The Two major personalities that were invited to speak at a rally organised on Saturday for Hamza Al-Mustapha were conspicuously absent at the event.
A former Niger Delta armed activist, Asari Dokubo, and influential Catholic cleric, Matthew Kukah, were absent at the Arewa Youth Unity Rally convened for Mr. Al-Mustapha in Kaduna. Mr. Kukah, according to the programme of event, was to deliver a keynote address at the gathering of youth from 19 northern states and Abuja.
Mr. Al-Mustapha was recently released from prison after the Court of Appeal ruled that he was innocent of charges of murder of Kudirat Abiola, wife of the late winner of the June 12 1993 presidential election, Moshood Abiola. The Lagos State Government has appealed the ruling.
Saturday’s much publicized rally has undergone criticism from many northern politicians who view the alliance of Messrs Dokubo and Al-Mustapha as a hidden ploy to drum up support for President Goodluck Jonathan ahead of 2015 elections. Mr. Dokubo has publicly stated his view that Mr. Jonathan must be re-elected as president in 2015 for there to be peace in the Niger Delta and Nigeria.
While addressing the several hundred youth gathered at the Murtala Square, Mr. Al-Mustapha said the purpose of the rally has been misunderstood.
“I have been misunderstood. But I want people to know that money and power is not my concern. It is God that gives power to whoever and whenever he desires,” the former soldier said in Hausa.
“Today we have over 22.5 million illiterates and unemployed youth of Northern extraction. Therefore, the teaming masses of Nigeria must be served and must be heard today. It’s God that took me to prison and not an individual. My prayer is that northern youths should know that I am a military man and I will soon retire.”
On his relationship with Mr. Dokubo, Mr. Al-Mustapha said, “When I came out of prison, the people of the South-South spoke to me on peace. Asari Dokubo’s first wife is a Fulani woman, his second wife is a Shuwa-Arab from Maiduguri, his children are from the north.
“I later understood that some few elements from the north are those planting the seed of discord against the north. Dokubo has regretted his deeds; he has apologized and has also declared his readiness to expose these elements that are bent on causing problem in the country.”
Mr. Al-Mustapha also said he was worried about the state of education in Yobe and other northern states.
“Only 30 per cent attend school in my home state, Yobe; because of poor leadership and insecurity and nobody is doing anything about it,” he said.
Steve Orji, a representative of South-East traditional rulers, described Mr. Al-Mustapha as a blessing to Nigeria including himself.
“Most of those who said you should not be here are politicians who want to continue to use you as political thugs while most of their children are schooling abroad.
“The youth should be part of bridging the unity of the nation,” Mr. Orji said.
In his speech, the founder of the Odua Peoples Congress, Frederick Fasehun, described Saturday as the happiest day of his life.
“Today is the happiest day of my life because the youth of this nation have come together to speak with one voice.
“No youth is going to remain unemployed. Those that are not employed will get money from their Local Government Areas. Nobody will remain with hunger anymore,” he said, while addressing the youth some of whom asked Mr. Al-Mustapha to vie for elective office in 2015.
#EndSARS: Ekiti state government declares 24-hour curfew
Following the various attacks on #EndSARS protesters in the state, Governor Kayode Fayemi has imposed a 24-hour curfew on the state effective from 10pm on today, Tuesday, October 20.
In a statement released by the Secretary to the State Government, Biodun Oyebanji, the state government said the curfew became necessary following the state government’s observation of how the end SARS protest, which started as a peaceful protest against police brutality by youths in Ekiti State, has been hijacked by some hoodlums.
Read the statement below
1. The Government of Ekiti State has observed with growing concern how the ENDSARS protest, which started as a peaceful protest against police brutality by youths in Ekiti State, has been hijacked by some hoodlums.
2. The hoodlums have capitalised on the ENDSARS protest to rape, assault, rob and extort innocent citizens across the State. These are in addition to the wanton destruction of properties, particularly private properties.
3. Government is concerned that if this state of affairs is allowed to continue unabated, it will lead to a breakdown of law and order thereby threatening the wellbeing of the people of Ekiti State.
4. For the purpose of clarity Government continues to show understanding and responsiveness to the demands of the legitimate protesters.
5. On 16th October 2020, Dr. John Kayode Fayemi, Governor, Ekiti State met with the protesters in person. While identifying with the legitimacy of their protests, he assured them that the State Government will immediately put measures in place to respond to all their demands.
6. Government has since then constituted a Human Rights Investigation Panel to review all cases of abuse by Officers of the disbanded SARS. In addition, Government has enabled a Victims Compensation Fund to facilitate speedy remedial measures for victims of such abuse.
7. Furthermore, several officials of Government have engaged the protesters at multiple fora and platforms including the social media in order to ensure that concerns of protesters are properly identified and responded to in a prompt and efficient manner with necessary feedback.
8. Government had also at various times drawn the attention of the protesters to the troubling hijack of the protests by individuals whose only interest is to inflict violence on the people of the state.
9. In the past 48 hours there have been incidents of gang-rape, robberies, physical assaults on innocent people, looting and burning of a police station. These acts of brigandage are not in consonance with the legitimate aspirations of the protesters. It cannot be logical to seek to remedy impunity with impunity.
10. Government therefore cannot afford to watch a deliberate enthronement of anarchy by some bad elements who have hijacked the protest for some clandestine reasons.
11. Consequently, the Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, hereby imposes a 24-hour curfew on all parts of the State starting from 10.00 pm tonight, Tuesday, October, 20, 2020.
12. Only essential workers and service providers with valid means of identifications are allowed to move around during the period of the curfew.
13. Any person found on the street that does not belong to this category, would be promptly arrested and prosecuted according to the laws of Ekiti State.
14. We seek the understanding of the good people of Ekiti State as we continue to take deliberate steps towards ensuring that peace and normalcy return to our state.”
Davido speaks on the events of the past 48 hours
Nigerian superstar, Davido has said criminals are responsible for the attack on two Correctional Centres in Benin City, Edo State.
Davido made the claim while absolving End SARS protesters of involvement in the attacks.
The singer pointed out that no amount of mischief would stop the protest against police brutality and bad governance.
Davido made the remark while condemning the attack on two Correctional Centres in Benin City, Edo State.
The hoodlums had attacked the facilities and freed some inmates.
Reacting, the singer in a series of tweets wrote: “After seeing all that’s gone on today I just want to say that from the beginning we have preached that the protest must remain peaceful and Law Abiding and as far as I know we have kept to that! And we will continue to keep to that so the narrative can NOT be switched up on us!
“The people they claim broke into prisons to free convicted criminals, burn police stations to steal weapons, damage police, government, and private vehicles are Criminals and everybody must condemn these acts. They are not part of our movement !
“#EndSars is a peaceful and law abiding protest that is going somewhere great! And no mischief can scatter it!”
Address Nigerians over #EndSARS protests – Senate urges Buhari
The Nigerian Senate has called on President Buhari to urgently address the nation so as to douse the tension in the country.
This comes as hoodlums continue to carry out various attacks on #EndSARS protesters and others in some parts of the country.
The Senators made the call for President Buhari to speak to the Nation after a motion was moved by Senator Biodun Olujimi and co-sponsored by all Senators on the ongoing nationwide protests believed to have been hijacked by hoodlums.
Part of the resolution of the Senators after deliberation include:
-Urge all tiers of government to put in place and sustain policies of social economic reforms that raise the standard of lives of our people;
-Call upon the Police to operate strictly in accordance with the rules of engagement appropriate in a democratic environment;
-Urge the Inspector General of Police to ensure a holistic comprehensive reforms of the police to increase the overall welfare including training and medical insurance of all members of the Nigeria Police Force
-Appeal to all Nigerians to resort to use of legal institutions to resolve disputes and conflicts;
-Urge the Nigerian youths and the Nigerian citizens to approach the National Assembly Committees Constitution and Reforms in order to secure far-reaching holistic amendments that are vital to the restructuring of our federation
-Urge the Federal Government to faithfully and comprehensively implement all the five demands of the #EndSARS movement and protesters with necessary timelines to rekindle confidence in government
-Appeal to #EndSARS movement and protesters to kindly in the interest of everyone stop their actions and embrace genuine dialogue; 7. Urge Mr. President to address the nation as soon as possible on these issues.
-Police should make it a duty to accompany protesters and should be involved in protecting genuine protesters.
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