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#EndSARS Protest Hijacked, Misdirected – President Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari says that the initial genuine and well-intended protest of youths in parts of the country against the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) was hijacked and misdirected. President Buhari further described the whole incident as unfortunate during the virtual meeting with former Heads of State and Presidents of Nigeria on Friday in Abuja.

Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adeshina disclosured details of the meeting in statement.
President Buhari reiterated that the Government will not fold its arms and allow miscreants and criminals continue to perpetrate acts of hooliganism in the country.


At the meeting were all living past leaders, including: General Yakubu Gowon, President Olusegun Obasanjo, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, Ernest Shonekan, General Abulsalami Abubakar, and former President Goodluck Jonathan.

The President recounted the initial concessions made by his administration on the demands of youths protesting against the excesses of some members of the SARS.

He recalled that the youths had demanded that the squad be disbanded, and further articulated the additional demands, including:

”The immediate release of all arrested protesters.

”Justice for deceased victims of police brutality and appropriate compensation for their families.

”Setting up an independent body to oversee the investigation and prosecution of all reports of Police misconduct within 10 days.

”Psychological evaluation and re-training of all disbanded SARS officers before they can be re-deployed; and increase in Police salary.”

The President declared: ”We accepted all the demands and proceeded immediately to scrap SARS and started the process of addressing the other demands.

”Unfortunately, the protesters refused to call off the protest and engage the Government to address their grievances. Instead, they became emboldened and gradually turned violent.”

President Buhari expressed concern that in the mayhem that ensued, many lives have been lost, a number of public and private properties completely destroyed or vandalized.

Reiterating his pledge to Nigerians from the nationwide broadcast Thursday, the President reaffirmed:

”We will continue to improve good governance through our democratic process including through sustained engagement.

”We shall also continue to ensure that liberty and freedom, as well as the fundamental rights of all citizens are protected. Here, I want to also reaffirm our commitment to preserving the unity of this country.”

The President thanked the former Heads of State for attending the meeting and their invaluable comments, observations and advice, adding that ”Nigerians expect nothing less from responsible statesmen.”

Each of the former leaders commended President Buhari for steps taken so far to restore calm and order to the country and also applauded the presidential broadcast of Thursday as detailed and soothing to the country.

”I commend the speech of last night. The nation had been waiting. You made points that I believe need to be commended. Peaceful demonstration is part of democratic practice. The demands of the genuine protesters were accepted, and you are working on implementation. We commend you,” former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, said.

The former heads of state were unanimous in their view that generation of employment and growing the economy including through direct foreign investments were critical to checking youth restiveness.

They also expressed their condolences to the bereaved families of civilians, policemen and soldiers killed as a result of the violent protest, and reaffirmed the commitment to respect the fundamental rights of citizens, including for peaceful protest as enshrined in the Constitution.

The former Heads of State also condemned the divisive and inciting pronouncements of separatists, and were of the opinion that such acts should be stopped.

Equally, the former Leaders commended the actions taken by Governors to address the demands of the ENDSARS protesters and their efforts to check the excesses of those who perpetrated violent acts and conduct.

Finally, they called on youths to pursue peaceful means, in seeking redress through engagement with Government and encouraged further conversation with the youths and other stakeholders in the country.

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Ethiopia Plans Sale of 45% Telecoms Monopoly Ethio Telecom

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Ethiopia plans to sell a 45% stake in its Ethio Telecom monopoly, an adviser to the state minister of finance said, as the government pursues the liberalisation of the sector despite an armed conflict in the north of the country.

Ethiopia’s telecoms industry is considered the big prize in a push to liberalise the African country’s economy because of a huge protected market, which serves around 100 million people.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is attempting to energise underperforming state-run sectors with reforms.

According to a Reuters report, the Ethiopia’s government expects the sale to take nine months, while it will also issue tenders for two new operating licences in December, a process which is expected to take three to four months

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India Arrests Nigerians, Others With N1.4Bn Cocaine In 10 Days

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Indian authorities have arrested several Africans, including Nigerians, and seized cocaine worth 27 crore (about N1.4bn) in the last 10 days.

The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence in India says, four persons, including two Nigerians, were arrested as part of the confiscation with 502gm of the narcotic.

However, the biggest seizure at the Mumbai airport was the 3kg of cocaine retrieved from a Guinean, Musa Kamara, on Tuesday afternoon.

The 18 crore (68.61bn) confiscation by DRI is the largest at the Mumbai airport in 2020, the report says.

The officials noted that the Guinean was recruited to be a drug carrier by the member of a racket, who took advantage of his need for money and medical attention to conceal drugs in his luggage.

“It becomes easy for drug rackets to use people looking for medical tourism as the chances of them getting caught are lesser because of their genuine medical history,” an officer from DRI said.

Aside from the Nigerians and the Guinean, a Malawian was cut carrying cocaine worth 6 crore (N22.87bn) through a similar route used by Kamara.

The report notes that the rackets, who use Nigerians and other vulnerable Africans for the illicit trade, are operated chiefly by Colombians and other South Americans.

According to a senior police officer in India’s commercial hub, most cocaine peddlers and smugglers, who have been arrested in Mumbai by anti-drug agencies, belong to African countries, especially Nigeria which is known to be a key transit point for Colombian drug cartels.

Officials say drug traffickers have changed their mode of disguising their contraband substances.

Before now, carriers would conceal the drugs in their body. Cartels are now hiding substances in cavities made in bags or trolleys, the report noted.

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Ethiopia Accuses Tigray Of Killing 600 People In Massacre

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Ethiopian Human Rights Commission has said investigations from the incident at Mai Kadra on the 9th of November showed that some Tigrayan youths killed 600 civilians.

The EHRC who are appointed by the state said the killings had ethnic leanings.

In its preliminary report, it said youths from Tigray, aided by the Police and local officials carried out door-to-door” raids, killing hundreds they identified as ethnic “Amharas and Wolkait.”

The EHRC describes itself as an “independent national” institution. It accused the TPLF alongside local Tigrayan militia and police security, of committing crimes against humanity, before they went back to their shell on the advance of Ethiopian forces.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has not shifted base since the battle started. On Monday, he gave the TPLF a 72-hour ultimatum which has now expired as the Tigray officials stay rooted to their desires too.

Both forces have had daggers drawn since the 4th of November over issues that seem to have ethnic and political colouration.

Not less than 41,000 Ethiopian nationals have fled to neighbouring Sudan for safety as the conflict keeps intensifying.

On Wednesday, African Union envoys arrived Ethiopia, with Ahmed warning against international interference.

He has refused to dialogue with the TPLF and has warned Tigrayan civilians to persuade their leadership.

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