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Read Why Northern Elders Reject National Dialogue And Advocate Parliamentary Democracy In Nigeria

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Northern leaders under the aegis of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) have condemned the idea of national conference proposed by President Goodluck Jonathan, saying it would not address the problems of the country as it is a strategy designed for the actualisation of the Jonathan’s 2015 ambition.

northern-elders

The spokesman of the forum, Prof Ango Abdullahi, told selected journalists yesterday in Bauchi, that several conferences held in Nigeria in the past years proved to be useless.

“If conference, conversation, dialogue is necessary in addition to so many that we had from 1914 to date, then, what conversation are you going to hold that is different from the numerous ones that we had?” Abdullahi said.

Instead, he said, for the nation to correct its mistakes and lapses, it should revive the parliamentary system of government as practised in the defunct First Republic.

Abdullahi, the former vice-chancellor of the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), insisted that the problem of the nation dates back to 1976 when the military decreed a presidential system of government. He called this system more expensive and corrupt, recalling the recent instance of an illegal purchase of N255 million bulletproof cars for the Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah,without being sanctioned by the authority.

According to Abdullahi, such corrupt practices are rare in the parliamentary system of government, which, moreover, is usually four times cheaper than a presidential one. He wen on saying that a parliamentary system of government is more accountable to the electorate as a minister or commissioner must first be elected as a member of the parliament and, as such, the people at the grass roots could challenge his performance, he said.

“So, I will argue strongly that the first constitution amendment that Nigeria should be talking about is the Nigerians to decide whether to go back to the parliamentary system of government and abandon the presidential system of government because the presidential system is corruption-prone and expensive.”

It will be recalled that the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) has also rejected the national dialogue, saying they would prefer to see an all-embracing constitution amendment. The party’s position was made known two weeks after its national leader and former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, described the national dialogue proposal as a Greek gift.

APC’s national vice-chairman in the North-East zone, Alhaji Umar Duhu,also reiterated his party’s position. He stated that Nigeria at present needs only good governance and not a confab as proposed by the current government.

Meanwhile, governor Muazu Aliyu of Niger State expressed an opinion that the North is ready for the confab. But Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano State, who, like Aliyu, is a a dissident G-7 and the splinter PDP faction, on Wednesday during a visit to neighbouring Jigawa State called the exercise a waste of time.

Confab committee on consultation tours

Despite the opposition to the national dialogue from some groups, thePresidential Advisory Committee has already begun consultations about the organisation of the dialogue with Nigerians across the six geopolitical zones.

pic.-3.-inauguration-of-presidential-advisory-committee-on-national-dialogue-in-abuja-620x330
According to the Committee, Ngerians in each zone would have the opportunity to interact with it on two occasions. The Committee has drawn up its schedule to allow for town hall meetings in two states in each of the six geopolitical zones.

The interface which began in Akure, Ondo State, on Friday, October 18, is expected to end on November 11 with a parley with the residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The Okunroumu-led committee has so far visited other states and institutions like Niger, Plateau states and the leadership of the National Assembly.

Wamakko appoints 32-member committee for National Confab

Meanwhile, Sokoto State governor Aliyu Wamakko yesterday named a 32-member committee to represent the state at the proposed national dialogue. It is be led by a former minister of youth development, Alhaji Inuwa Abdulkadir.

A statement by the Governor’s senior special assistant on media, Sani Umar, in Sokoto urged the committee to consult with various stakeholders and people of the state to evaluate their opinions. It said that the committee should also submit a memorandum on behalf of people of the state to the federal government.

Other members of the committee are Nuhu Adamu, commissioner for justice; Malam Dahiru Maishanu, commissioner of solid minerals; Alhaji Mohammad Ahmed and Dr Mohammad Arzika, a former minister of communications; Sen. Bello Jibril Gada, former minister of culture, tourism and national orientation; Prof. Riskuwa Shehu, vice chancellor of the Usmanu Danfodio University, Sokoto.

The rest are Alhaji Usman Balkore, Mr Abdullahi Waziri, Prof. Gajam Ardo, Alhaji Ahmed Gusau, a former deputy governor of the state, Prof. Malami Buba; Prof. Sambo Wali, Alhaji Abubakar Namadina, chairman of ALGON in Sokoto State, Alhaji Tambari Tafida; Sen. Salihu Bakwai, Alhaji Tukur Alkali and Alhaji Rilwalu Bello, among others.

The clerk of the state House of Assembly, Alhaji Mohammadu Mainasara,is to serve as the secretary while Malami Ladan is to serve as co-secretary.

National dialogue recommendations should not be sent to NASS – Ozekhome

Lagos lawyer and human rights activist Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), who recently kidnapped by gunmen in Edo State and was held captive for about 21 days, has asked the FG to declare amnesty for kidnappers.

“Amnesty should be declared for kidnappers. When I was in their custody, I asked them if they would be willing to drop their arms if they were granted and they said if FG would assure them that they would not be arrested or killed, they were ready to drop their weapons. Peace will return to the country if they negotiate with them. Negotiating with them is not a sign of weakness on the part of the government. What we have in the country today is the peace of the graveyard,” he stated.

Addressing a press conference in Abuja yesterday, Ozekhome said that what Nigeria needs is not a national dialogue but a complete sovereign national conference. He added that the recommendations of the national dialogue should not be sent to the National Assembly to whittle down.

“The 1999 Constitution was imposed on us; we have never had referendum in this country. The national dialogue should have been a sovereign national conference. The recommendations of the dialogue should not be sent to the National Assembly to whittle down.”

He also said the country needs to practise federalism the way it should be practised.

“Each Nigerian holds more allegiance to his tribe than the country itself. We never really sat down to say that we want to be together like the Americans did. The federating units of the country need powers to address their peculiar needs. The Nigerian federation is lopsided. The name of the country was imposed on us, it is not indigenous.

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‘We counted 15 dead bodies’ – DJ Switch breaks silence on Lekki shooting (video)

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'We counted 15 dead bodies' – DJ Switch breaks her silence on Lekki shooting (video)

 

Popular Nigerian DJ, Switch, has opened up on what happened in Lekki on Tuesday night.

Known as Obianuju Catherine Udeh, Switch said she counted 15 dead bodies during the shoot-out.

 

 

 

In a video she posted on her Instagram page, Switch asked the authorities not to insult the intelligence of Nigerians when giving their own account of what happened on that day.

According to her, the military aimed at endsars protesters as they fired gunshots. She also said that SARS officers came in after the military had left and also attacked them.

According to Switch she and others present counted over 15 bodies.

‘‘I just want to clear a few things that I have been seeing online. To our leaders, I urge you please do not minimize the suffering of families. Do not insult the grief of Nigerians, do not insult the intelligence of Nigerians. Do not insult the pains the families are facing.

People were falling left and right. Yes there were soldiers there. Another part that people are not talking about is that the police also came. The SARS people we are talking about, they also came, some maybe 40-45 minutes after the soldiers left.

We were teargassed. The teargass was like Cotonou pepper mixed with acid. We were running. We would run and we would come back and the only thing we fought with was our flags. We would sit on the floor and we would raise or hands up, raising our flags and singing the national anthem. That was all we had.

They put off the lights. Even if there was no power in that axis, there was always light at the tollgate. There was no lights. The street lights were off. It was pitch black.” she said

Speaking further, she said

”A boy jumped on me and was shouting cover her, cover her. I didn’t even understand why he did that. They shot that boy on my back. I fell and while the soldiers were picking their shells, we were running around and picking their shells too because we wanted proof.”

She showed photos of bullet shells picked from the ground. She showed the one that was fired close to her ears and the one that was removed from someone’s lap.

The military, they were there on Nigerian soil, killing Nigerian citizens. The police and their SARS like people came doing the same thing, aiming and shooting. They were pointing the gun at us and shooting live bullets. Who takes live bullets to a protest?

To our leaders, I urge you to please not insult the intelligence of Nigerians and the families.”

DJ Switch expressed regrets that she and others allowed the military to take the bodies of the deceased persons.

”Something I think of in hindsight I wish we hadn’t done it but we carried dead bodies and dropped at the feet of the soldiers so that they could see what they did to us. When I asked their unit commander why are you killing us? I wish we didn’t do that because they ended up throwing the bodies in their van. This was up until the next morning.” she said

She dissociated herself from the social media accounts claiming she said 78 persons died. She said she and others counted 15 dead bodies.

”I never said 78 people died. What I do know is that when I was doing the live, 7 people had died. When my phone died, we had counted about 15 people. I don’t know if it was more than that. We had a lot of people stray bullet wound, gunshot wounds, and all that.

People did die. It wasn’t photoshopped. I must be a tech genius to photoshop a live feed.” she said

She dismissed reports that her cousin died in the incident.

Thanking everyone for their prayers and support, DJ Switch said

”We must continue to move. We must continue. If we stop I fear it will probably be the next 60 years before we talk about this again. We must continue peacefully. I condemn any sort of violence. I condemn the burning of buses and peoples livelihood. ”

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Nigeria still needs SARS, Zamfara gov, Matawalle insists

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Nigeria still needs SARS, Zamfara gov, Matawalle insists

Zamfara state governor, Bello Matawalle says that the recently dissolved Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit was important and useful in the state.Nigeria still needs SARS, Zamfara gov, Matawalle insists

The Governor who made this known while fielding questions from newsmen, called for the deployment of officials of the disbanded police unit to Zamfara.

Matawalle said;

“We have recorded tremendous development in the area of peace building the Zamfara state with the commitment and professional contribution and support of the FSARS of the Nigeria Police.

“I will personally seek audience with Mr President on this issue. We need the FSARS or its equivalent in Zamfara state because we have seen their positive impact in spite their alleged excesses.”

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If End SARS protest doesn’t work then it might be over for Nigerian youths – Burna Boy

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If End SARS protest doesn’t work then it might be over for Nigerian youths – Burna Boy

If End SARS protest doesn’t work then it might be over for Nigerian youths – Burna Boy

Popular music entertainer, Burna Boy has stated that if the recent end SARS protest by Nigerian youths doesn’t yield any positive result, then the future holds nothing for the teeming youths in the country.

The ‘On the low’ crooner stated this in an interview with foreign media, Sky News.

The interview comes two weeks after protests began, sparked by a video showing a man being beaten, apparently by police officers from SARS (Special Anti-Robbery Squad).

Burna Boy, who spoke to Sky News from London, said: “It is shocking when you see it happen in that place, in such a place, that was the landmark of everything.

The Lekki Toll Gate, that was the most peaceful place to protest, the most peaceful venue in the whole country and then that is the place where [the shootings] happen. It is not something that you can just wrap your head around.”

The best-selling Afrobeats artist, who has mixed rap, funk and dancehall influences on international hits like On The Low and Ye, said nationwide protests against SARS have changed the nature of politics in his homeland.

This is the most important moment in Nigeria’s history… that is what we are witnessing right now because if nothing changes after this, if this doesn’t work, then it is over.”

When asked what he meant by this, he replied: “Look at what is going on right now: the youth have come together, like something unexplainable (sic), something that no one man could have possibly organised or led, the youth of the largest black nation in the world came together, said enough is enough and this was triggered by police brutality.

“It’s not like it was triggered by all the other things that it should have been triggered by all these years.”

Sky News

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