Despite the 24-hour curfew imposed by state governments in many parts of the country, hoodlums masquerading as #EndSARS protesters yesterday went berserk and unleashed mayhem, leaving many government-owned institutions, media houses and banks destroyed.
The hoodlums who apparently went on reprisal attacks following the orgy of violence that led to the shooting and injuring of teeming #EndSARS protesters in the Lekki Toll Gate area of Lagos State threw caution to the wind in Lagos State.
The hoodlums set ablaze the headquarters of the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu mother’s house and buses at BRT terminal.
The Lagos Television, a state-run media organization, Television Continental (TVC), a popular 24-hour news channel, and The Nation, a national daily newspa- per, in separate areas of Lagos, were also burnt down by the hoodlums who went on rampage across the state.
A branch of Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) in the Lekki area of the state was also set ablaze.
The bank located on Admiralty Way in the highbrow area of the state is among some of the banks that have been razed by hoodlums disguising as protesters.
They also burnt down Adekunle pollice station near the Third Mainland Bridge, just as killings continued in Mushin area of the state.
The Director General, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LA- SEMA) , Dr Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, confirmed that one of their paramedic interns Morinola Marian Omobukola was shot while on duty yesterday.”
The management of Nation Newspaper that was razed by the hoodlums said the armed men on motorcycles invaded the headquarters of newspaper on Fatai Atere Way, Matori, Lagos on Wednesday afternoon in a commando-like manner kicked their way into the premises after scaring away security men on duty, brandishing their sophisticated guns.
He said, “They poured petrol on the frontage of the building and set fire to it. Some of the vehicles parked within the premises were set ablaze, others vandalized Many boys came thereafter and swooped on the office, looting everything they could lay their hands on.
‘’These include desktop computers, laptops, air conditioners and other office equipment. At the time of the attack, Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief Mr. Victor Ifijeh, was among those trapped within the of- fice while the fire raged on.
‘’They were evacuated when men of Operation Mesa security outfit arrived. Their arrival ended the free rein of the invaders. It was obviously a targeted attack on the free press.
‘’The Nation had been listed on Twitter and other social media platforms by sympathisers of the ongoing destructive activities, as a target of attack.
‘’The Nation has robustly repor- ted the protests fairly, giving voice to the agitation of youths for a bet- ter Nigeria.
‘’The Management is at a loss as to why the company should be a target of such unwarranted attack.’’
Nnamdi Kanu Incites Igbo Youths, Asks Them To Kill govs, Soldiers, Kill Policemen, Destroy Govt Infrastructure
Curiously, before Wednesday’s attack, the leader of the proscribed indigenous people of biafra (IPOB) on Tuesday called on his protesters who are currently disguising as #EndSARS protesters to ambush and kill all governors, soldiers, policemen, and destroy properties of leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, as well as government infrastructures.
Kanu also claimed responsibility for burning down Oriental Hotel in Lagos as well as other government infrastructure in the state.
“Tinubu will know how powerful we are. I gave the order and his hotel is now in flames. They are playing with us,’’ he said.
Kanu who was speaking on radio biafra yesterday urged the protesters not to give up because those in government would do everything possible to subdue them.
He also suggested that the ongoing crisis in Lagos where properties worth bilions of Naira have been destroyed was because of the Governor’s decision to impose a 24-hour curfew.
He continued: “Abia State will be on fire from tomorrow. Cut off the heads of soldiers you see. Anybody you kill cut off the head of such a person. Any police man, soldier you see, kill them. Anything you have, use it as a weapon.
“Our young revolutionaries have taken over Aba. A lot of progress is being recorded in Lagos by our gallant youths and the army is on the run. I don’t want to see a policeman standing, go and look for a weapon to arm yourself, build wea- pons if you don’t have one and destroy them; mad people everywhere.
“Find where their children are and kill them. Make their mothers childless. Give them destruction. They think it is like be- fore.’’
Kanu also called on protesters to at- tack Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu any- where they see him.
He said, “Anywhere you Governor Ba- bajide Sanwo-Olu attack him anywhere you see Tinubu his hotel must be burnt down. Tinubu is in trouble, go find him anywhere. He is a leader indeed. You are an idiot. Charlatans. You have nothing to offer. They have failed. They can’t intimi- date us.’’
A also called for the kidnapping of all foreign journalists. He continued: “If you see any BBC or foreign journalist, hold them down. You have to behave like a mad person in the zoo. You have to have the mentality of a mad person.
“Nobody should be allowed to go for
a visa. Every access road to all embassies should be blocked. Nobody should be allowed except on medical ground. I want Lagos Airport to be grounded. No flight in or out. They will know how mad we are.
“We want Aljazeera to bring their sa- tellite and OB van to Lekki and Aba. Sor- ry, they should not come to Aba we should finish Lagos first.”
Kanu also told a caller who asked him for a gun during the radio programme to join the volunteer group.
“We are going to kill them. We are going to kill them. Abia state will be on fire from tomorrow. Cut off the heads of soldiers. Anybody you kill cut off the head. Any police man, soldier you see kill them. Anything you have, use it as a weapon. All SARS offices should be burnt down. Start ambushing soldiers. Dig a ditch on the road so that their vehicle will collapse and they will die.
“If the police move, you move them and burn down the police station. Every police officer should be killed in such a sta- tion. This is the generation of 2020. Any officer at the toll gate you find should be killed,’’ he added.
BRT Terminal Set Ablaze, Oba’s Palace Invaded In Lagos As Sanwo- Olu Orders Probe
LEADERSHIP also gathered that the angry protesting youths also invaded the palace of Oba of Lagos, Rilwanu Akiolu and attempted to burn it down.
The personal assistant to the monarch, Deoye Olumegbon, who spoke with journalists, noted that a team of soldiers in about five vehicles responded to a distress call and whisked the highly revered monarch away from the palace.
He said, “Kabiyesi is safe. Soldiers came to rescue him, but thugs have vandalised and looted the palace. No one is dead but they carted away valuable properties.”
According to Olumegbon, the divisional police officer at the police post, who was identified simply as Shina, reportedly sustained injury during the crisis, saying the palace was not set ablaze as reported in some section of the media.
Some residents who considered the attack on Oba’s palace as sacrilegious said the attack on Oba Akiolu, a retired senior police officer, who is a staunch supporter of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) may not be unconnected with his closeness to the ruling class and powers that be in Lagos State.
The hoodlums also set ablaze the Bus Rapid Transit terminal at Oyingbo, Lagos Mainland, Lagos State
A resident who identified herself as Gloria Gbeleyi told our correspondent: “These protesters have set BRT Terminal and many new buses ablaze. Markets cannot open. We heard two people have died the hoodlums are angry. We are hearing gunshots’ sounds. Nobody can go out; they are just attacking anyone that refused to join them.”
Meanwhile, the state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has constituted a 5-man Fact-Finding Committee into the Rules of Engagement ordered and adopted by the Nigerian Army to be headed by a retired military officer not less than the rank of a General.
He said, “I address you today with a heavy heart, but not just as your elected Governor. I do so as a father and a brot- her. I do so as one who is touched by the infirmities and feelings of his people. I do so as a part of the collective humanity that we all share.
‘’Yesterday’s events were no doubt some of the darkest gradients of our history as a state and as a people. As you are perhaps aware, I have been engaging the #EndSARS protesters since Monday 12 and Tuesday 13 October 2020 respectively.’’
He added that, ‘’For clarity, it is imperative to explain that no sitting governor controls the rules of engagement of the army. I have nevertheless instructed an investigation into the orders and the adopted rules of engagement employed by the officers and men of the Nigerian Army deployed to the Lekki Toll Gate yesterday.
“This is with a view to taking this up with the high command of the Nigerian Army and seek the intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari in his capacity as the Commander-in-Chief to unravel the sequence of events that happened yesterday.
“Fellow Lagosians, while we pray for swift recovery for the injured, we are comforted that no fatalities were recorded as widely circulated on social media. The leadership of our Ministry of
Health led by the Honourable Commissioner, Professor Akin Abayomi worked through the night with different hospitals in Lekki and environs to monitor and provide support for the injured protesters.’’
2 Policemen, 6 Others Feared Dead In Oyo , Imo, Rivers As Youths, Police Clash
In Ogun at least, a senior police officer Augustine Ogbeche, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) as well as a civilian were confirmed dead when irate youths attacked a divisional police headquarters in Ado – Odo/Ota local government area of Ogun State.
The incident, which occurred at the Atan – Ota town of state command, also witnessed the D.P.O, Sikiru Olugbenga, a Superintendent of Police (S.P) sustaining serious injuries and his whereabouts still re- main unknown when the youths burned down his station.
LEADERSHIP gathered that the youths were protesting the death of one of their colleagues allegedly shot dead by the DPO who had led a team of the security operatives to dislodge the youths, who barricaded the Atan – Lusada/Agbara highway and prevented the free flow of traf- fic in the area.
A source at the scene of the incident told LEADERSHIP that the DPO was hurriedly whisked away by some policemen, while many others sustained injuries during the mêlée.
Also in Imo State, two soldiers were feared dead, while four police stations were razed.
The two soldiers were stationed at the military checkpoint, Ubomiri, on the Owerri/ Orlu expressway, just as protesting youths invaded the Nwaoriubi Police divisions in Mbaitoli local government area, Umuguma Police Division at Owerri West, Orji Police division in Owerri North, and Njaba local government area of the state, including the Of- ficers mess, razed them down and freed the suspects held in both facilities.
Also, cars parked at the police stations were burnt while others were destroyed.
A police source who pleaded anonymity said the youths invaded the different police headquarters, set the suspects free, before setting the buildings on fire.
The source said, “Police stations at Nwaoriubi, Umuguma, and Njaba have been set ablaze.
The youths set the suspects free and even pro- ceeded to the barracks. Vehicles at the premises were not spared. This is indeed a difficult time to work as a security operatives”.
When contacted, Imo Police spokesperson, Orlando Ikeokwu, confirmed the incident but maintained it was two Police headquarters, barracks, destruction of cars and freeing of the suspects in police custody.
He further disclosed that soldiers were attacked but that only one of them died.
In Oyo State, the Police Command declared that two of its per- sonnel were killed, while two others were missing in the bloody #EndSARS protest that erupted in Ibadan, Oyo State.
The police confirmed the killing of the two officers and declared the two officers missing after some protesters clashed with some cops at Ojoo Police Station.
It would be recalled that no fewer than eight people, including protesters lost their lives when the protesters clashed with the policemen.
The police had, however, said that it had lost two officers and had also declared two officers missing.
The Police Public Relations Officer of the state police command, Olugbenga Fadeyi, a Superinten- dent of Police in a statement made available to newsmen in Ibadan, Oyo State added that the police station was also set ablaze.
We’ll Ensure Justice For Victims Of Police Brutality, PMB Vows
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday vowed to ensure that justice is done for victims of police brutality in the country, saying as at the last count, no fewer than 13 States have gone ahead to establish the Judicial Panels of Inquiry as resolved by the National Economic Council to address the question of redress and justice for victims of police brutality across the country.
According to him, the States that have set up the panels so far are: La- gos, Kaduna, Delta, Ekiti, Ogun, Anambra, Enugu, Imo, Plateau, Edo, Nasarawa, Ondo and Akwa Ibom.
A statement by presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, noted that President Buhari welcomes the promptness of these necessary sub-national actions, and reaffirms his commitment to supporting the State Governments to ensure that justice is achieved for all victims of police brutality in Nigeria.
He said, ‘’Under the Chairman- ship of Vice President Yemi Osinba- jo, the National Economic Council (NEC) at its meeting on Thursday October 15, 2020 resolved to esta- blish State-level Judicial Panels of Inquiry, to investigate allegations of Police brutality and ensure that all erring personnel are brought to justice.
‘’Prior to that, the President in June 2019 signed a Bill establishing the Police Trust Fund, to mobilize additional funding for the welfare and equipping of the Nigeria Police Force. Accrual of funding into the Fund, as specified in its enabling Act, has commenced.
‘’President Buhari in 2018 ap- proved an increase in Police salaries and the Police personnel budget has seen a rise from N288 billion in the 2018 Budget to N417 billion in the proposed 2021 budget; an increase of 45 per cent.
‘’Only on Tuesday, at the com- missioning of the Nigerian Police Pension Fund Limited building, the President also reiterated continuous support for both serving and retired police personnel.’’
The president equally approved the roll out and funding of a new Community Policing Initiative, as part of a larger programme of police reform in Nigeria, aimed at rewriting the rules of engagement between the Force and citizens.
He said, “President Buhari’s commitment to extensive Police reforms should never be in doubt. The President in September 2020 signed the new Nigeria Police Act, the first comprehensive revision of the Police Act in decades.
‘’As President Buhari declared, the immediate dissolution of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), is the first step in a set of reform po- licies that will deliver a Police system accountable to the Nigerian people. The President has also approved full implementation of the report of the 2018-2019 Presidential Panel on Police Reform”.
Govs Sue For Peace
Meanwhile, state governors have implored the EndSARS pro- testers to sheathe their swords and embrace peace.
On his part, Kwara state governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq cautioned Nigerians against in- dulging in actions that could spark another civil war and turn citizens to refugees.
AbdulRazaq stated this while speaking at the 45th anniversary of the Emir of Lafiagi, Alh Sa’adu Kawu Haliru in Lafiagi, Edu local government area of Kwara state.
The governor appealed for caution and peaceful resolutions of contending issues as the #EndSARS protests.
“We need peace for Nigeria to succeed. There are various forces wanting to tear us apart. We must not allow that to happen,” he said, appealing to protesters and other citizens to embrace peace.
In Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has imposed a 24-hour curfew in parts of Port Harcourt City and Obio/Akpor local govern- ment areas as well as the entire Oyigbo local government area of the state.
Also in Imo, the state governor, Hope Uzodimma, has ordered for a dusk to dawn curfew in the state over what he termed infiltration of the peaceful protest embarked nationwide by the #EndSARS Protesters.
According to the governor, recent develop- ments in the country and the attendant attempt by unpatriotic elements in our state to buy into it to ignite social unrest in the state has made this address necessary.
“I have watched with utter dismay the attempt by unscrupulous elements to hijack an otherwise peaceful protest by our youths to unleash mayhem in the state, he stated.
Also, a day after a 24-hour curfew was imposed in Jos South and Jos North local government areas, Plateau State governor, Simon Lalong warned that no one will be allowed to jeopardise the peace of the state, lamenting that the #EndSARS protests had been hijacked and now taking the dimension of ethno-religious crisis.
He pointed out that his administration will not tolerate the actions of these miscreants as anyone who constitutes threats to the lives and properties of law abiding citizens will be dealt with decisively.
Sultan, CAN Caution On Handling Of #EndSARS Protest
The Nigerian Inter-Religious Council (NIREC) under the leadership of the co-chairmen, the Sultan of Sokoto and president-general, Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar and president of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev Samson Olasupo Adeniyi Ayokunle, have called for the effective management of #EndSARS pro- test to forestall breakdown of law and order.
Addressing a press conference yesterday in Abuja, the executive secretary, NIREC, Rev Fr Cornelius Omonokhua, called on the federal government to sway into action and bring a quick and peaceful resolution to the situation on the ground.
He said if not addressed, such protests as peaceful as they are intended, could be manipulated by unscrupulous elements in the society thus resulting in a breakdown of law and order.
He urged Nigerian youths to ease down on the protest and give the government time to respond to their demands.
‘’We are appealing to all Nigerian citizens to remain calm and law-abiding,’’ he said.
We Can No Longer Ignore Youths, Their Demands – ACF
Also, the apex northern social cultural group, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), yesterday cautioned that the Nigerian Youths and their demands can no longer be ignored, saying doing so will amount to danger.
Chairman of ACF, Chief Audu
Ogbeh, stated this in his opening remarks at a meeting of the NEC at its headquarters in Kaduna.
He said, “We must bring along the youth, our own children and reconnect with them, support them and even learn from them. We can no longer ignore them and their demands. As we only do so at our own peril.
“The current restiveness of the youth par- ticularly in the North is a potent threat to the wellbeing of the Region and the nation at large. It is my hope that now, more than ever before, is the time for all stakeholders to buckle up and save our children and secure their future”.
APC, PDP In Blame Game As Thugs Burn Parties Secretariats In Ondo
The All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yester- day threw tantrums at each other over the vio- lence perpetrated in Akure, the state capital, which led to the attack on some persons and the destruction of their secretariats.
The secretariats of the two main political parties in the state were set on fire by irate protesters.
The secretariat of theAPC along Oyeme- kun road, that was razed by the hoodlums, af- ter breaking into the office and carted away the remaining indomie noodles used for the electioneering campaign.
Few hours later unknown thugs also in- vaded the PDP secretariat at Alagbaka and set it ablaze.
In a statement titled, the APC said, “Thugs, apparently sponsored by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) today launched an attack on the residence of the State Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Engr. Ade Adetimehin.
According to the statement issued by the party spokesman, Alex Kalejaye, it took the intervention of a team of policemen from the Elerinla Police Station, led by the DPO, Emmanuel Ehichioya, to salvage the tensed situation and save the party chieftain and his family.
Reacting, the spokesman of the People Democratic Party(PDP), Kennedy Ikantu Peretti, said it was uncharitable for the leadership of APC to accuse the party of the activities of thugs who set their Secretariat on fire in Akure.
Peter said it was APC thugs that were mobilized to set ablaze the PDP State Secretariat in Akure.
He said, “There were insinuations that hoodlums who took advantage of the EndSars protest had earlier attacked the APC Secretariat because of COVID-19 palliatives that were stored up there. But it is apparent that burning down our Secretariat was a reprisal attack. A very wicked and unprovoked one for that matter”.
Act Now Before It’s Too Late Obasanjo Tells PMB
Meanwhile, former President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday called on President Muhammadu Buhari to quickly embrace measures that would bring about peaceful resolution of the on-going #EndSARS protests across the country before it is too late.
Obasanjo, in a statement, expressed concern about the ongoing protests in the country, urging the protesting youths to give peace a chance as they go about making their legitimate demands.
In the statement titled, “Violence Against Protesters in Nigeria: An Appeal for Calm”, he advised President Buhari to also restrain the military and other security agencies from using brute force.
Obasanjo noted that “the shooting and murder of unarmed protesters, no matter the level of provocation, has never been effective in suppressing public anger and frustration. Instead, such actions only reinforce the anger and frustration of the populace and close the window of dialogue and peaceful resolution.
“It is clear that Mr. President and his lieutenants did exhaust the opportunities for dialogue with the protesters before resorting to use of force. It is worse that there is denial of wrong- doing in spite of overwhelming visual evidence.
Great harm has been done but it can be stopped before it comple- tely spirals out of control.”
Obasanjo stated further that the country was at a critical moment and “the President must act now before it is too late.
“This time demands leadership and mature leadership as such”, he added.
Atiku Urges Military To Exercise Restraint
On his part, former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, told the armed forces to show restraint in engaging the protesters whom he described as peaceful.
He said it was sad that unprovoked killing of unarmed and peaceful protesters took place at the Lekki Toll gate, even while they demonstrated their patriotism by singing the National Anthem.
Atiku, in a video broadcast on the killing of protesters, urged the armed forces to face common enemies of the nation like terrorists and insurgents and not their brothers and sisters.
Underscoring his grief, Atiku said he woke up yesterday morning and did the unusual by calling to speak to all my adult children, because he wanted to be sure that they are safe.
Protesters Have Registered Historic Concern – Northern Professionals
Also Northern professionals yesterday called for an end to the #EndSARS protest, saying the protests have registered a historic level of concern that Nigerians will no longer to impunity, or leadership, which fails to accord the highest consideration to accountability, security and welfare of citizens.
The stakeholders said it was particularly important that this achievement was registered by the younger generation of Nigerians who have the more stakes in the future of the nation.
In a communiqué made available to LEADERSHIP yesterday in Abuja, they said the important lesson the nation must learn from these protests is that young Nigerians have raised the stakes in their substantive participation in all matters that determine how citizens of our nation live now and in the future.
In particular, the northern stakeholders called on governors to closely police inter-ethnic and inter-religious relations in the light of these protests, and take urgent and decisive steps to prevent further violence between communities.
They noted: “We pray for God’s mercy on the souls of those who have died in these protests and many who have been killed by criminals running riot in our country, and we ask that appropriate restitution should be made to their families,’’ the statement said.
The statement said that the signatories to the communique are Nigerians from the northern part of the country who have closely followed events related to policing and security in our country in the last two weeks.
‘’We have decided to make our opinions public at this stage out of concern that developments around protests by groups and the responses of governments could threaten and worsen our security, the economy, national stability and co-existence even more seriously than they have been in the last few years. We are even more disturbed at the turn of events, with many deaths in Lagos on Tuesday night, and the fear that we have not heard the last of avoidable, violent conflicts and deaths in other parts of the country.