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President Buhari’s Full New Year Message

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PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI’S NEW YEAR MESSAGE TO NIGERIANS, JANUARY 1, 2017

My dear Compatriots,

I am happy to welcome you to the beginning of a New Year in our beloved country Nigeria.

I felicitate with you today at a time when our nation is witnessing a new and impressive turnaround in our security and socio-economic situation.

I know you will join me to, once again, congratulate the heroic and gallant efforts of our military and other security agencies on their remarkable successes to rid the nation of terrorism.

Following the successful capture of Sambisa Forest, spearheaded by troops of Operation Lafiya Dole, we have entered a new phase in our battle against our common enemy, Boko Haram.

When we see our beloved 21 Chibok girls reuniting with their families and community for Christmas, it gives us the hope that those who are still in captivity will one day return to the loving arms of family, friends and well-wishers.

Following the successful capture of Sambisa Forest, spearheaded by troops of Operation Lafiya Dole, we have entered a new phase in our battle against our common enemy, Boko Haram

I urge all Nigerians to be on the alert and watch out for strange figures settling in their communities, and report to the nearest security agencies, as our armed forces intensify the pursuit of fleeing terrorists from the captured Sambisa Forest.

Misguided elements who decided to take up arms against constituted authorities must be brought to face the full weight of the law.

The support of all Nigerians to security agencies to enable them successfully execute their mandate is crucial in our bid to effectively secure our country.

Seeing the joyful return of thousands of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to Damasak town in Borno State, following the reopening of Maiduguri/Gubio/Damasak road in Northern Borno on December 25, 2016, reassured us that the voluntary return of IDPs in other parts of the country is imminent.

The Federal Government will spare no effort in seeing to the resettlement and rehabilitation of the unfortunate victims of terrorism and insurgency. I urge state governments, privileged Nigerians, donor agencies and countries to redouble their contributions towards this goal.

Government is aware of some mistakes and wrongdoings in handling the affairs of IDPs. We are taking measures to correct those mistakes and punish the culprits.

In this New Year, I want to reassure all Nigerians that our defence and security forces are more than ever before ready to perform their constitutional role of protecting lives and property in the country; and we will surely overcome all other forms of security challenges.

The lingering security issues in several states will be frontally addressed. These ugly crises cannot be allowed to fester as they strain the unifying bonds of brotherhood and neighbourliness. Some sections of the press and some politicians should avoid provocative and inflammatory statements, while the government is painstakingly trying to find solutions to our challenges.

I want to remind you on the first day of this New Year of an African proverb that says “it is easy to break a broomstick but not a bunch”. Nigeria is a bunch and is more than equal to troublemakers.

I have interacted with a broad spectrum of Nigerians, the old and the young, and they have told me unequivocally that they believe in the unity and stability of Nigeria.

The year 2017 provides an opportunity for us to build on those aspects of our national life that unite us. We are courageous, hardworking, hospitable, steadfast and resilient people, even in the face of difficulties.

These are the attributes that define us and have for years confounded the pessimists who do not believe in our continued existence as a united and indivisible nation. We are a remarkable nation that has succeeded in harnessing our multiple diversities for national development. We must continue to support and tolerate one another and live together as one.

We will continue to pursue peace initiatives in the Niger Delta as I again, call on our brothers in that region who have taken to violent disruptions of economic infrastructure to come to the negotiating table.

As for our brothers and sisters of the Shia Community, we urge them, too, to embrace peace. They must accept the laws of the country they live in. They cannot be islands by themselves. At the same time, the law enforcement agencies must treat them humanely and according to the rule of law.

On our part, in the past 20 months since our inauguration on May 29, 2015, we have focused our energies to turn around the economy, create jobs, fight corruption, and transform agriculture to replace oil and gas as a major revenue earner for the nation. I am encouraged that we are getting things right.

The agricultural revolution has begun. Farmers in different parts of the country are experiencing bumper harvests; states are getting into strategic partnership towards attaining self-sufficiency in rice, and the era of over-dependence on oil for foreign exchange revenues is gradually waning. I am optimistic that the CHANGE we all yearned for in voting this administration to power in 2015 will manifest more and be sustained in different sectors, particularly agriculture, in 2017.

As you may be aware, our economic recovery and growth plan in 2017 is anchored on optimising the use of local content and empowering local businesses.

In pursuit of this administration’s philosophy, we will continue to appeal that we buy “Made In Nigeria” goods. Like I said during the 2017 Budget presentation to the National Assembly, farmers, small and medium-sized manufacturers, agro-allied businesses, dressmakers, entertainers and technology start-ups, will remain the true drivers of our economic future. They are the engine of our economic recovery and their needs underpin our Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.

On job creation, this administration will sustain existing programmes aimed at lifting a vast number of our youth out of poverty, while at the same time creating the opportunities for people to fend for themselves.

Our determination to wrestle corruption to the ground remains unshaken. This fight, which will be guided by respect for the rule of law and due process, will not spare anybody or organ of government. It is a collective undertaking and resolve that must be seen to its logical conclusion in spite of certain distractions. The fate of our country lies partly in the success of this campaign. It will be unthinkable on my part to allow the boat of this crucial campaign promise capsize mid-stream.

I thank you for the public support for our administration’s efforts to transform Nigeria. I assure you again that the current pains are temporary and will ease when the economic seeds in gestation begin to bloom to fruition. I urge you to continue to support this administration in its effort to transform Nigeria for the good of all.

I wish you a Happy New Year, 2017.

MUHAMMADU BUHARI
President, Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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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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