Spain might face more protests from Catalonia on Saturday despite signs that the sides may be seeking to reduce the crisis after Madrid offered a first apology to Catalans injured by police during their outlawed independence vote.
Catalan leaders had threatened to declare independence unilaterally and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy vowed to stop them, rejecting calls for mediation in a dispute that has drawn cries of concern even from Barcelona and Real Madrid footballers.
Spain’s deepest political crisis in decades has raised fears of further unrest in the northeastern region, a tourist-friendly area of 7.5 million people that accounts for a fifth of Spain’s economy.
Opponents of secession have called for demonstrations around Spain and a major rally in Barcelona on Saturday.
Also Saturday, people who support dialogue to end the crisis plan to gather in a bid to pressure mayors nationwide. The anonymous initiative, which spread across social media, seeks to promote talks using the slogan: “Spain is better than its leaders”.
“It’s the moment to come together to tell (our leaders) that they are incapable and irresponsible,” the group’s manifesto reads. The gathering will start from around midday (1000 GMT).
A “patriotic” march will start around the same time in central Madrid, organised by people who support a united Spain.
Friday saw the first signs the sides may be willing to step back from the brink in a political conflict that risks destabilising Europe.
After days of ill-tempered rhetoric, the central government said it regretted the injuries and suggested Catalonia should hold a regional election to settle the crisis.
Catalan government minister Santi Vila, a close of ally of regional president Carles Puigdemont, meanwhile told broadcaster Rac1 that his side could consider a “ceasefire” in the dispute, to avoid a further crackdown by Madrid.
Businesses and the government kept up economic pressure on Catalonia however, with several big companies announcing moves to shift their legal domiciles to other parts of Spain.
#LekkiMassacre: CNN Dares Nigeria Government, Updates Second Report (Video)
The Cable News Network, CNN seems not done with the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government with the television channel releasing another report on the shooting at the Lekki toll gate during the End SARS protests.
Recall that the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, called out CNN over its report on the incident.
He added that CNN was biased in its report and needs to be sanctioned.
The Minister also addressed a letter to the management of CNN in Atlanta.
The network, however, on Tuesday released the second report with more damning footage showing soldiers shooting at unarmed protesters on October 20, 2020.
The second report also shows the Commander, 81 Division, Brig.Gen Ahmed Taiwo, admitting before the judicial panel in Lagos that military men had live ammunition in their weapons while at the tollgate.
CNN also noted that the statement of Brig.Gen Taiwo contradicts that of the Minister who had claimed last week that the army fired blank bullets.
It was also revealed in the new report, the moment when protesters were running as soldiers open fire at the tollgate.
Watch video below;
— Ayemojubar 👠 (@ayemojubar) November 23, 2020
Petrol Subsidy Not Completely Gone, Says Minister
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva has stated that contrary to popular belief, the federal government has not completely removed petrol subsidy.
Speaking on Channels’ Politics Today, the minister said: “We are still trying to manage this bumpy start. We have not been able to get to that 100 percent removal of subsidy from the foreign exchange end.
“If we were to take it out completely and allow people to access foreign exchange from the parallel market and allow people to import the product, the price of the pump will even be more.
“The Federal Government, knowing the impact it will have on the people, decided that they are still going to manage this situation.”
Speaking on the importation of petrol from Niger, the Minister expressed that the importation of fuel from the Niger Republic is not something Nigerians should be embarrassed about.
He expressed that Nigerians should be proud that the Federal Government is set to resume the importation of petroleum products from its neighbour.
‘Your Report On Lekki Capable Of Setting Nigeria On Fire’ — Lai Writes CNN
JustLai MohammedMinister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has expressed that the CNN report on the Lekki Tollgate shooting of October 20 2020 is capable of setting the country on fire.
Recall that CNN had published an investigative report titled, ‘How a bloody night of bullets and brutality quashed a young protest movement in Nigeria,’ claiming soldiers fired live ammunition directly at protesters at the Lekki toll gate.
But Nigeria’s Minister for Information denied the report of the US-based cable television, calling for a sanction on CNN over the report, adding that the report on the Lekki tollgate incident was highly irresponsible.
Reacting in another story titled, ‘Nigeria threatens CNN with sanctions but provides no evidence Lekki toll gate investigation is inaccurate’, CNN maintained that it stood by its earlier report on the Lekki tollgate incident.
In a petition dated November 23 and addressed to Mr. Jonathan Hawkins VP, Communications, CNN Centre Atlanta, Georgia U.S, the federal government demanded “an immediate and exhaustive investigation into its report on the Lekki Toll Gate incident to determine its authenticity and conformity to basic standards of journalism.”
Lai Mohammed, who signed the petition, said if the US-based media organisation failed to carry out its demand, the Nigerian government will “take any action within its laws’’ to prevent CNN from aggravating the End SARS crisis.
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