, undisciplined, unpatriotic and unprofessional assemblage of people under this arm of Nigeria’s Armed Forces.

Gen. Buratai had noticed it in the cause of his service. He has been part of the system from his youthful age. Everywhere Gen. Buratai has dispensed services to Nigeria, Africa and the globe, in leadership capacity, no one has ever accused him of human rights violations, until now and only at this time by Nigerians. Rather, he has earned accolades and priceless medals.

And when God availed him the opportunity to lead the Nigerian Army at the critical time of overwhelming insecurities, it was clear to him that he had to first, reposition this institution to rank among Africa and the world’s best. He has successfully done it, very strenuously, combining the reformation and repositioning of a degenerated force vis-à-vis battling the multiple insurgencies and insurrections in Nigeria perfectly.

Funnily, Gen. Buratai deserves no appreciation of some Nigerians because of the pursuit of partisan and selfish interests. Every day, some people sleep and wake up only plotting how they can unseat Gen. Buratai as COAS. The only reason is that he has refused to compromise professional standards to service the interests of devious Nigerian politicians.

But even in the current instance of the #EndSARS protests and the Lekki shootings and killings, the Nigerian Army displayed the same professionalism and discipline as has become their hallmark under the leadership of Gen. Buratai. They were attending to protesters as if it was a church service or business class of an air craft on air. Nigerians should search their consciences and speak truthfully to themselves.

Soldiers were deployed all over Lagos once the #EndSARS protests become violent and Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu imposed a 24-hour curfew on Lagos. It was not Lekki area alone. Why is it that the soldiers so fervently accused of killings at Lekki were not accused of the same abuse of human rights violations in other parts of Lagos? Let Nigerians listen to the drums and lyrics, thereafter, take time to denote the message. Some persons are out to ensure certain leaders are not only vilified but crucified and persecuted. Gen. Buratai is one such target.

In spite of everything and all through the #EndSARS nuisance which became unreasonably bloody, Nigerians saw the massive display of professionalism by soldiers. It speaks a lot about the disciplined and professional leadership of the Nigerian Army. Kudos to Gen. Buaratai.

Odoma wrote this article from Asokoro, Abuja.

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Lekki Shooting: Nigerian Army Acted Within Rules Of Engagement, Professionalism Required – Coalition

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The Coalition for Truth and Justice (CTJ) says the Nigerian Army didn’t breach its rules of engagement at the Lekki tollgate in Lagos or anywhere in the country during the EndSARS protests. 

According to the coalition, the troops acted in its usual professional manner and have been agents of stabilization, instrumental to restoration of peace. 

The Coalition for Truth and Justice made this revelation in a statement signed by its National Coordinator, Barrister Timothy Charles, on Wednesday, in Abuja. 

As a followup to the army’s statement on Tuesday, the CTJ said it carried out a preliminary investigation to ascertain the actual state of things. 

It said from the footages reviewed, the troops were captured firing blank rounds to the air that couldn’t have killed anyone. 

The coalition admitted that the sole confirmed fatality from the Lekki Toll gate incident was as a result of blunt force trauma and not gunshot. 

With these and other “overwhelming proof”, the CTJ concluded that there was no massacre as being portrayed by “anarchists”. 

It, however, urged relevant authorities to thoroughly investigate key people among the protesters, adding that it is possible that they may have opened fire on their own members. 

Read full statement below:

The Coalition for Truth and Justice (CTJ), after a careful review of available information, has reached the conclusion that the Nigerian Army did not breach its rules of engagement during the incidence at Lekki Toll Plaza and indeed any other part of Lagos state and the entire country in the course of the #EndSARS protests.

Contrary to the ongoing vilification campaign by pro-looters individuals and organizations, emerging facts rather suggest that the Nigerian Army has been an agent of stabilization that was instrumental to restoration of peace in many of the cities across the country with the curtailing of the violence that had threatened to spiral out of control. 

CTJ, in response to the statement issued by the Nigerian Army Tuesday night,  has carried out its preliminary investigations and far from what everyone had said, we studied the situation and came up with a clear understanding that the Nigerian Army did not breach its Rules of Engagement in all the instances claimed by propagandists. 

While soldiers were being accused of shooting into the crowd of protesters at Lekki Toll Plaza, it is interesting to note that every single video clip shared by the #EndSARS protesters depicted the soldiers as firing into the air. The loud sound of the gunshots in the videos indicated that what the soldiers were firing were blank rounds while the silver shell casings retrieved from the scene by the protesters further confirmed that the rounds were blank and couldn’t have killed anyone. 

We also noted that the bullets that the protesters allegedly claimed were extracted from the supposed remains of their killed colleagues did not show any deformation or denting as would be expected of projectiles that had made impact at high velocity. It is not likely that a bullet will hit someone and still retain its shape.

Furthermore, shooting 15 people dead as claimed by the #EndSARS protesters would have flooded the scene with anything upwards of 75 liters of human blood, which would have been visible for all to see on the morning of the following day. There was no such and there were no remains, except for the tenuous lie that the corpses were handed over to soldiers, something that turned out to be false since no mortuary has reported receiving the remains and the foreign partners of the protesters have not been able to come up with satellite images of freshly dug mass graves as they are used to alleging.  

What we were able to establish is that the one confirmed fatality from the Lekki Toll Gate incident was from blunt force trauma and not gunshot. It is therefore trite for CTJ to point out that almost every single person that the cyber wing of the protest had trended as being killed at the toll gate have returned from the dead to refute news of their demise just as pictures from movie shoots that they attempted to use to discredit the Army have been exposed.  

It is pertinent to point out that the other jurisdictions that the protesters are comparing Nigeria to would not stand by idle while arsonists and anarchists make life unbearable for other people while also destroying national assets and looting everywhere. In the United States, there have been instances when the national guard was called in to assist the civil police in curbing extreme protests. In the United Kingdom, during the 2011 London Riots, 92% of persons surveyed were opened to the Army being brought in to curtail the destruction by protesters.  

Based on the insistence of the #EndSARS protesters that there was a massacre even in the absence of evidence and in the face of overwhelming proof to the contrary, CTJ finds it pertinent to demand a thorough investigation of key people among the protesters since it is possible that they opened fire on their own members within the protest in order to malign the government by accusing the Army. This possibility is high because protesters had killed many police officers on the same day, set some ablaze and committed other atrocities while the military continued to exercise restraints. 

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