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Group Fingers NASS Members, PDP Behind Fresh Plots To Undermine Nigeria’s Democracy

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The March4Nigeria Movement has raised an alarm over a deliberate plot by the National Assembly and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to truncate the country’s democracy by forcing a regime change. 

The group called the attention of security agents, well-meaning Nigerians and the world at large to a planned coup by these “disparate elements in Nigeria and their external collaborators”.
 
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday in Abuja, National Coordinator, Richard Augustine- Adie, said the new tactics is to demand President Muhammadu Buhari’s resignation or face impeachment over conditions that they helped precipitate.

According to the group, among previous failed schemes by the opposition and their allies include promoting widespread insecurity, hijacking the EndSARS protests and sponsoring secessionist.

Mr Augustine-Adie said that Nigerians shouldn’t be surprised as the PDP’s presidential candidate had threatened to render the country ungovernable if he does not win the election. 

The March4Nigeria Movement further warned of a plot to cause ethno-sectarian strife in the coming days targeted at the Armed Forces having failed to use the National Assembly to fraudulently sack the government. 

The group, however, the challenged the Federal Government, the Armed Forces, and Police to be at alert to their responsibilities and not to allow anyone or group of persons to jeopardize our democracy. 

Augustine-Adie added that they should wake up to the antics of these sore losers and not view the revived #EndSARS protests as mere agitation but should treat them as part of the coup plotters. 

The group also urged Nigerians not to lend themselves out as tools for those seeking to foment trouble, noting that the #EndSARS protests have since devolved into #March4Nigeria. 

Read the full statement below:

We welcome you to this all-important press conference. We say it is an all-important press conference because the issue at hand touches on the future of Nigeria, our stability as a nation and the sustenance of our democracy. 

In recent days, we have observed a change in tactics by those that have been hell-bent on undermining the integrity of Nigeria.

This change in tactics manifested as a surreptitious call for President Muhammadu Buhari to resign or to be impeached over conditions that they helped precipitate.
Note that the reasons they are adducing for the so-called impeachment hover around insecurity and economic hardship.

Interestingly, the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is at the forefront of the impeachment farce.

The PDP Caucus of the House of Representatives tabled this ill-advised demand before the Green Chamber, but we thank God that there are still voices of reason in Parliament, which have rejected the warped demand.

We recall correctly that the PDP’s candidate in the 2019 Presidential Elections, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, had threatened that the country will be rendered ungovernable if he does not win the election.

Some groups had raised the alarm when the PDP made this threat then without many Nigerians paying heed. At that time, it was revealed how the opposition had perfected plans to hire foreign mercenaries to unleash violence in parts of the country and this is what we are increasingly seeing with the kidnappers and bandits spilling over from Mali, Niger and other nations whose nationals appear similar to Nigerians. 

We have also seen signs of the then reported plot to use mob action or an Arab Spring styled protests to cause chaos and force the government out of office. The other option they mulled at that time was to cause a leadership change in the military and then encourage junior military officers to stage a coup citing the protests as a basis to truncate the nation’s democracy. 

Gentlemen of the press, what we are witnessing today is the rolling of all the approaches into one and executing as a single killer plan. They have caused widespread insecurity, including leveraging political variables to cause the deaths of dozens of rice farmers at the hands of Boko Haram. They have hijacked what was once known as #EndSARS protests to use against the government as opposed to the original intention of demanding police reforms.

These same people are now sounding strident as they demand that there must be changes in military leadership. 
We are concerned that they are now back to mobilizing Nigerians to go back on the streets to stage violent protests while the fallout of the hijacked #EndSARS protests is still being managed. The entire country is smarting from the damage done by the violent people that were mobilized to the streets to commit arson, prison breaks and murder. 

These criminal attempts on the stability of Nigeria are being boosted with fake news and manipulated contents that have done much to create confusion in the mind of the people. The next few days will prove pivotal as operatives acting on the instruction of the opposition have perfected plans to launch a blitz of fake news that will make Nigerians question the future of their country and the competence of their leaders. The objective of this blitz is to make people join the revived #EndSARS protest out of misdirected anger.

There is further a plot to cause ethno-sectarian strife on a scale that law enforcement would have challenges bringing under control. Their major targets in the days ahead are the Armed Forces, which they plan to bring down by overwhelming it with crises that it cannot fully bring under control. Towards this, meetings were held in Lagos by a former president and some ethnic warlords and these strategies were discussed. 

This round of #EndSARS protests, like the hijacked phases of the protests in the past, is being sponsored and promoted by losers in the last presidential elections, who want to force a regime change.

Part of the plans is to cause widespread clashes with security personnel on a scale that will cause mayhem that will result in the overthrow of the government. We have this on good authority. 
Now that the attempt to use the National Assembly to fraudulently sack the government has failed, the next salvo is the efforts to infiltrate the Armed Forces of Nigeria in the hope of overthrowing the democratically elected Federal Government and then justify this by claiming that the government was going to order a devastating clampdown on protesters. 

March4Nigeria consequently wants to challenge the Federal Government, the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and the Nigeria Police to be at alert to their responsibilities and not to allow anyone or group of persons to jeopardize our democracy. They should wake up to the antics of these sore losers and not view the revived #EndSARS protests as mere agitation but should treat them as part of the coup plot that they are.

The Department of State Services (DSS) should rise to the challenge at hand by getting to the root of the mutated #EndSARS movement by tracing the finances and communication that is driving the attempt to visit instability on Nigeria.  DSS should invite the key players of the protest for meetings to tell Nigerians all they intend to achieve that cannot wait for the 2023 General Elections.

EFCC and ICPC as anti-graft agencies should trace the illicit financial flow that was deployed as Christmas bonanza to lawmakers that have been compromised to breach the rules in the hope of forcing an impeachment that does not conform with the rules. 

We warn those making contacts with the military, whether from among protesters or from the opposition, to desist from doing this forthwith. The military should be continually treated as the sacred institution that it is and not dragged into opposition politics.  

We equally renew an earlier appeal to Nigerians not to lend themselves out as tools for those seeking to foment trouble. The #EndSARS protests had since devolved into #March4Nigeria Movement, which is a coalition of Nigerians that are committed to constructively engage government at all levels in a manner that produces a result as opposed to the kind of destructive looting that undermined the efforts to hold members of the police force to account

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Armed Forces Remembrance Day: Pigeons Released By Buhari Refuse To Fly

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The doves, otherwise known as white pigeons, released by the President, Muhammadu Buhari, at the Armed Forces Remembrance Day ceremony, refused to fly despite multiple attempts by the President thereby sparking a debate on social media on Friday.

The President had opened the birdcage at the National Arcade, picked up one of the doves, and thrown it into the air but the bird landed atop the cage and refused to fly.

Buhari, who was eager to let the white pigeons fly, opened the roof of the cage in a bid to send them all out but the birds remained adamant and decided to sit on top of the cage’s roof.

The President, who appeared tired of trying, soon left the birds and returned to his seat. Moments after the President had left, however, some of the birds flew.

The ritual of releasing doves is to commemorate the life of a departed loved one and is common at significant events like funerals or memorials. It also signifies peace.

Studies show that domesticated doves which are used to living in cages are not always keen on flying.

In 2014, the doves refused to fly when former President Goodluck Jonathan freed them. The Spiritual Director of the Adoration Ministry Enugu, Rev Fr. Ejike Mbaka, described the incident at the time as a sign that God had abandoned Jonathan.

The refusal of the birds to fly on Friday, however, sparked thousands of comments on social media.

A former presidential aspirant of the All Progressives Congress, Adamu Garba, said the birds should be eaten if they cannot do what they were trained to do.

“The pigeons are tired and overtime became lazy, they don’t want to fly the spirit of The Nigerian Flag. We should roast them at Suya joint and deploy Crowwe for action,” he said.

Social media personality, Morris Monye, said the Department of State Services would have arrested the pigeons for embarrassing the President if they could.

“I guarantee you… If it was possible, the DSS would arrest the pigeons for such an affront on the President. But really, is there peace, harmony, and security in the land?” he asked.

A former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili, who is a known critique of the President, also tweeted, “Hmmm. Even the pigeons in Nigeria.”

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2023 Presidency: 10,000 Youths To Trek From Lagos To Bauchi For Bala Mohammed

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A youth group launches what it calls “Bala Initiative with 10,000 youth foot-match from Lagos to Bauchi”, to prevail on Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State to aspire to become the President of Nigeria comes 2023.

The group called South West Youth Coalition in a statement says it resolved to trek to called on the governor to join the race for the presidency following the tremendous achievement of Governor Bala Mohammed as governor of Bauchi.

The group says the 10,000-youth match from Lagos to Bauchi was aimed at begging Nigerians from all the six geopolitical zones of the country to prevail on governor Mohammed to join the 2023 race.

The coalition says among other things, governor Mohamed has the potentials to address the defiant Boko Haram insurgency in the north-east in addition to infrastructural development, he will unleash across Nigeria.

“Over the years, since the election of governor Mohammed as the executive governor of Bauchi State, the people have continued to witness tremendous progress in all sectors, especially in areas of security.

“According to records, Bauchi State is one amongst the few northeast states which have remained secured against insurgencies, bandits’ attacks and other forms of development witchcraft, because the Governor has demonstrated astuteness, commitment and dogged abilities in supporting the growth and development in Bauchi State”, the statement read in part.

The convener of the group, Mr Oladimeji Lanre says the fight against insurgency and other forms of development, ineptitude needs an experienced “and tested and trusted northeast leader who has the capability to restore peace, good governance and public confidence.”

He said the south-west youth leaders have vowed to personally make their financial contributions to obtain a nomination form for governor Mohammed ahead of the 2023 presidential race.

The convener said his group is expanding its tentacles by reaching out to youths and other social groups in other regions of the country to woo support for Governor Mohammed.

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Religious Freedom: Centre Ranks Nigeria Under Buhari As Most Tolerant Nation In The World

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No country in the world enjoys religious tolerance, freedom of speech and political association as much as Nigeria under President Muhammadu Buhari, the Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency (CESJET) has said.

The centre, in a strategic report on the state of the nation, on Thursday, ranked Nigeria as the most tolerant amongst other nations across the world.

In the report signed by its Executive Secretary, Isaac Ikpa, the CESJET revealed that the level of religious tolerance in the country is unprecedented and an indication of the numerous efforts of the Buhari administration in creating the enabling environment for Nigerians of different faith to co-exist.

The centre, which based its report on primary sources of data from individuals, groups and associations in sectors critical to the research work also noted that freedom of speech and political association has received a massive boost in recent time.

This, it said, is despite the grand plot by disgruntled politicians and their foreign collaborators to undermine the current administration.

The report, however, assured that the country is on the path of greatness thanks to the unalloyed commitment of President Buhari in formulating and implementing policies that translate the hopes and aspirations of the ordinary Nigerians on the streets into tangible realities.

Read the full report below:

Introduction:

The Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency in a bid to assess the state of the nation under the Muhammadu Buhari administration undertook a critical assessment of some key indicators of democratic ideals in the country.

In this report, importance was given to facts on the ground derived from first hand and primary sources. Emphasis was also placed on geographical spread to make a balanced judgment in the final analysis.

This report is consequently the outcome of a detailed and rigorous assessment of the issues surrounding religious tolerance, freedom of speech, and political association in Nigeria.

Methodology:

In a bid to have a detailed outcome that would stand the test of time and put issues in proper perspectives, a data collection method with multilayer mechanism for screening was deployed by the team of researchers’ that combed the nook and crannies of Nigeria.

It relied on primary sources of data derived from individuals, groups and associations in sectors critical to the research work. Material evidence was also gathered from credible secondary sources and analyzed by an independent team for accuracy.

The Issues:

In Nigeria, there have been widespread criticisms of the Muhammadu Buhari administration in its commitment towards sustaining the ideals of democracy such as religious tolerance, freedom of speech and political association. It must be noted that the bulk of the narrative has been centred on conjectures, which, to a large extent, has contributed to disquiet in the country.

Religious Tolerance:

The issue of religious tolerance evokes sentiments across the country; there is no doubt that there is mutual suspicion amongst the major religious groups in the country. And this fact resonates in almost all the nook and crannies of Nigeria. However, it was observed that the perceived tension is a function of political intrigues and religion is identified as that basis for the settling of political scores.

In our assessment of religious tolerance in the country, it was observed that under the Muhammadu Buhari administration, there had been series of attempts to attribute disagreements between the major religious bodies to President Muhammadu Buhari himself. It was observed that most times, these insinuations are not substantiated by any verifiable facts.

Our assessment also revealed that since President Muhammadu Buhari assumed office, there have been concerted efforts to rebuild trust amongst the country’s major religious groups after decades of hostilities. This fact was buttressed through extensive interactions with religious leaders whose opinion supports the fact that under the Muhammadu Buhari administration, the country has witnessed religious tolerance and the indicators for rebuilding trust are high.

Freedom of Speech:

Freedom of Speech is guaranteed for every citizen of Nigeria in the Constitution. This much has been practised in Nigeria over the years. However, in the analysis of the Muhammadu Buhari administration, it was observed that freedom of speech had not been stifled as speculated by some segment in the country.

From our analysis, Nigerians have indeed expressed themselves feely since the advent of the Muhammadu Buhari administration. The bulk of the misgivings are hinged on unsubstantiated cases that were best pushed in the public space for mischief purposes.

Our researchers carried out a comparative analysis of freedom of speech in Nigeria from 1999-2020. It was discovered that from 2014 to 2020, Freedom of Speech in Nigeria was unhindered.

It was also discovered that the Muhammadu Buhari administration has indeed displayed a strong commitment towards ensuring that freedom of speech was unhindered.  Our findings also indicated that the bulk of those insinuating gaging of freedom of speech in Nigeria is doing so not for its merit, but rather as a tool to score political points.

Political Association:

Political association in Nigeria has remained the backbone of our nascent democracy, and this much has been practised in Nigeria. It was observed that this trend had received a tremendous boost in recent times with an increased rate of 65% going by the statistics at our disposal. This is a considerable improvement over the years and an indication of the level playing field created by the present administration.

Extensive research was also carried out in this regard. The consensus is that political association in Nigeria has received a tremendous boost.  This fact indeed resonated across the country with various stakeholders in uniformity in this regards.

Conclusion:

After extensive analysis of the issues highlighted above, the Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency herby states that Nigeria under President Muhammadu Buhari has witnessed a transformation in critical sectors.

The issues of religious tolerance in Nigeria were very prominent in all of our analysis. It thus suffices to state that the level of religious tolerance in Nigeria is unprecedented and an indication of the numerous efforts of the Muhammadu Buhari administration in creating the enabling environment for religious tolerance in the country to thrive.

We also conclude that freedom of speech and the political association has received a boost in recent times. From our interactions and detailed scrutiny of issues in this regard, it is our considered opinion that the Muhammadu Buhari administration has displayed an unalloyed commitment towards setting Nigeria on the path of greatness through the formulation and implementation of policies that translate the hopes and aspirations of the ordinary Nigerians on the streets into tangible realities.

This report states that Nigeria remains one of the most tolerant countries in the world. This is indeed a statement of the fact that has been objectively scrutinized to put issues in proper perspectives.

This report also states that there is a grand plot to discredit the Muhammadu Buhari administration as most of the issues advocated in the public space regarding religious tolerance, freedom of speech and political association have been a conflagration of political intrigues that is common with most developing democracies in the world.

We conclude that Nigeria under President Muhammadu Buhari remains one of the most tolerant nations in the world.

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