Sahara Reporters Latest News Today Tuesday 17th November 2020

Sahara Reporters Latest News Today Tuesday 17th November 2020

Sahara Reporters Latest News Today and headlines on some of the happenings and news trend in the Country, today 17/11/20

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Gunmen Kidnap Five Staff Of Benue Revenue Agency

File photo of a gunman wearing bullets

Five staff of Benue State Internal Revenue Service were on Monday abducted by gunmen in Vandeikya Local Government Area.
The gunmen also destroyed property at the agency’s office.

File photo of a gunman wearing bullets

Speaking on the incident, media aide to the chairman of the agency, Ati Terkula, said, “The gunmen attacked the officially gazetted inspection point in Vandeikya LGA, destroyed property and kidnapped five staff on duty.
“The gunmen, who were dressed in military uniform, drove in a Hilux van with three motorcycles and invaded the branch Atser BIRS inspection point in Vandeikya.
“At present, the whereabouts of the staff is unknown and the matter has been reported at the Vandeikya Divisional Police Station.”

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Lagos Police Threatens To Close African Shrine Over Hosting Of Meeting On #EndSARS

The Lagos State Police Command has threatened to close the African Shrine, Ikeja, over the hosting of a programme to evaluate the achievement, lessons and tasks arising from the recent #EndSARS protest.
The programme, which is organised by Seun Kuti, son of Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, was originally scheduled to be held on Tuesday at the African Shrine.

The police have now threatened to close down the place if the programme went ahead.
Seun revealed that the police invited his sister and threatened to shut down the facility if the meeting holds.
In a letter to the Kuti family and manager of the African Shrine, the police said the programme was not welcome and will be tagged a deliberate action to sabotage the restoration of peace in Lagos.
The police cited the recent violence arising from the #EndSARS protest as its reason for ordering the suspension of the programme.
“It is on this premise that I write that such a gathering or meeting planned to be hosted at your venue is not welcome at this perilous time when the security of the nation is trying to find her feet to stabilize all threat to life and properties.
“You are hereby warned to suspend such gathering as any infraction that may emerge from this gathering will be tagged a deliberate action to sabotage the transition and restoration of the peace in Lagos State by the Lagos state Government and the Nigeria police Force,” the letter to the Kuti family partly reads.
Reacting to the letter by the police, Seun said he will go ahead with his programme but at a different venue.
He also queried why the government was hinged on infringing on the rights of the people to freedom of association, adding that it was an undemocratic act.
He said, “I respect my family’s decision not to hold the event but I will still go ahead with all the other organisations to launch the Movement of the People tomorrow and start our political resistance to the tyranny of this oppressive regime.
“This is a meeting, just a meeting of organisations and they are basically banning the right of association. Why are they afraid of the people organising? What is democratic about this act?
“The last time we tried to launch the government quickly called curfew and this time they have used threats but you can’t stop the will of the people.”So yesterday the government called my eldest sister @yeniakuti and threatened to close the shrine if I hold my event there tmr and also sent a letter to back it up. I respect my families decision not to hold the event as is but I will still go ahead with all the other… pic.twitter.com/ZKpSkhN242— Seun Anikulapo Kuti (@RealSeunKuti) November 16, 2020

 …organizations to launch THE MOVEMENT OF THE PEOPLE tomorrow and start our political resistance to the tyranny of this oppressive regime. Slide left and you will see the flier. This is a meeting, just a meeting of organizations and they are basically banning the right of… pic.twitter.com/Sm2dz0d7Cm— Seun Anikulapo Kuti (@RealSeunKuti) November 16, 2020

…association. Why are they afraid of the people organising? What is democratic about this act? The last time we tried to launch the government quickly called curfew and this time they have used threat but you can’t stop the will of the people. ~ #EndOppression Seun Kuti pic.twitter.com/lEtF5ZudI3— Seun Anikulapo Kuti (@RealSeunKuti) November 16, 2020

A wave of street protests swept across Nigeria in October as young people poured out to demand an end to police brutality and bad governance in the country.
In a bid to break the peaceful demonstrations, the government sent in armed thugs and security operatives, who unleashed terror on the people.
The climax came on October 20 when the Lagos State Government drafted in soldiers of the Nigerian Army to attack demonstrators at the Lekki Toll Gate area of the state.
According to Amnesty International, over 10 persons lost their lives following the attack by the soldiers.
A Judicial Panel of Inquiry has been established by the Lagos Government to unravel the incident of October 20 and brutality by personnel of the now disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad.

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Group Tells Nigerian Government To Fully Implement National Youth Policy

The Oxford Committee for Famine Relief-funded Work in Progress project currently implemented by its partner, Chioma Chuka Consulting Services Ltd, have launched a campaign to ask the Nigerian Government to commence the full implementation of the National Youth Policy.
The #BeingYoungInNigeria campaign will also petition the government to call for urgent action to ensure the promises of the policy along its key strategic thrusts are duly implemented.

The implementation of the youth policy, which is to kick off from 2019 – 2023, is yet to receive any attention from the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government.
The #BeingYoungInNigeria campaign is to make the government create employment opportunities, a safe and suitable environment, and positive expectations about the future for young Nigerians through the implementation of the National Youth Policy.
The project Lead, Princewill Ogbodo, addressing journalists in a virtual press briefing on Monday, said the project will also seek to amplify the voices and demands of Nigerian youth from the government.
“The project also underscores the need to engage government stakeholders on youth-oriented policies via collaborations with youth-led bodies, key government agencies and policy makers to achieve global action,” he said.
In her remarks, Tope Salami, a Technical Program Assistant with CCCSL – the implementing partner, noted that the purpose of the media engagement was to sensitise the public about the challenges young people in Nigeria faced and also present to the public a petition for active implementation of the National Youth Policy.
She revealed that a policy brief document titled ‘Reimagining Being Young in Nigeria’ would be made available to the public by the end of November.
Highlighting the urgency of the implementation of the National Youth Policy, Salami referenced statistics from the National Bureau of Statistics including that one in four girls will experience sexual violence before their 18th birthday while over 13.9 million youth are currently unemployed.
“Additionally, with one% of young people aged 15-29 occupying elected offices, and just over 75% literacy rates amongst this demographic in 2018 according to the World Bank’s development indicators, the National Youth Policy is due for a review and expedited implementation,” she added.
The National Youth Policy was last reviewed in 2018 and it seeks to create a safe and secure environment that will optimize their contributions to national development.
The policy represents a declaration and commitment to the priorities, directions and practical supports for the development of young people in Nigeria.
The document outlines concrete and bold steps to put the development and participation of youth at the centre of national development efforts.

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Save Public Universities From Avoidable Collapse, Group Tells President Buhari, State Governors

Alvan Ikoku Hostel, University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

The Network for Democracy and Development has called on President Muhammadu Buhari and state governors to save public universities from avoidable collapse.
This comes as public universities have remained shut for eight months owing to a strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities.

Alvan Ikoku Hostel, University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

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NDD stated that federal and state governments must take bold steps to save public universities from collapse.
The group also condemned the politicisation of the appointment into academic institutions especially into the position of Vice Chancellor.
In a statement jointly signed by Tajudeen Alabede, National Coordinator; and Dr Abdul-Wasi Moshood, Director of Public Affairs, the group urged the government to honour its commitment to ASUU in the overall interest of students, the education sector and the nation.
It also said that the government and university administrators should take steps to make learning, both offline and online, a pleasant reality for the students.
The statement reads, “As stakeholders, we find it no longer excusable that, owing to the inability of the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities to reach an amicable resolution of their differences, academic activities remain suspended in public universities. COVID-19 pandemic can no longer be an alibi as virtual learning has now become a mainstream method of learning.
“NDD, therefore, urges the leadership of ASUU to look at the bigger picture and, as a first step, agree to resume academic activities. We believe that negotiations and resumption of work are not mutually exclusive realities.
“In the same vein, NDD advises the Federal Government to make it a duty to honour its commitments arising from negotiations. The legal principle of pacta sunt servanda (“agreements must be kept”) should be held sacrosanct at all times.
“Against the foregoing, NDD further pleads with both the government and ASUU to show courage by working out mutually-benefiting compromises in the overall interest of the students, the education sector and the nation.”
The group also called for improved funding and better quality of teaching and research, adding that with the emergence of more private universities, the public university system will face grave challenges.
 “The fact that many well-to-do citizens and organisations that should have played a part in strengthening public universities are behind the establishment of these private universities calls for reflection.
“NDD believes that the nation cannot achieve true greatness when citadels of learning, culture and excellence are gradually being overrun by interests that are far from being noble,” it added.

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Ocean Surge: House Of Representatives To Direct NDDC To Intervene As Flood Renders Thousands Homeless In Ondo

Nigeria’s House of Representatives has promised to direct the Niger Delta Development Commission to shift attention to Ondo State as flooding continues to render many homeless.
SaharaReporters had reported how sea incursion from the Atlantic Ocean sacked over 2000 residents in Ayetoro community in the Ilaje area of Ondo State recently.

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Residents Flee, Others Rendered Homeless As Ocean Surge Sacks Over 2000 Residents In Ondo Community

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Properties worth millions of naira were damaged by the ocean surge.
The situation led to a protest among residents as they sought government’s assistance.
Reacting to the development, Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Niger Delta Development Commission, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, has promised intervention in the recurrent sea incursion that has overtime rendered residents of Ilaje Local Government Area homeless.
The lawmaker, who regretted the incident, assured that the NDDC would approach the natural disaster with a more drastic measure. 
He said, “It’s quite saddening that our people have had to suffer in the past years of an occurrence that could have been better managed. 
“We will not fold our arms while things remain the way they have always been. This is a time a drastic approach was put in place to manage this ugly incident.
“In the coming days, I will engage the management of NDDC on what can urgently be done to salvage the situation.”

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CORE Calls for Mass Action Over Increase In Petrol Price, Economic Hardship

The Coalition for Revolution has called on Nigerian workers to engage the government by mass action and protest over the recent increase in fuel price and economic hardship.
CORE described as “wicked” the increase of petrol pump price to N170 by the Petroleum Products Marketing Company.

Defending the increase, Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, said the announcement of a COVID-19 vaccine by Pfizer triggered a slight increase in the price of crude oil in the global market.
CORE in a statement by its Co-conveners, Baba Aye and Gbenga Komolafe, stated that  the All Progressives Congress-led regime does not have the interest of the poor masses at heart, adding that many small and medium-scale operators in the informal economy had been ruined as a result of the bad policies by the government.
It also said that working class people were facing a barrage of economic attacks as the unemployment rate in the country continues to increase.
It said, “The composite unemployment rate rose by 12.5% in less than two years to 55.7% in the second quarter of 2020. And tens of thousands of those who still have jobs have faced wage cuts.
“Credit facilities have dried up along with their stocks of goods and capital. The N50bn support for the informal economy is both insufficient and not accessible for the bulk of working people in the sector.
 “Despite all these, state governments have also further burdened the poor. Several states have been illegally making deductions of up to 20% from the salaries of public sector workers, for some nebulous COVID-19 funds.”
CORE stated that the economic hardship in the country cannot continue as it called on the people to hit the streets in protest.
It also asked the people to oppose the policies of deregulation and liberalisation of the economy, which it says serves the interest of these rich elites and the international financial institutions.
The group said, “This situation cannot be allowed to go on. We cannot be made to keep wallowing in poverty while a few rich elites keep getting richer. Just three billionaires in the country have as much wealth as half of the population, according to Oxfam, while 105 million people live in abject poverty.
“We, the poor masses, must not allow ourselves to be sacrificed on the altar of the profit-seeking dictates of imperialist forces and the local ruling elites. We can stop these only through struggle.
“A general strike along with the mass protests would have brought the dictatorial regime to its knees, undermining its capacity for repression which it brought to bear on the protesting youths as a massacre.”

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E2%80%99s-covid-19-vaccine-breakthrough Nigerian Government Links Increase In Petrol Price To Pfizer’s COVID-19 Vaccine Breakthrough

The Nigerian Government has said that the recent increase in the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit also known as petrol is as a result of the announcement by an American pharmaceutical company, Pfizer, on its recent breakthrough in the fight against Coronavirus.
Recall that the Petroleum Products Marketing Company had announced a new ex-depot price of N155.17 for petrol.

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Petrol Price Increased To N168-N170 Per Litre

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Ex-depot price is the price marketers buy products from depot owners. 
An increase or decrease in ex-depot price has effect on the pump price of petrol.
Speaking with State House correspondents on Monday, Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, said the announcement of a COVID-19 vaccine by Pfizer triggered a slight increase in the price of crude oil in the global market.
Sylva said, “What happened recently was because of the announcement of a vaccine for COVID-19 by Pfizer. With that, crude oil prices went up a little bit.
“If you have been following crude oil prices, you would have seen that crude oil prices went up a little bit as a result of this announcement.
“So, when crude oil prices go up a little bit, then you will see that (it will) instantly reflect on the price of petrol, which is a derivative of crude oil.”
Pfizer and BioNTech had on November 10 announced that a vaccine they jointly developed was 90 per cent effective in preventing COVID-19 infections in ongoing phase three trials.
The message of hope instantly drew applause from the world audience, bringing the United States President, Donald Trump, and the President-elect, Joe Biden, to their first convergence in recent months, as both congratulated Pfizer on its scientific trial.
President Muhammadu Buhari also waded in, welcoming the development and expressing hope that the vaccine would be available for all when it finally hits the market.
America’s Pfizer and its German partner, BioNTech, will produce 1.3 billion doses of the vaccines for 650 million people by the end of 2021.

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Lagos By-election: Court To Hear Suit Disqualifying APC’s Candidate December 9

Tokunbo Abiru; Babatunde Gbadamosi.

The Federal High Court in Lagos has fixed December 9, 2020, for hearing in a suit seeking to disqualify Tokunbo Abiru, candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the forthcoming Lagos East Senatorial District bye-election.
The suit filed by Babatunde Gbadamosi, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the poll, is also seeking the disqualification of the APC for fielding an ineligible candidate.

Tokunbo Abiru; Babatunde Gbadamosi.

Gbadamosi prayed the court to disqualify Abiru on the grounds that he registered twice and possesses two voter cards.
Gbadamosi said the act was a violation of Section 31 of the Electoral Act.
Counsel representing PDP, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa (SAN), is praying the court for an order “nullifying, cancelling and voiding the nomination, submission and acceptance of the name of Abiru as the candidate of the APC for the by-election”.
Counsels representing APC’s candidate, Abiodun Owonikoko (SAN) and Kemi Pinheiro (SAN), asked the court to dismiss the suit for lack of jurisdiction and failure to meet the requirements of Section 285 (9) of the constitution.
At the resumption of proceeding on Monday, Justice Chuka Obiozor said he will hear all pending applications and substantive suit in the case.
Justice Obiozor also directed the lawyers to abridge the time for filing their processes before adjourning the matter to December 9 for hearing.
The Independent National Electoral Commission had fixed December 5, 2020 for the conduct of the postponed by-elections in 11 states.
INEC was forced to postpone the election following the outbreak of the peaceful #EndSARS protest.
INEC had also said it postponed the election following vandalisation of its offices and facilities by hoodlums.
 

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E2%80%99t-speak-against-police-brutality-i-would-be-coward-%E2%80%93-wizkid #EndSARS: If I Didn’t Speak Up Against Police Brutality, I Would Be A Coward – Wizkid

Nigerian musician, Ayodeji Balogun popularly known as Wizkid, has opened up on the reason he was actively involved in the #EndSARS protest.
The musician disclosed this when he appeared on Capital Xtra’s ‘The Norte Show’, saying that he participated actively in the demonstration because of his unpleasant experience.

He further explained that if he had not spoken up, he would have been a coward.
He said, “Police brutality is a serious situation back home in Nigeria. It has been 60 years of political injustice, nepotism, madness and corruption at the highest level.
“It is sad that my son is about to be 10 years old and Nigeria is still going through all these madness. If I didn’t speak up or use my voice, then I would be a coward. I will continue to speak about things that affect people in their daily lives.
“I had been a victim of police brutality before I became popular and I know it still goes on. That needs to end. We deserve good governance in Nigeria.”

#EndSARS

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MURIC Condemns Lawsuit Seeking Removal Of Arabic Language From Naira Notes

Prof. Ishaq Akintola, Director of MURIC

The Muslim Rights Concern has faulted a lawsuit seeking a court order to remove Arabic language on Nigerian naira notes.
Prof Ishaq Akintola, Director of MURIC, described the suit as “acrobatic religiousity” as he urged the court to strike it out.

Prof. Ishaq Akintola, Director of MURIC

The suit is filed by a Lagos-based lawyer, Malcolm Omirhobo, who argued that the Arabic inscription on naira notes portray Nigeria as an Islamic state contrary to the country’s constitutional status of a secular state.
The lawyer also filed a similar suit against the Nigerian Army seeking the removal of Arabic inscriptions from its logo.
The cases are being heard before Justice Mohammed Liman at the Lagos High Court.
Akintola posited that Omirhobo’s approach was not only naive but also pedestrian as it manifests acute desertification of religious tolerance.
He noted that Nigeria was not a secular but a multi-religious state.
He said, “A secular state is one that does not recognise religion as in communist states. But Nigeria recognizes all the religions in the country and the constitution also begins with the words ‘under God’. Secular states do not recognise the existence of God.
“Seeking to remove Arabic from the naira is the height of ignorance because Arabic is just a language like English or French, not a religion.
“By the way, what is on the naira is not even Arabic. It is ‘Ajami’ using Arabic letters as a form of transliteration.
“Even if Omirhobo single-handedly succeeds in removing Arabic from the naira, is he going to remove the numerals 5, 10, 100, 1000 indicating the denominations as well? If he cannot, then he still has a long way to go because even those numbers are Arabic.”
Questioning the religious basis of the suit, Akintola said Israel’s currency has Arabic inscription on it and it is accepted in Jerusalem, a centre of pilgrimage for Christians.
“Omirhobo’s argument that Arabic on naira notes portrays Nigeria as an Islamic state holds no water because if Arabic is Islam, then English is Christianity. Hence if Arabic on the naira note is Islamisation, non-Arabic letters on the same naira is Christianisation.
“By extension, if the use of Arabic is Islamisation, the use of English language in Nigeria, particularly as a lingua franca, is the mother of all christianisation,” Akintola added.
MURIC appeals to Nigerians not to allow the fearmongers and merchants of hate continue to spread fear and sow discord in the country, adding that Nigerians should “open their minds in order to avoid becoming victims of accidental civilisation or, worse still, educated illiterates”.

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