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Atiku, Family Not Under US Surveillance, Says Aide



The Media Office of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar on Tuesday dismissed reports that the Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Candidate in the 2019 General Elections and members of his family were under surveillance by the United States of America.

Media reports had stated that the former presidential candidate and his wives were placed under international banking surveillance for suspicious financial dealings.

However, a statement titled, ‘Atiku, Family Not Under Surveillance, Have Not Breached Any Laws…These Are Recycled False Allegations,’ signed by Atiku’s media aide, Paul Ibe, dismissed the reports as “recycled and regurgitated lies about the person of Atiku Abubakar.”

The statement read, “For the avoidance of doubt, Atiku Abubakar is not under any US watch list, neither has he been charged, or will ever be charged by the United States Justice Department or any other in a foreign jurisdiction.

“Recall that these recycled lies were re-unearthed just before the February 23, 2019 Presidential election, and to put paid to them, His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar, applied for and received a US visa, whereupon he embarked on a visit to the United States on January 17, 2019. He stayed at a hotel just miles to the United States Department of Justice.

“Atiku Abubakar in the course of that trip was also received in audience, by officials of the United States Government.”

Ibe further stated that “these new reports are a desperate gambit to recast these discredited accusations. They are meant to divert the attention of Nigerians from the recent statement by the Secretary of State of the United States, M. Mike Pompeo, announcing visa and travel bans for certain unnamed but notorious individuals.”

“Moreover, the timing of this report, less than 24 hours after the Edo state gubernatorial elections, should give some thought to thinking people.”

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Odi Leaders to Obasanjo: You’re Not Qualify to Comment on Lekki Shooting



Some leaders in Odi community of Bayelsa state under the aegis of Concerned Citizens of Odi have berated former President Olusegun Obasanjo over his recent comments on the shooting incident in Lekki.

The community leaders said the former president is not in a situation to speak on the activities of a military invasion.

The group was reacting to the Odi massacre which was carried out on November 20, 1999, by the Nigerian military on the predominantly Ijaw town of Odi in Bayelsa state.

The attack under the Obasanjo administration came in the context of an ongoing conflict in the Niger Delta over indigenous rights to oil resources and environmental protection.

Obasanjo recently made comments on the Lekki shooting incident.

But a statement signed by several Odi leaders including the community’s women leader; Ebimoweni Kemepade, deputy king of Odi; Chief Prenus Ogboin, the Youth president Ikposuoyeski Inemike and CDC chairman, Odi, Goddey Niweigha, among others, demanded an unreserved apology from the former president.

Part of the statement read: “The trauma that Odi went through under President Obasanjo is still fresh in living memory.

“The Nigerian Army moved in tanks, the Nigerian Navy moved in warships and the Nigerian Air Force was overheads.

“All the force of the Nigerian federation was unleashed on the sleepy and unarmed rural community of Odi. All because some young people dared to ask for their rights. It was a time no one in Odi wishes to recall.

“Definitely, there are some lectures that ‘Professor’ Obasanjo may not be qualified to deliver, especially a lecture on how to disperse a peaceful protest without violence.’’

The group stated that Obasanjo owes the people of Odi an unreserved apology, adding that his recent comments are like adding salt to injury on their people.

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#March4Nigeria: The Military Remains Heroes of Our Democracy – Nigerian Youths



Some well-meaning Nigerian youths under the hashtag #March4Nigeria have hailed the Nigerian Army as the heroes of the nation’s democracy for rising up to the occasion amidst vested interests. 

Speaking at a town hall meeting on Saturday in Abuja, respected youth activist, Comrade Adamu Kabir Matazu said Nigeria would have slipped into anarchy resulting from the EndSARS protests if not for the timely intervention of the military. 

According to Matazu, Nigerians should “use the events of the past days to reflect deeply on the efforts of the Nigerian Military towards ensuring that Nigeria remains one indivisible and robust entity”. 

He, however, apologised to the troops for the scathing attacks and propaganda on its efforts at restoring law and order in parts of the country.

Matazu, therefore, applauded the courage and professionalism displayed by troops, which according to him is ” indicative of its unalloyed commitment to ensuring that those against the interest of Nigeria do not have their way”. 

He warned those spreading falsehood against the army to desist from such despicable enterprise in the overall interest of peace and tranquillity in Nigeria.

Read the full statement below:

The recent happenings in Nigeria indeed portend great danger as our dear country went on the brink with the EndSARS protests that were initially peaceful until some elements infiltrated our ranks and hijacked our peaceful protest to their advantage.  

It was indeed a sad epoch in our democracy. If we must admit, the Nigerian Military did rise to the occasion in protecting our nascent democracy that was the target of those vested interests that have been prowling and looking for that opportunity to truncate not just democracy in Nigeria, but also our great country.

It is also said that some of us allowed ourselves to be used by those same elements after the government had accepted the five demands we put forward towards bringing to an end police brutality in Nigeria. 

In my opinion, there was nothing that was left to be achieved in a situation where we demanded the disbanding of SARS. It was done, we pressed for the unconditional release of those arrested, and it was done, we requested the constitution of a panel of inquiry on police brutality across the country, and they were instituted. The government had put in place the necessary machinery for the implementation of reforms in the Nigerian Police Force.

The question is at what point did we get it wrong? We got it wrong when those vested interests continued to urge us to ignore the government that their promises were empty. We got it wrong when we didn’t question where the funds for logistics were coming from. We also got it wrong when we watched as they gradually crept into our midst and began the burning of police stations, and when they started to attack law enforcement officers, including the military. 

My brothers and sisters, we must admit that it was this close to our dear country. We were close to slipping into a state of anarchy, but for the timely intervention of the Nigerian Military. The Nigerian Military indeed rose to the occasion in the restoration of law and order in Nigeria after the city police were entirely overwhelmed by thugs, hoodlums and other criminal elements. 

There is documentary evidence to this regard, and we are glad that once again, we can beat our chest that the Nigerian Military has proven to be the bastion of our democracy. They remain the heroes of our democracy.

I tell you this, that but for the timely intervention of the Nigerian Military, this gathering today would not have been possible. I also tell you that, but for the intervention of the Nigerian Military, there would have been dark and thick smoke billowing out of Nigeria because those arsonists, those thugs, those hooligans were well prepared to inflict maximum damage to every social fibre of our great country.

It is, therefore, my candid opinion that we use the events of past days to reflect deeply on the efforts of the Nigerian Military towards ensuring that Nigeria remains one indivisible and robust entity. This much they have proven not just with the recent events, but from time immemorial and especially in the past five years. 

We must also understand that for this stance of our Military towards protecting democracy in Nigeria, it has consequently come under series of attacks all in a bid to weaken that resolve to preserve the territorial integrity of Nigeria, as well as our sovereignty. 

I am using this medium and this auspicious occasion to tender our unreserved apologies to the Nigerian Military and the Nigerian Army in particular for the scathing attack on its efforts at restoring law and order in parts of the country, for we know that those allegations are well orchestrated by those same vested interests that plotted and executed the chain of violence across the country.

We also know that it was the height of propaganda against their noble efforts. And we all know that their anger is targeted at the Nigerian Army for intervening and saving the day for democracy in Nigeria. 

We are by this medium saluting the courage and the professionalism displayed by the Nigerian Military, which is indicative of that unalloyed commitment to ensuring that those against the interest of Nigeria do not have their way.  

We are also conversant of the track records of the Nigerian Army in the area of human rights with the establishment of human rights desk at all its units and formations. And it on this premise that we state that the Nigerian Army can never be caught in acts that violate or undermine human rights. This much we are aware of is a no go area for officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army. And it is to their credit that they have been able to sustain very high human rights record through the operational effectiveness of the Directorate of Civil-Military Affairs. 

This is indeed worthy of commendation, and that is why we shall not stop at pouring out our hearts in appreciation of the efforts of the Nigerian Army in the past days in saving democracy in Nigeria.

We are also appealing to those that have been spreading falsehood against the Nigerian Army to desist from such despicable enterprise in the overall interest of peace and tranquillity in Nigeria. And those that have been taking advantage of the professional conduct of the Nigerian Army to carry outs acts of violence against the officers and soldiers are advised to retrace their steps and tow the path of honour. 

The Nigerian Military remains the heroes of our democracy, and for that, we are eternally grateful.

Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria

Long Live the Nigerian Youths

Long Live the Nigerian Military

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#EndSARS Protests: Patriotic Elders Rally Support For Buhari, Say Nigeria Must Come First Before Other Interests



The Patriotic Elders Council (PEC) have thrown their weight behind President Muhammadu Buhari, noting that the country comes first before other interests.

The group’s backing, contained in a statement signed by Alhaji Ari Gwaska on Friday, follows public reactions that trailed the EndSARS protests across the country.

Recall that some governors had expressed maximum support for President Buhari amidst pressure from Nigerians and the international community.

The Northern States Governors’ Forum called on all Nigerians to resist what they described as enemies of the nation by supporting the president

And according to PEC, the arson, crime and violent dimension that accompanied the mass action is “condemnable, absurd and unacceptable to every sane and sensible Nigerian”.

The group said, ” there is no need to set the country on fire because the interests of a few elites are endangered or in jeopardy”.

The PEC further said elder statesmen such as former President Olusegun Obasanjo cheering the youths towards the path of destruction will face judgement someday.

The patriotic elders noted that youths are the emblem of the strength of any country and a symbol of its heritage.

The group, however, urged them to maintain total loyalty to Nigeria; protect and defend their only country as it is their only worthy asset.

Read the full statement below:

The ugly dimension of the on-going #EndSARS protests in some parts of the country over the unlawful acts of the Nigeria Police unit, the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) should disturb every patriotic Nigerian. We acknowledge the intricate abuses and unprofessional conducts of SARS over the years, precipitating the protests.

The Patriotic Elders Council (PEC) also immensely appreciates the endurance of Nigerians, particularly youths who constitute the bulk of our agile population, worse hit by the unlawful acts of Police brutality and extrajudicial killings as signposted by SARS operatives. Nigerians deserve empathy and the anger is justified. We align with President Muhammadu Buhari and the youths that there is every need to address the abnormalities, restructure and reform the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) entirely.

By it, in the last few days, President Buhari has taken active steps in this direction in the wake of the #EndSARS to assuage the protesters and Nigerians in respect to the demands placed before the government. These include the immediate disbandment of SARS, the dismissal and commencement of prosecution of suspected erring SARS operatives and a directive to State Governors to constitute Judicial Panels of Inquiry for aggrieved Nigerians to make submissions of the rights abuses by SARS officials, with a promise to restructure and reform the NPF immediately.

However, despite these measures, the #EndSARS protests have refused to abate and unfortunately have become violent and bloody, especially in some Southern states. The killings, arsons, destructions, breach of the public peace, law and order, the brigandage and carnages have posed a serious threat to national cohesion and security.

The metamorphosis of the #EndSARS protests into areas alien and incompatible with the original reasons instigating the protests signifies a bad omen. It shows some vested political interests are sponsoring and fueling the mayhem in the country for devious reasons to achieve ulterior motives.

Nigeria generally has been volatile in the period preceding the 2019 general elections, and we all know, some non-state actors secretly plotted to inflict heavy violence and bloodshed on Nigerians. But God averted the doomsday and President Buhari acted proactively to maintain public peace, safety and security throughout the conduct of the elections.

We are conscious of the fact that some political actors defeated in the general elections have nursed a permanent grudge against the victors. It is also undeniable that several underground failed plots have been orchestrated by some political undertakers to make Nigeria ungovernable. It is stating the obvious.

Therefore, the transmutation of #EndSARS protests into violence and bloodshed, in apparent abuse of democratic liberties is gleaned from this prism. And the refusal of the protesters to listen to the voice of reason, in preference for killings and destructions of public and private assets of Nigerians have a strong cord to the existing disenchantments by unjustifiably disgruntled elements in the country.

There is no need to set the country on fire because the interests of a few elites are endangered or in jeopardy. The happenings in the country now are condemnable, absurd and unacceptable to every sane and sensible Nigerian. The fire we have ignited in the country and on ourselves cannot be left for government alone to extinguish. It is our collective responsibility to calm frayed nerves, right the perceived wrongs and ensure peace and security returns to our country.

This is not the right time to sit on the fence, make public inflammatory and inciting statements to embolden the protesters, hoodlums, hooligans and criminal elements to cause more harm and destructions. It smacks of beating the drums of war which will do no one any good. At such trying times, people look unto leaders, serving or past for direction and solace.

To this end, we find the public statements credited to former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and other elder statemen reckless, inciting and wayward. We are particularly piqued at Obasanjo’s irreligious fabrication of lies against President Buhari by accusing it of neglecting the youths, which has led to the agitations. Buhari is a youth-friendly President and there is abundant evidence everywhere in the various subsisting national youth empowerment schemes in the country.

Nothing can be so dishonest as that claim by a former Nigerian leader like Obasanjo. If Nigeria has found itself at the crossroads now because of massive youth unemployment and frustrations, Obasanjo is a major culprit. When he served, the ex-President dubiously sold all public companies, industries and national assets to himself and cronies. He callously squandered Nigeria’s treasures and mortgaged the future. It is uncharitable for the same leader to berate President Buhari who is struggling very hard to re-fix Nigeria and repair the destructions he caused while in office. To now incite protesting youths with such reckless and callous comments is an indication of a mockery of the same compatriots he feigns to speak for their interest. Obasanjo has the reputation of a spoiler and destroyer, but tacitly seeking to bolster youths to compromise national security is very unpatriotic and senseless.

Elder statesmen like Obasanjo and his likes, who are delightfully cheering the youths towards the path of destruction will face God’s judgement someday. And we believe the verdict would be harsh and history can never forgive them.

The incensed elders calling for war should have a rethink. And youths persuaded and goaded into destructive acts against their country and people should remember, they have no other country than Nigeria. PEC makes bold to reiterate that no nation survives a civil war twice. Nigerian youths must rise above the instincts of self-destruction.

PEC calls on protesting youths to sheathe the sword and embrace dialogue at all levels. We are pleading with our children to quit the streets. Youths are the emblem of the strength of any country and a symbol of its heritage.

Therefore, Nigerian youths must maintain total loyalty to Nigeria; protect and defend their only country. It is their only worthy asset. War can never be a substitute for peace or any magnitude of frustration. Those who are out to destroy Nigeria will be put to shame.

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