• Threatens To Deal With Belgore On President’s Alleged Tenure Extension ‘Plot’
• Presidency Describes Claim As Mischief
NORTHERN political and opinion leaders have been meeting, with a pair of issues on their advertised menu: insecurity and poverty in the North.
But watchers of the polity have noted that behind the closed doors were discussions connected to the 2015 elections, particularly the presidential contest.
Truly, events of the past week have lent credence to this permutation, with several media reports credited to topnotch leaders of the region, alleging plans by President Jonathan to extend his tenure beyond 2015.
The presidency denial of the claimed plot has done little to erase the suspicion of the North that Jonathan will elongate his stay in Aso Rock beyond 2015.
Dr. Junaid Mohammed, who heads a group of Northern Politicians, Academics, Professionals and Businessmen, spoke to The Guardian on the steaming topic.
He stated that some top personalities in the North had been contracted to achieve President Jonathan’s alleged plot to remain in power after 2015, warning that they would deal with the said northerners.
However, the presidency has denied the claims of Mohammed and others.
Dr. Reuben Abati, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, told The Guardian yesterday that, “the terms of reference for the Belgore committee are in the public domain and cannot be speculated on, except for mischief and for those who want to play politics with the issues of constitution amendment.”
He said the Belgore committee, essentially, “is to look at previous positions for harmony, collate and advise government in its recommendations.”
“The committee and the executive do not have powers to amend the Constitution,” he stressed, adding that, “for anybody to now come up and make wild claims about a committee that has not submitted its report is more of mischief than anything else.”
“Secondly, the issue is to stress the point that this is an administration that has not completed its first year in office, that has a transformational agenda and has been doing its best to remain focused on that agenda.
“For a group not to see this commitment means that it has a sinister motive, and is only attempting to distract, but the administration remain focused,” he said.
Abati noted that tenure was a constitutional matter and the debate did not start with Jonathan.
“There can be no problem with the president expressing an opinion or suggesting a proposal on tenure, having regard to the bitter politicking, stress and obsession people have with election matters at the governorship and presidential,” he said.
“The issues have been debated and we have stressed that it is up to the people and the National Assembly to decide. We should be able to separate ignorance from politics,” he added.
Kwara Governor, Abdulrazaq Declares 24-hour Curfew
Following the outbreak of violence in some quarters of the State, Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara State has declared a 24-hour Curfew on the state starting on Saturday.
Governor Abdulrazaq made this known in a statewide broadcast on Friday night.
Recall that on Friday some residents of Ilorin, the Kwara State capital stormed the warehouses where the government stored COVID-19 palliatives expected to be distributed to citizens.
Also Read: BREAKING: Lagos Government Relaxes Curfew
The warehouses, located at the cargo warehouse of the International airport in Ilorin as well as the agro-mall located in the Sango area of the state were totally ransacked as residents struggled to pack as much food items as they could.
Abdulrazaq said, “Lives are being threatened. Businesses are being looted. Public properties have been targeted. This is unacceptable. It is not who we are.
“To curb these acts of criminalities, I hereby declare a 24-hour curfew in Ilorin metropolis from midnight today October 23rd, 2020. This is in line with Sections 1, 2, and 4 of the Public Order Act Chapter 382 Laws of Federation of Nigeria 2004.
“People are urged to stay indoors in compliance with this curfew. This will be reviewed as we watch developments.
“Our observation is that what has happened today is not a protest, it cannot be defended under any guide, it was a pure act of criminality as some people are hiding under the guise of nationwide protest.”
Lagos Policemen Brutalise PUNCH Journalists For Covering #EndSARS Protest
Two PUNCH journalists, Femi Dawodu and Segun Odunayo, were on Wednesday brutalised by policemen guarding the Lagos State House of Assembly in Ikeja.
The duo had gone to cover events around the Alausa area, a major demonstration ground of the #EndSARS protesters calling for a total overhaul of the Nigeria Police Force.
According to the PUNCH, both Odunayo and Dawodu were recording a live video of activities in the area when the policemen accosted them and ordered them to stop the recording.
After showing the policemen their identity cards, indicating that they are journalists covering #EndSARS protests and monitoring compliance with the government-imposed curfew, the policemen became annoyed and pounced on them.
Odunayo said the policemen tortured them for four hours, adding that they stripped them of their clothes, laid them on the floor, beat them with a stick and guns, and took a video recording of them while torturing them at the Lagos State House of Assembly.
Odunayo said, “Femi and I were at the Secretariat in Alausa around 7 am and were doing a live video of the activities going on in the area. We were heading back to the expressway when a group of armed policemen accosted us at the Lagos State House of Assembly roundabout and immediately collected our phones. We showed them our ID cards, but they refused to let us go.
“What got the policemen annoyed was that we saw them using a stick and a rubber to beat a young man, and during the live video, they heard me saying that they were beating someone. So, after they arrested us, they tortured us and demanded that we should do another live video denying the statement, but we refused.
“Each Time we refused, they slapped us, used a stick to beat us, used the butt of their guns to hit our heads and bodies after stripping us of our clothes. All they wanted was for us to do another live broadcast to claim that we lied and we didn’t because we told the truth.”
Dawodu said it took the intervention of the state Police Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi before they were released at the Alausa Police Station, adding that before their release, the policemen took their details, including their addresses, took a video record of them and threatened to go after them if any negative report was published about what happened.
He said, “The policemen were transferring the aggression of what is happening regarding the #EndSARS protest on us. They later took us to the Divisional Police Station in Alausa, and if not for the DPO, the policemen guarding the LSHA that arrested us would have done more grievous things to us.
“The PPRO and the DPO later spoke with them, and we were released.
“But despite his intervention, we were told to write statements. They collected our details, address, took video recordings of us making false statements during the torture, and threatened to use it to blackmail and go after us if we end up doing any bad report against them.”
CCTV At Lekki Toll Gate Was Not Removed -Lekki Concession Company Says
Lekki Concession Company in their press release has debunked the rumour that the Lekki Toll Gate CCTV camera was not removed.
According to the press release by the company which condemns the unlawful killings of the peaceful protesters said no one gave the order for the removal of the Closed Circuit Television System as the CCTV is still intact as of the time of this report.
Speaking further, the concession company revealed that if the CCTV was to be removed, it would require the use of machinery to reach the heights that they have been installed.
Read the release report below;
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