The Convener, Concerned Nigerians, CN, and human rights activist, Prince Deji Adeyanju, yesterday, said that the federal government led by President Muhammadu Buhari, should expect more protests.
Adeyanju stated this in a chat with newsmen while reacting to the arrest of the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress, AAC, for the 2019 general elections, Mr. Omowole Sowore, by operatives of the Department of State Services, DSS, and clampdown of protesters on Monday by security agents.
According to him Section 14 of the constitution states that sovereignty belongs to the people and it is from the people that the government derives all its powers, noting that civil societies have the right to protest over what they see as unacceptable.
He said: “There will be more protests because this attempt to cow people won’t work. Just like what Femi Falana said, a government that sees every protest as treason cannot be a democratic government. They should continue to protest and that is my advice to them.
“Basically, we have a government that does not understand what the constitution says. In the constitution section 14 says sovereignty belongs to the people and it is from the people the government derives all its powers.
“If the government says it wants to take away the power from the people then such a government is not a democratic government in line with section 14 that says Nigeria shall be a democracy under social justice shall prevail.
“Based on what the government did yesterday (Monday) was to take away sovereignty from the people because the people have right to protest.
“Now the protesters have the power to protest under the constitution. The President knows that people who want to overthrow democratically elected government don’t protest but they do it secretly at night; they plan, conspire through brutal force. The government must tolerate opposition, protesters.”
He also accused the government of hiring protesters to storm Amnesty International’s office recently, which the police did not teargas them, rather gave them security cover unlike what they did to #RevolutionNow protesters.
“They hired protesters to go protest at Amnesty Office, and the police did not shoot at them, and also organised protesters at Unity Fountain, Abuja, to protest and were given security cover and were not harassed”, he said.
Meanwhile, he condemned the arrest of Sowore who initiated #RevolutionNow and described it as illegality and wondered how long it will continue, “Arrest of Sowore is an illegality and I don’t know how long the President will continue to perpetrate all these constitutional illegalities he has been doing.
“All over the world protest is the potent way to draw government attention. Late Martin Luther King Jnr, Mahamanth Ghandi did and all over the world is successful.
“It happened in Sao Tome and Principe when there was violent takeover of government the people said they would not go to work and the military regime failed because they could not get the people to cooperate with them.
“When did the protesters for #RevolutionNow ever called for arms? They specifically said they were protesting the incessant killings, corruption in the country, unemployment, and increment in living wages. So how does that amount to a violent takeover of government? Those who we have elected to lead know what the law says.”
However, the Centre for Crisis Communication (CCC) has called on conveners and organizers of ‘Revolution Now’ to be cautious in the use of hyperbolic and sensational words as they may be interpreted otherwise thereby heightening the already tense situation in the country.
In a statement signed by the Executive Secretary of the Centre, Air Commodore Yusuf Anas(Rtd), in Abuja, the centre said the tension and restiveness which are generated by the deteriorating conflict trends are further aggravated by the prevalent hate speeches and resentful communication in the polity.
The statement reads in part, “This is a dangerous development which if not well managed and timely too, could spark off national crisis with far reaching consequences.
“Sensational and hyperbolic words such as ‘Revolution Now’ if loosely used, will no doubt be misinterpreted thereby heightening tensions and heating up the polity. There is the need on the part of the government and the governed to always exercise restraint in conflict or crisis situation.
“Therefore, we do not call for revolution in the current democratic setting in Nigeria. We call on all well-meaning individuals, groups, state and non-state actors to see this unwarranted and surreptitious call as a serious threat to our nascent democracy.”
Minister Blames Judiciary For Prisons’ Congestion
Aregbesola, represented by Special Adviser on Nigerian Correctional Service, Suleiman Tala, stated this while delivering a paper at a policy advocacy conference entitled, “Decongestion of Correctional Centres: Status Quo”, organised as part of the 60th-anniversary celebration of the Order of The Knights of St Mulumba, Nigeria, Lagos Metropolitan Council, which was held in Lagos, adding that the primary responsibility of NCOS is to hold offenders pending the adjudication of their cases before a law court.
“It is important for the public to be aware that the NCOS and the Ministry of Interior are trying their best to tackle the issue from different angles as the length of time the inmates stay at the custodian centre is not determined by NCOS but by the justice system. I may not be able to reiterate exactly what the challenges are with the judiciary, however, as it affects the NCOS we are doing all we can not to compromise the traditional responsibility of the NCOS,” he stated.
Representing the Inspector General of Police, Baba Usman, Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, accepted that the police contribute to the congestion but gave his reasons.
“Inconsistence of the appearance of police officers to give evidence at trials has been identified as one of the alleged causes of prolonging trial but the IGP has mandated officers must attend court cases as at when due. The police are being hampered by a high level of distrust between the citizens and their police institution,” he stated.
Also at the conference, Lagos State Catholic Archbishop, Alfred Adewale Martins, who was represented by Rev. Paschal Uwaezeapu, stated that decongestion of the prisons would continue to be a matter as long as the government has refused to fix the country.
“The prison would continue to be congested if we don’t fix the society. As long as our society is a place where everybody takes for himself without considering the neighbour then our prison would continue to be congested. If we need to fix the prison we need to fix the family. These prisoners come from a family. We need to fix the education system also. We need to promote justice, without all these, the prison will soon overflow,” he stated.
Meanwhile, the Lagos Metropolitan Grand Knight, KSM William Adebisi, urged the government to declare a state of emergency on the congestion of prisons.
“The government needs to take the matter seriously as it affects the health of the inmates, economy of the company and behavioural change of the inmates,” he stated.
FG Seeks $3bn With Eurobond Offer
The Debt Management Office (DMO) said, yesterday, that Virtual meetings with investors have been scheduled for today, and September 20, 2021.
It said, “In order to avail local investors the opportunity to invest in the Eurobonds, meetings will also be held with local investors.
“This is the first time local investors will be included in the Roadshows, and this is one of the reasons why a Nigerian Bookrunner (Chapel Hill Denham Advisory Services Ltd) was appointed as one of the Transaction Advisers.
“Through the Eurobond issuance, Nigeria is expected to raise up to $3billion but no more than $6.2billion.”
According to the DMO, the issuance for which all statutory approvals have been received, would be to implement the New External Borrowing in the 2021 Appropriation Act and that “Proceeds are for the financing of various projects in the Act.”
The agency gave further insight, saying, “In addition to providing funding to part-finance the deficit in the 2021 Appropriation Act, the issuance of Eurobonds by Nigeria benefits the country in many other strategic ways; amongst which are: 1. It is an inflow of foreign exchange, leading to an increase in External Reserves.
“External Reserves help support the Naira Exchange Rate, and Nigeria’s sovereign rating.
“When Nigeria raises funds externally, through Eurobonds, it frees up space in the domestic market for private sector and sub-national borrowers. In effect, it helps the sovereign not to crowd out other borrowers in the domestic market.
“The issuance of Eurobonds by Nigeria has opened up opportunities for Nigeria’s corporate sector notably banks, to issue Eurobonds to raise capital in the ICM.
“By so doing, their capital base has been strengthened to provide banking services whilst also meeting regulatory requirements. Nigeria has a sovereign yield curve in the ICM, extending up to 30 years.
“The local listing of Nigeria’s Eurobonds on the Nigerian Exchange Ltd. and the FMDQ Securities Exchange Ltd., have increased the range of products on these two (2) exchanges and their respective market capitalization.
“Overall, Eurobond issuances by Nigeria and the investor meetings that precede the pricing have provided a strong global platform for Nigeria to tell its own story and opportunities available in Nigeria for investors.”
The Transaction Advisers appointed by Nigeria for the issuance were: International Bookrunners – JP Morgan, Citigroup Global Markets Limited; Joint Lead Managers -Standard Chartered Bank and Goldman Sachs; Nigerian Bookrunner – Chapel Hill Denham Advisory Services Ltd; Financial Adviser – FSDH Merchant Bank Ltd; while White & Case LLP, was appointed International Legal Adviser; and Banwo&Ighodalo would serve as Nigerian Legal Adviser.
The last time Nigeria accessed the ICM was November 2018.
Insecurity: Put Nigeria First, FG Tells Media
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made the call in Abuja during the ceremony of the renaming of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Headquarters Building after the former Managing Director and Board Chairman of NAN, late Wada Maida.
Mohammed said it may seem obvious and trite, but for any professional, including a journalist in Nigeria to be able to carry out his or her responsibility at all, the nation must first exist, in peace.
“In other words, if the country goes down, all professionals and everybody go down. It is that stark, and this is why I want to use this platform to appeal to our media to put Nigeria first”, Mohammed said.
Speaking further, the minister said if one picked up most newspapers, watched most television stations or listened to most radio stations in the country, one will be right to think Nigeria is a country at war.
While acknowledging that there were challenges in the country, especially in the area of security, Mohammed, however, said the Buhari administration had not only acknowledged the challenges, it is earnestly tackling the challenges.
“A good example is the decisive manner in which our gallant troops are tackling the banditry in the North-West or the way they are combating the terrorists in the North-East. Our security agencies have also successfully tackled the separatists in the South-East and South-West and the militants in the South-South. Unfortunately, these efforts have only been perfunctorily reflected in the reportage of the security challenges that we face. This is not only unfair, especially to those who are sacrificing their lives to keep us safe, it is unpatriotic.
“To illustrate the damage this non-acknowledgement of the efforts of the security agencies pose to the country, let me tell you what transpired when I recently hosted some members of the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO) UK Chapter, who visited me in my office here in Abuja. They said some of their colleagues who would have come to Nigeria for their programme tagged,‘A Week in and For Nigeria’ during the month of July, did not come out of fear of the security situation in Nigeria. However, those who made the trip said they travelled to their hometowns across the country and returned to Abuja safely. If Nigerians in the diaspora can be afraid to come to their country, imagine how foreigners, including investors and tourists, will feel about coming to the country.
“Whatever image problem Nigeria is suffering from today is mostly due to the unflattering portrayal of the country by the country’s media.
“Even when some media organisations report fake news, they never have the decency to retract such stories and apologise. They simply move on as if nothing has happened.
“We are not saying the media should not report on the security challenges we face. All we are saying is: Be fair and report accurately the efforts being made by the state and federal governments to tackle the challenges. Even if you don’t want to encourage the men and women in uniform fighting to keep us safe, please don’t discourage them with negative reporting. The security challenges we face today will be successfully tackled and Nigeria will not cease to exist, despite the antics of naysayers”, Mohammed added.
Mohammed congratulated the family, friends and associates of the late Maida for the great and much-deserved honour done to him.
He commended the management and staff of the NAN for coming up with the idea to immortalise the late Maida.
“The Federal Government’s decision to approve the proposal was not difficult, upon realising the role played by Alhaji Wada in making NAN the respectable agency that it is today. A man who was everything from Zonal Editor to Foreign Correspondent to Editor-in-Chief to Managing Director to Board Chairman, a man who built this glistening NAN headquarters edifice deserves to be immortalised by the organisation he served so well in his lifetime”, Mohammed stated.
Mohammed prayed that God will continue to comfort and strengthen the family of Maida, even as he prayed that the soul of the departed continues to rest in peace.
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