Northern leaders on Tuesday converged on the nation’s capital, Abuja, to deliberate on the way out of the myriad of challenges confronting the region, lamenting that the North is now facing existential threats. Some of the key leaders from the region who met at the International Conference Centre ICC in Abuja were the 1993 presidential candidate of National Republican Convention NRC, Bashir Ibrahim Tofa; former Federal Capital Territory FCT minister, Dr Aliyu Modibbo Umar former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Yayale Ahmed; former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Attahiru Jega; former Governor of Kaduna state, Ahmed Maikarfi; former Minister of Defence and one-time National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP, Alhaji Haliru Bello; former House Speaker Umar Ghali Na’abba, Senator Abdul Ningi and former Minister of Interior and ex-Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazzau.
Others were former ministers under President Goodluck Jonathan, Kabiru Tanimu and Labaran Maku; Ex-Governors Attahiru Bafarawa and Abdulfatah Ahmed among a host of others. Addressing newsmen after the meeting, Tofa announced the formation of a new group, named ‘Abuja Roundtable’. He said it is an independent, non-partisan and non-governmental organization founded by eminent sons and daughters of Northern Nigeria to address the ever-evolving challenges facing the region.
Speaking on behalf of the group, Tofa said; “These challenges are many and they cut across the region. These have manifested in the collapse of institutions and services, widespread poverty and inequality, mutual suspicion, endemic insecurity, disunity, despair and a dearth of hope across the region. Every community has challenges, but to overcome challenges, there is need to admit their existence”. He said all is not well with the North and urged leaders to take responsibility and proffer solutions. “We have no difficulty admitting all is not well with Northern Nigeria and taking primary or vicarious responsibility for the current state of affairs. We must all – leaders, followers and passive onlookers – accept our share of responsibility but beyond that, we must collectively resolve to take action and remedy what went wrong going forward.
“We owe this to ourselves and to succeeding generations who would bear the consequences of our actions and inactions even though they bear no responsibility for how we got here. No parent would wish to bequeath a precarious future to his child and no price is too high to pay to secure the future of succeeding generations of Northerners. “We are fully aware attaining these objectives will not be easy as the conditions and forces of division have taken root and have been left to fester unchecked over a long period. But the journey of a thousand miles, they say, begins with a single step.
“We are also hopeful that, as collective victims who have paid the price of division, our people have arrived at the realisation that unity is required to resolve other challenges afflicting the region. Recent consultations with eminent political, traditional and religious leaders across the North are encouraging. “They reveal a strong desire to remove all obstacles to Northern unity and a commitment to overcome its challenges. We will widen and deepen these consultations in the coming weeks, months and, if necessary, years in order to attain our objectives.”
On the way forward, Tofa said: “The most urgent task, therefore, facing the peoples of Northern Nigeria is to overcome fear and suspicion, jettison unhealthy division and create consensus around common goals and aspirations. These are necessary for creating the enabling environment to address our most stubborn challenges such as insecurity, widespread poverty, collapse of institutions and services, etc so that order, peace and prosperity may once again return to our region. “We are the ones who occupy this region, we are the ones who suffer the consequences of its diminution and we are the ones who must remedy the situation. It is in our common and enlightened interest to do so.
“We would like to seize this opportunity to call on all stakeholders, particularly our political, business, technocratic, traditional, religious, community and youth leaders to support this initiative to recreate the entire Northern landscape and make it conducive to a future worthy of succeeding generations, regardless of ethnic, sectarian and sectional considerations. “A new, united, secure and prosperous North is possible but we have to work for it collectively in equity, good faith, mutual respect, love and goodwill towards each other.”
Speaking on the state of insecurity, he said: “The state of insecurity across Nigeria is worrisome, but the state of insecurity in Northern Nigeria has reached existential proportions, threatening to render the region hostile to civilized existence. We acknowledge the efforts of the relevant authorities at both the state and federal levels to deal with the difficult, complex and evolving security situation but it is becoming clear on a daily basis that a lot more of these efforts is required. The pain, agony and unwarranted suffering of ordinary people across the region has become completely unbearable as agriculture, education, commerce and the normal rhythm of life have been severely disrupted.
“To bring the state of insecurity in Northern Nigeria under control, more and better collaboration among the states across the region and between the states and federal authorities is required. There is also a need for more and better coordination among the military and security agencies and between them and the civilian population. “However, the ultimate remedy to the state of insecurity in Northern Nigeria is a collective resolve by all Northern communities to live in peace with each other, in equity and justice, and quality investment the three tiers of government, as well as the private sector, in human capital, agriculture, healthcare and infrastructure, particularly power, transport and telecommunication.
“These investments are necessary for job creation to catch up with our rapid growth in population. No effort should be spared to bring an end to the wanton death and destruction that have been unleashed on the region. “We cannot blame anyone for this failure but ourselves. Basic education is the responsibility of local and state authorities. In this respect, our local and state authorities have consistently failed us over the years. We are not building enough classes to cater for our population, which is growing out of control.
“In most communities, the classes are exposed to the weather and not conducive to learning. Our teacher training institutions are too few and poorly funded, while teachers are at the lowest rung of the ladder in our communities and among the worst paid. “So-called basic education commissions at both the federal and state levels, have become suffocating bureaucracies with little, if any impact, on the quality of basic education in our states.”
The Taliban held their first official news conference in Kabul on Tuesday since the shock seizure of the city, declaring they wanted peaceful relations with other countries and would respect the rights of women within the framework of Islamic law.
“We don’t want any internal or external enemies,” the movement’s main spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, said. Mujahid, who before today had been a shadowy figure issuing statements on behalf of the militants, said women would be allowed to work and study and “will be very active in society but within the framework of Islam”.
The Taliban would not seek retribution against former soldiers and members of the Western-backed government, he said, insisting that “everyone is forgiven.” He added that the movement was granting an amnesty for former Afghan government soldiers as well as contractors and translators who worked for international forces.
The Taliban has declared intention to enforce Islamic law across the world after overrunning civil authority in Afghanistan. One of the commanders, Muhammed Arif Mustafa made the announcement in an interview with CNN.
Mustafa spoke right inside a United States base abandoned by Afghan forces after they ran out of food, leaving weapons and ammunition. He recalled how the Taliban fought U.S. troops over the years despite more sophisticated assets and equipment.
“Many times we attacked this base when the Americans were here. We did operations, we were using IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices). “The Americans had their helicopters, weapons and tanks on the ground. But we, Mujahideen, resisted very well. It is our belief that, one day, Mujahideen will have victory. Islamic law will come to not just Afghanistan, but all over the world.
“We are not in a hurry; we believe it will come one day. Jihad will not end until the last day”, Mustafa vowed. Mawlavey Kamil, Taliban Governor, Andar District boasted that the fundamentalist group, which controlled most of Afghanistan in the late 1990s, is stronger.
“The Taliban of 2001 were new. This Taliban is experienced, disciplined. Our activities are going well, we are obeying our leaders,” he said. There are concerns about the rights of women. As fighters took territories from government forces in July, they entered Azizi Bank in Kandahar and ordered women out.
The Jihadists led the bankers home and warned them not to return to their jobs. They, however, approved their replacement with male relatives. “Islam has given rights to everyone equally. Women have their own rights. How much rights Islam has given to women, we will give them that much”, Kamil said.
The Taliban seized power two weeks before America’s final troop withdrawal. In 2020, former President Donald Trump pulled out thousands from Afghanistan and Iraq. President Joe Biden put the blame of the fall of Kabul on the nationals. “It is wrong to order American troops to step up when Afghanistan’s own armed forces would not,” he said.
Since 2001, the US has spent more than $2trillion on the war. Thousands of Afghans are trying to leave but only hundreds have made it out yet.
The Taliban has renamed Afghanistan the ‘Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’ after its fighters swept into the capital, Kabul, a bustling metropolis of six million that has turned into a male-dominated city without police or traffic controls.
The Taliban has renamed Afghanistan the ‘Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’ after its fighters swept into the capital, Kabul, a bustling metropolis of six million that has turned into a male-dominated city without police or traffic controls.
President Muhammadu Buhari has stated that construction of highways, railways and creation of jobs, will end the reigns of terrorism in Africa. Buhari made the comment in an article published on Sunday in the UK’s Financial Times.
The article titled ‘Africa needs more than US military aid to defeat terror’, reflected on the state of terrorism globally, following the withdrawal of US troops in Afghanistan and the invasion of the country by the Taliban. The President noted that the threat of terrorism now “burns fiercely” in Africa.
He suggested that to defeat terrorism, what Africa needs most from the US “is a comprehensive partnership to close the disparity between our economic and demographic growth”. “Ultimately, Africans need not swords but ploughshares to defeat terror,” Buhari added.
“Yes, we require the technological and intelligence support that our armies do not possess. “Yet the boots we need on the ground are those of constructors, not the military. Africa’s fight against terror is the world’s fight. “We will defeat them one highway, one rail link — and one job — at a time.”
In one of his vicious sermons in the 2000s, Mr Pantami had prayed, “Oh God, give victory to the Taliban and to al-Qaeda.”
Minister of communications and digital economy Isa Pantami, Taliban militant group, and Muaz Magaji Minister of communications and digital economy Isa Pantami, Taliban militant group, and Muaz Magaji Muaz Magaji, Chairman, Kano State Gas Pipeline Project Delivery and Gas Industrialisation Committee, has celebrated the victory of the Taliban terrorist group in Afghanistan, prayed for by Isa Pantami, minister of communications and digital economy.
Mr Magaji, who was first sacked for celebrating the death of the late Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, and later reappointed to his current position, described unfolding developments in Afghanistan as a win-win.
In a manner not dissimilar from minister of communications and digital economy, Isa Pantami, who openly declared support for the terrorist group, Mr Magaji said the Taliban taking over power in Afghanistan is a “win”.
In one of his vicious sermons in the 2000s, Mr Pantami had prayed, saying, “This jihad is an obligation for every single believer, especially in Nigeria… Oh God, give victory to the Taliban and to al-Qaeda (Allahumma’ nṣur Ṭālibān wa-tanẓīm al Qā‘ida).”
Reacting to a story in the Daily New Hausa, announcing the Taliban government in Afghanistan, Mr Magaji said “It’s a WIN- WIN in Afghanistan today!” Mr Magaji becomes the second government official among members of the ruling All Progressive Congress party who will openly declare support and endorse a terrorist group.
Taliban fighters entered the city of Kabul on Sunday, hijacked power, forcing President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani to flee the country.
A former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Professor Attahiru Jega, has been described as the best choice to emerge as President of Nigeria, come 2023 general elections, Page 36 learnt.
The declaration was made in Kano, by the Chairman of the Jega Supporters Movement of Nigeria, Comrade Ahamad Tijjani, saying that, Jega’s achievements in the Academic sector and as Chairman of INEC, stand him out.
He further described Jega as a man with strong sense of ethics and morality, that exhibits the type of Leadership Nigerians need to move the country forward. His exact words: “Professor Attahiru Jega as INEC Chairman founded security in the voting system, such that the electorate felt comfortable to come out and vote. Everyone can remember how voters were accredited early in the day, and how voting took place at the same time.
“Indeed, under Jega’s stewardship as Chairman of INEC, Nigeria has witnessed the most peaceful and successful election ever in 2015, where an incumbent President handed over to the opposition Candidate. “He raised Nigeria’s democratic reputation abroad with the way he enhanced and strengthened the INEC through various modifications he introduced.
“On appointment at INEC, he addressed the issue of lack of integrity of the voters register in the country by totally overhauling it. “He also founded new polling stations out of the overwhelmed ones in place. “His tenure as the Vice Chancellor of the Bayero University, Kano, BUK, brought about a lot of transformations and raised the institution to the level of the best university then, according to the Nigerian Universities Commission’s, NUC, rating.
“He was a determined opponent of the military rule in the 1990s who fought tirelessly for democracy in the country as President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU. “Jega had proved himself to be a man of strong sense of ethics and morality with exemplary leadership qualities of courage and consistency in the fight for the autonomy in the academic sector.
“We saw what he achieved in 1992 on the issue of welfare agreement and salary increase as well as increased funding of the universities in Nigeria. “It was Jega’s ASUU team that recommended the idea of Education Tax on Companies that gave birth to the Education Trust Fund, ETF, through a 1993 decree.
“With these exemplary performances and many more not mentioned, we call on Jega to accept our invitation for him to join the presidential race come 2023 and for Nigerians, men, women, young and old, North and South to come together for him.
“We are confident that he can rebuild the battered Nigerian economy, education, security situation, trade and others and also reset Nigeria on the path of greatness again. Let us keep all sentiments aside and face reality.”
A 32-year-old businessman, Ezekiel Igbokwe, has been arrested by the Ogun State Police Command for allegedly killing his wife’s lover, Victor Olatundun. Igbokwe was said to have killed Olatundun after he caught him having sex with his wife at their matrimonial home.
The suspect allegedly committed the offence at about 12am at Peace Lodge on Itura Street, Awa Ijebu, Ijebu-North Local Government Area of Ogun State. The suspect, who committed the crime on Wednesday, July 27, was arrested by the police the following day.
Igbokwe and his 28-year-old wife were among the 23 suspects paraded at the Ogun State Police Command headquarters, Eleweran, Abeokuta, on Thursday, for various offences ranging from murder to illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.
Igbokwe, who said he was a businessman, explained that he had returned from his trip to Onitsha and met Victor on top of his wife on their matrimonial bed. He said he picked a machete in the toilet and cut the victim in the neck and hand. Olatundun reportedly died on the way to the hospital.
Igbokwe, who deals in electronics, said he was born in Ago Iwoye, Ogun State. He said, “I travelled to Onitsha on July 25, and when I came back on July 27, I met a man inside my room making love to my wife. Then we started fighting. The man was stronger than me. When I saw he could overpower me, I got a cutlass in my toilet and dealt him blows in the hand and neck. On the way to the hospital, the fuel in the car finished and he died.”
Igbokwe said he committed the crime due to anger, adding that he never meant to kill the victim. He claimed that he had never met Olatundun before, saying he also never suspected that his wife was having an extra-marital affair with anyone.
PUNCH Metro learnt that Igbokwe and his wife, Juliet, have three children aged nine, seven and five. Juliet, who sobbed intermittently, said her alleged lover had been pressurising her for a relationship for some time. She explained that she had always told him she was married, but the victim never gave up until he ended up at their matrimonial home on that night.
Juliet, who said she sold snuff, said Victor was her supplier and he pestered her for six months before she finally gave in. She said she suspected that the deceased used a charm on her, as she could not explain how it all happened. She said, “He had been disturbing me that he wanted to marry me, but I said I was married.
“On the day of the incident, I really can’t say if he used a charm on me. All I know is that he called me that he wanted to see me and I told him not to come; he knew my house and when he came, I didn’t know what happened. “He used to come and deliver snuff to me in the house. On the day of the incident, he told me he was coming from somewhere and that it was already late. He wanted to sleep in our place till the next day. He didn’t know that my husband was away. He tried to sleep with me, but later he didn’t.”
Juliet, who claimed that she got married to her husband in 2005, said the husband did not take good care of her and the children. She said their marriage had been turbulent and fraught with fights and quarrels. The mother of three said each time there was a fight, her husband would leave the house for months.
Taliban refers to students in Pashto. The Pashto language belongs to the Pashtun ethnic group in Afghanistan, where the Taliban originated from. The border that the English created more than 100 years ago in Afghanistan runs through the Pashtun territory, separating it between southern Afghanistan and northern Pakistan. The Taliban are Pashtun and have a homeland in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Afghanistan has several ethnic groups, but the 2004 constitution recognizes only 14 ethnic groups:
Pashai. The Afghanistan’s population is 99.7% Muslim (Sunni 84.7 – 89.7%, Shia 10 – 15%), other 0.3% (2009 est.) This means that all the 14 ethnic groups in Afghanistan are all Muslims with Pashtun ethnic group as the majority as well as the economic backbone of the country with the majority of the mineral deposit in the Pashunistan region of the country. The Taliban is therefore not a religious fundamentalism, but rather ethnic nationalism.
What Kind of Government Do Afghans Want?According to a survey by the Afghan Institute for Strategic Studies, the Taliban and the majority of the people in Afghanistan want an Emirate System because the current regime’s legitimacy has been drastically affected by flawed elections, weak governance, and corruption. But the government and its partners (U.S., U.K.) want electoral democracy to continue in the country under the presidential system, where the President controls the wealth and resources of the country.
Whilst the government and its partners (US and UK) seek to maintain the current electoral system as the main mechanism for the distribution and balance of power, over 80 percent of the people of Afghanistan say that they support and endorse a return of the Taliban’s Emirate system and against a political regime where the Head of State is directly involved in the distribution of wealth and resources of the country. Furthermore, they are against the claim of the government, referring to the constitution, and itself as the sovereign authority in the country, one that is directly elected by the people and therefore represents the nation and abolishing regional power. By contrast, the people supported the Taliban brand of Islamic Emirate system, which is principally a regional system of government ruled by Islamic laws, as “the Islamic solution” to the country’s problems as well as women’s rights and liberties, social equality, and freedom of expression. The Taliban, highlighting the government’s ineffectiveness in both governance and law enforcement in the past two decades, advertises its Islamic emirate as a religious-political entity that represents God’s sovereignty on earth and therefore an acceptable rule for the Muslim nation and against the control of the regional mineral resources by the Federal Government of Afghanistan. This observation shows that due to the country’s ethnic structure, democratic values and processes are foreign and not supported by the Afghan people. The people of Afghanistan supported the Taliban’s Emirate system and refuse an electoral democracy. Ethnic regionalism has finally taken hold in Afghanistan. Where does the Taliban get their weapons? The bulk of the money for arms comes from opium production, drug trafficking, kidnapping and natural resource extraction. Drugs alone filled their coffers with $450 million and added to everything else, and they went up by $1.5 billion a year. They purchased arms in Pakistan, Russia and Iran. And get Saudi Arabia’s financial backing. They also obtained arms from those left behind by the US. The Afghan troops who surrendered to the Taliban were also Taliban themselves working as spies and compromising the security of the United States. This was an untenable war for the American people. The driving force of the Taliban is their ethnic nationalism and not religious fundamentalism, as all ethnic groups in the country are Muslims.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has nabbed Nigerian medical doctor, Patrick Nwaokwu, for his alleged involvement in multimillion-dollar healthcare fraud.
Nwaokwu was arrested on July 9, barely 24 hours after the United States issued a warrant of arrest on July 8. Peoples Gazette reported that court documents state the medical doctor was arraigned alongside his associates, Musa Bangura and Johanah Napoleon, on charges of “conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud; conspiracy to commit false statements relating to health care matters, and false statements relating to health care matters”.
They were accused of selling fraudulent transcripts and diplomas, listing courses which unqualified individuals purportedly took as well as their grades. The nurses were subsequently employed at various healthcare facilities in Maryland.
According to the report, the document says the FBI in 2019 received information that Nwaokwu and Bangura created illegal transcripts and certificates through a privately-owned nursing school (Nursing School 1) in northern Virginia.
“From August 8, 2008 to June 30, 2013, Nursing School 1 was a nursing school in Virginia until it was shut down for violating certain state regulations by the Virginia Board. “After that time, Nwaokwu and Bangura continued to illegitimately operate Nursing School 1 as a place where people could go to simply purchase illegitimate LPN transcripts and certifications that are backdated to June 30, 2013,” the 35-page document was quoted as stating.
It said that “each transcript purports that the student completed 1,700 hours of nursing education before graduating from Nursing School 1.” The document also detailed that the Nursing School 1 students paid between $6,000 and $18,000 for the transcripts and certificates, the report added.
In 2020, two separate FBI undercover operations obtained the fraudulent degrees and approximately 175 of Nwaokwu’s nursing graduates have applied to the Maryland Board of Nursing.
In October 2020, millions in Nigeria marched for two weeks in a revolt that shook the world. From Badagry to Yola, youth and workers rose in unity against the barbarism of police brutality and bad governance. Raising radical slogans and social media hashtags, and mobilizing spontaneous rallies, the rebellion was the most democratic movement in the history of Nigeria.
The present shape of Nigeria’s ruling-class oppression goes back to the mid-1980s, with the imposition, by the military junta of Ibrahim Babangida, of a comprehensive Structural Adjustment Program (SAP). The SAP was a state campaign to implement the harsh and anti-welfarist conditions required by the loans taken from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Workers and youth have resisted the SAP, which has led to a drastic reduction in government sponsorship of social infrastructure like education, healthcare, housing, and job creation. SAP is why most industries in glass, textiles, agriculture, automobile, and so on, were decimated by privatization and other neoliberal policies that transfer public wealth into private pockets, such as public–private partnerships. The business empires of a few billionaires are then bolstered through monopoly, hoarding, and other diabolical policies, while millions of people live in abject poverty.
The country’s legacy of police brutality is the kernel of these decades of oppression, as epitomized by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigerian Police Force. Following the unit’s founding in 1992 amid a rash of kidnappings and robberies in the city of Lagos, SARS officers, often dressed in plainclothes, were ostensibly tasked with the investigation and prosecution of individuals suspected of “violent crimes.” The covert unit has since been implicated in a long and sordid history of abuse and brutality against civilians, including extrajudicial killings, sexual violence, extortion, blackmail, and forced disappearances; it has also been widely viewed as facilitating election rigging for the ruling parties. Popular resistance against the unit began with the birth of the #EndSARS movement in 2017, when youth activists began to organize mass mobilizations via social media. In spite of the alleged implication of some of these youth in cybercrime rings, the movement gained momentum when its founders were joined by other groups of activists at protests in the Lagos neighborhood of Ojota, which led to a rally at several nearby media outlets and police stations. Soon, agitation against the criminal tendencies of SARS officers became widespread as citizens testified publicly about illegal harassment, torture, and extortion by the police. By August 2019, some activists who had been part of the 2017 and 2018 #EndSARS protests had organized the #RevolutionNow campaign.
Subsequently, the ruling class, after pulling all its weight to win reelection for President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019, embarked on a sweeping campaign to authorize anti-people policies, including deregulation, the devaluation of the Nigerian naira, and refusal to require a meager 30,000 naira minimum wage. Buhari’s government also harshly suppressed two general strikes, in May 2016 and September 2020. These followed seven earlier general strikes, the last of which was in January 2012, against the removal of fuel subsidies, which involved workers in over 45 cities and towns across Nigeria.
Today, as workers’ power grows, from nurses’ and doctors’ to lecturers’ strikes, many sleep with one eye open, as the hydra-headed horrors of violence and war rear their heads through both state and individual acts of terror. The Boko Haram war has shed the blood of thousands and turned citizens into “internally displaced persons” overnight. Hundreds of villages and towns are currently controlled by the insurgents. Bandits whose specialty is mass kidnapping, including recent abductions in the town of Kankara and at the Federal College of Forestry Mechanization in the state of Kaduna, have been terrorizing residents across the country.
Popular responses to these developments have taken two forms: first, self-determination (secessionist) groups, like the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the Yoruba Nation agitators; and second, the #RevolutionNow movement, which has been the most consistent in sustaining struggles and has deployed strategies that have had a great influence on the wider #EndSARS movement, as well as on worker and youth struggles more generally. #RevolutionNow is also firm in its principle of the unity of all the oppressed.
Below, I will examine both the rise of this revolutionary movement and its demands for self-determination, while dissecting the twin faces of state and individual terrorism that strengthen the arms of war. The two souls of revolution—youth revolts, like #EndSARS, and the rise in strikes that build workers’ power, like the Judiciary Staff Union’s shutdown of the courts in May of this year—must unite in order to give birth to a new Nigeria that rises from the ruins of the old.
Workers’ Power Without a General Strike
In 2019, there were several major protests led by #RevolutionNow—campaigning alongside civil society groups like Concerned Nigerians, Enough Is Enough, and others—against the shrinking of public spaces. On August 3, two days before a planned #RevolutionNow national protest, democracy activist and former presidential candidate Omoyele Sowore was arrested, gestapo-style, by government security forces. Protests continued from August 5 until December 24, when Sowore was finally released. The Coalition for Revolution continued mass mobilizations from January 2020 until the one-year commemoration of the August 5 uprising, when protests were held in 14 cities and towns, including Abuja and Lagos, where over one hundred protesters were arrested and released within 48 hours.
As soon as comrades were released from the mass crackdown on August 5, planning for the next mass actions on October 1, Nigeria’s Independence Day, began. In Abuja, protests took place at two venues, Unity Fountain and Berger.
Alongside 27 others, I was arrested around 9:30 a.m. at Unity Fountain by a group of more than 50 armed members of the government’s COVID-19 task force. They came in four vans, jam-packed like sardines, while the protesters observed social-distancing precautions and wore face masks. Nevertheless, they attacked, seizing our masks and beating and torturing us, while threatening to kill us if we did not stop the agitations for revolution. Forty-one other comrades from the city of Gwagwalada, who had joined the Berger protests, were also targeted; after being beaten, they were brought to join us at Eagle Square, where we were being detained. In Lagos, protests were held at Ikeja Underbridge, with hundreds of protesters braving the violence of the police. About 15 comrades were arrested and beaten. Such brutality against the protests occurred all over the country.
However, by October 1 the momentum had grown so much that the federal government had to cancel all Independence Day celebrations, with widespread mobilizations for mass actions underway—including on the part of self-determination groups like the Yoruba Nation agitators.
On the day itself, it was only the #RevolutionNow campaigners who stormed the streets. In Lagos, about a thousand protesters marched from Ojota to the neighborhood of Maryland. Actions took place in 26 other cities and towns, including Benin, Port Harcourt, Yola, Kano, Bauchi, Abeokuta, Ibadan, Ore, Osogbo, and Abuja. On the heels of a betrayal of the people’s trust on the part of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), which had undemocratically called off a general strike scheduled for September 28, the October 1 protests finally broke the state’s hold on the opening of public spaces.
The current leaders of both national labor organizations have close ties to the state and tend to make more excuses for state actions than do government officials themselves. The general strike of April 2016, for instance, was intentionally sabotaged by the labor bureaucracy as they compromised with the Buhari government. State councils were mobilized in lackluster fashion while cowardly statements were made over the airwaves, demoralizing workers. The Joint Action Front and United Action for Democracy, leading radical groups in 2016, had been weakened through inactivity on the part of their leadership, as well by as the loyalty of many key activists to so-called class collaboration with the “progressive bourgeoisie” in the All Progressives Congress, one of Nigeria’s two main political parties. Neither group, despite many efforts at revival, has yet recovered from these missteps.
However, workers keep going on sectoral strike upon strike, from nurses and doctors to the current judiciary workers’ strikes over financial autonomy of the executive branch of government, which have continued for a month as of this writing. In May, the Kaduna chapter of the NLC led a five-day workers’ strike in Kaduna State, where Nasir el-Rufai, a proud fascist, is governor. Labor has repeatedly brought state operations to a halt and fought off state thugs who are being sponsored to violently attack demonstrations.
But the bureaucracy still has considerable power, and it has shown that it can successfully suppress agitation for a general strike within the labor movement. In fact, many of those who participated in the #EndSARS protests were workers who would have loved their unions to formally join the movement and call a general strike. This must be why by October 18, agitation for a youth strike began at the barricades, especially in the Alausa district just north of Lagos, which was the organizational center of the revolt.
#EndSARS: 14 Days That Shook the World
As noted above, October 1, 2020, was a watershed, following the labor bureaucracy’s cancellation of the September 28 general strike. Confidence among activists was largely restored; as video of SARS brutality in Sapele trended globally, youth organizers began to plan a major intervention through the #EndSARS campaign. But, after only two of the campaign’s agenda setters on Twitter proposed actionable tactics, Omoyele Sowore of #RevolutionNow took up the baton with a proposal to occupy police headquarters all over the country; at the same time, Runtown, a well-known songwriter and producer, proposed a protest rally and march on Lagos Island.
By October 6, while 31 protesters who had been arrested during the #RevolutionNow protests on October 1 were being released, Sowore led a protest of thousands to police headquarters in Abuja. A small group of youth led by Rinu, a Twitter influencer and student activist, surrounded the Lagos Police Command with mats and music. About ten #RevolutionNow comrades joined them, and proceeded to hold a vigil at the Police Command. By the second day, protesters moved to the Lagos State Assembly Complex in Alausa, where hundreds of protesters joined. On the third day, Rinu and others in the leadership met with the Lagos State Assembly speaker Mudashiru Obasa and other legislators. Some agreements were drafted. Then, the leaders proceed to call off the protest—without consulting with the hundreds of protesters still dancing and singing outside.
Meanwhile, a young street musician named Small Doctor led over two thousand protesters from the Lagos suburb of Agege to a major roundabout in nearby Allen, where they merged with a group of hundreds led by Juwon Sanyaolu of #RevolutionNow. Together, the two groups moved toward Alausa. On their arrival, a congress was called, moderated by Sanyaolu. Thousands agreed to continue the actions “until the president responds,” given that the State Assembly has no constitutional power to dismantle SARS. Protesters also agreed to block the Lagos–Ibadan Expressway, hold a festival, and return for an evening congress.
By evening, the police moved in to stop protesters from another vigil, citing fears of chaos and the rumor that the protest was about to be hijacked. #RevolutionNow comrades immediately intervened, ultimately prevailing in the debate with the police over their right to hold another vigil. Organizers proceeded to set up committees on security, discipline, and the provision of food. The open debates with the police and among the protesters were aired live on social media, as well as covered by the Sahara Reporters news agency and the BBC.
By the second morning, thousands had joined the protests at Alausa, at which point a culture of congresses and democratic engagement and debate became the norm. For two days, the protesters debated whether the occupation should have leadership or demands. Many cited lessons learned from the betrayals of the labor bureaucracy and previous protests; accordingly, the first proposal, regarding the creation of leadership roles, was rejected. But the second proposal, to craft a list of demands, was accepted. So, at an afternoon congress on October 9, led by Sanyaolu, the following five demands were issued:
1) The immediate release of all arrested protesters
2) Justice for all deceased victims of police brutality and appropriate compensation for their families
3) The formation, within a period of ten days, of an independent body to oversee the investigation and prosecution of all reported police misconduct
4) The implementation of psychological evaluations of all disbanded SARS personnel prior to any redeployment, to be verified by an independent body
5) An increase to police salaries to provide adequate compensation for their role protecting lives and property.
The Buhari government did not immediately respond to these #5for5 demands. With help from singer-songwriter Davido and others, they were then presented to the inspector general of police. Over the next few days, the government made no concrete promises, and the revolt continued to grow all over the country. A congress in Alausa on October 13 saw the addition of two other demands, calling for the resignation of the inspector general and President Buhari, and the hashtag #EndBadGovernance began to trend widely. By October 17, over 253 barricades had been mounted all over Lagos, even in far-flung neighborhoods.
Days earlier, state-sponsored thugs had been unleashed on protesters in the neighborhoods of Alausa, Lekki, and Oworonshoki. Protesters in Ketu, in particular, were the target of inter-cult attacks, while the police never intervened. Ruling party leader Bola Tinubu, along with President Buhari’s advisor Itse Sagay, had written on October 18 that the Buhari government should employ force to quell the protest. Many prominent former activists, including Debo Adeniran, Jiti Ogunye, and others, supported this position. Lagos State governor Jide Sanwo-Olu was also holding meetings with former activists and military and police leadership about how to stop the protests. In Abuja, thugs engaged protesters, burned their cars, and even threatened them—all live on air, while the police watched.
The #EndSARS protesters were aware of the credibility of such threats. The first martyr of the movement, Jimoh Isiaka, a student at Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, had been felled by police bullets in Ogbomosho on October 11. All barricades of the #EndSARS nationwide held candlelight vigils and rallies in his honor. He was but one among numerous protesters who would be killed for their participation in the movement in the days to come.
A youth strike was declared at the Alausa barricade congress on the night of October 18, and by 5 a.m. the next morning, all workplaces were closed, given that transit routes were shut down. Only the protesters, in their millions, had free movement. The strike began to place increasing pressure on the working class, and activists called on the NLC and TUC to make it official by declaration. This was not to be.
By the morning of October 20, rumors began to circulate that the army was deploying soldiers to quell the protests. Radio jingles telling parents to withdraw their children from the barricades filled the airwaves. State propagandists and social media influencers started blackmailing the revolt. Jiti Ogunye called it “anarchy” on Facebook, while civil rights campaigner Segun “Segalink” Awosanya (another former supporter of #EndSARS) called it an “insurrection” on Twitter. Meanwhile, activists at the major barricades held meetings and made plans to strengthen their security committees.
By 5:30 p.m. on the twentieth, three vans with 15 soldiers stormed the Alausa barricade. We were not caught totally off guard, as we had been warned by those at the Allen occupation, where the protesters had swarmed the soldiers before they could attack. In shock, soldiers had pleaded with the protesters, claiming they had come to secure peace. While they left, news filtered in that in the same manner, three vans of soldiers had attacked the Lekki barricade, where they had shot and killed a number of protestors. DJ Switch, a well-known musician and supporter of the #EndSARS movement, aired the attack live.
A congress was called immediately. Most argued that we had to continue despite the killings. The security committee started serious discussions and activities. By 7:45 p.m., the police vans withdrew, but they began to make new preparations, and to block newly arrived protesters from joining the vigil. Moreover, the police succeeded in shutting off the streetlights, meaning the barricade now depended on the headlights of nearby cars to see. A few minutes after 8 p.m., seven vans with about 45 soldiers suddenly sped in from the expressway.
Over a thousand protesters were still sitting on the ground, angry and vigilant. The security committee confronted the soldiers immediately. This time, the soldiers acted more fiercely, jumping down from the vans and taking shooting positions, led by an officer wielding a pistol. A mass of protesters swiftly converged, forming a ring around the soldiers, whom they outnumbered twenty to one. Gbenga Komolafe of the Federation of Informal Workers, also a co-convener of the Coalition for Revolution, stood behind us as the engagement with the soldiers continued. He described the mood thus: “I have never seen soldiers armed to the teeth and ready for action get so jittery … they were practically shivering.”
Cornered, the officer approached us and spoke to the coordinators: “You guys think you are powerful. I must clear this place. It’s orders from above.” We shouted back at him! His troops then retreated, and we followed close behind until they got in their vans and moved farther away.
The security committee started the evacuation of all the protesters at the Alausa barricade. But as it was underway, police and soldiers attacked, unleashing a hail of bullets and tear gas. Two protesters were shot, as witnessed by injured comrades who were hiding. But the evacuation was still largely successful.
At Lekki, however, a full-scale massacre was being conducted by soldiers and police, supervised by governor Sanwo-Olu himself. In the time since the protest, a judicial panel of inquiry has seen all the evidence from that night of bloodshed, but no one has much confidence in the panel. Justice, in the view of most of the youth, lay with the 2020 second wave of protests #EndSARS Season 2.*
After the massacre, many angry youth reacted by storming government establishments, including courthouses and police stations. More than twenty stations were burned in Lagos alone. Palaces and houses belonging to ruling-class elements—including the king of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu, and Bola Tinubu—were attacked and looted. While these attacks were uncoordinated and poorly managed, the items emerging from these residences led to a great revelation: state governments and politicians were stealing and hoarding relief shipments intended to allay the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic! By comparison, the “great lockdown” had been enforced for nearly three months without citizens being given access to any of these supplies. In fact, #RevolutionNow campaigners had led a massive “pots and pans” protest online in April 2020 demanding access to healthcare.
The largest uncovering and mass rescue of COVID-19 relief was in the city of Jos, in Plateau State, where hundreds of thousands were pictured helping themselves to foodstuffs that had been withheld from the people. Lagos politicians were repackaging the COVID-19 relief supplies as “stomach infrastructure,” handed out to party members and supporters during birthday celebrations and other events.
The Lekki massacre halted the #EndSARS revolts, but it never broke the movement. As I write, the hashtag #EndSARS continues to trend. Illustrating the resilience of the movement, activists initiated #OccupyLekkiTollGate on February 13, 2021 at the city’s new toll plaza, against the plan of the Lagos government to start charging drivers to enter the city. Forty-six protesters were arrested, beaten, and tortured, yet the movement prevailed: as of this writing, the toll plaza remains closed.
There was, however, one thing that was missing in the #EndSARS revolt: general strikes by workers. After all, it was at the outset of the youth strike that the #EndSARS revolt became most effective. The state responded by drowning the protests in blood, from Lekki to Abuja. Even journalists were not spared. Pelumi Onifade, a 19-year-old reporter with GBUA TV was murdered for filming the recovery of pandemic relief supplies. Earlier, Onifade had broken news of the horrible event where a member of the House of Representatives, Abiodun Bolarinwa, shot sporadically at protesters in the Abule Egba neighborhood in Lagos, killing three, on October 21, 2020.
The Impact of War
As noted above, a series of sectional wars and upheavals are taking place across the country, from Boko Haram to bandit attacks, and most recently attacks by unknown gunmen. The federal government has been openly appealing for peace, but, as we have seen, the same government continues to conduct massacres of peaceful protesters, among other terrorist acts.
Boko Haram has taken over a quarter of Borno State while also holding on to several villages across the northeast. It is now very clear that the intent of Boko Haram (and ISIS) is . nation.” Over time, the epidemic of violence it has unleashed has weakened the Nigerian army—an effect only exacerbated by the fact that generals and officers in the army are more interested in the multi-million-dollar bounties involved than they are in defeating the insurgents. Numerous exposés have shown that the military is compromised and shattered. As General Tukur Buratai and other service chiefs have been forced out by President Buhari, it has been discovered that billions of dollars budgeted for ammunition have been looted. Nevertheless, the same Buratai and others have now been appointed “presidential ambassadors.”
Today, battles are ongoing between the state and Boko Haram; bandits and farmers/peasants in the northwest and central Nigeria; herders and farmers in the southwest; and the state and IPOB/Eastern Security Network (ESN) in the southeast. In all of these conflicts, from north to south, it is working people who suffer the most. The Buhari government continues to fuel these crises with its own ethno-religious agenda, perpetuation of state impunity, and fascistic policies. Meanwhile, the expression of grievances on the part of the people increasingly leads to uprisings that demand revolution or secession. While those in favor of secession focus more on the lack of public safety and government impunity, #RevolutionNow campaigners believe in the need for a total overhaul of the system. They continue to campaign against police brutality, just as many more-liberal organizations have continued to mobilize against police brutality.
In Lieu of a Conclusion: Revolution Is the Answer
There are two ways forward in the current situation: to break up Nigeria, or to make revolution. Both will only happen under conditions approaching those of open warfare. The ruling class from north to south is united against both secession and revolution. They would prefer a coup, or a crackdown from the top. But if faced with the choice of either secession or revolution, the rulers would prefer secession.
Secession of the eastern state of Biafra would most likely lead to a civil war, which would favor local members of the ruling class. Many so-called “baby tyrants” would emerge, and conditions countrywide would deteriorate to resemble those in Somalia or South Sudan, where the situation, in popular street parlance, is described as “yam pepper scatter scatter!” In fact, many of the self-determination agitations are secretly backed by politicians eyeing the presidency in 2023. Those secessionist agitations serve as instruments to strengthen mass support in those regions. Yoruba Nation agitator Sunday Igboho recently proclaimed the obvious when he urged Bola Tinubu, the former Lagos governor and national leader of the ruling party, to agree to be president of the Yoruba Nation. Southeastern governors are equally united against IPOB and its military wing, the ESN. The governors promptly launched a counterinsurgency outfit, codenamed “Ebube Agu,” that collaborates with government soldiers to confront IPOB/ESN.
However, the safest and the most harmonious solution is revolution. In the wake of #EndSARS, which struck fear into our thieving ruling class, a united action of all the oppressed is the way forward. In fact, the IPOB garnered its greatest support so far by joining the #EndSARS revolt.
The African Action Congress is the most consistent and largest revolutionary party involved in #EndSARS. There is a need for the party to work assiduously toward uniting all oppressed workers and youth under the banner of the #RevolutionNow campaigns, led by the Coalition for Revolution. In the north, the task is to build resistance against not only Boko Haram and the bandits, but also the neoliberal and pro-terrorism policies of the northern oligarchy. In the south, there is a dire need to intervene concretely to bolster support for workers’ strikes and unite them with youth agitations like #EndSARS.
What is needed is for the working class that organized the January 2012 uprising against the removal of fuel subsidies to collaborate with the #EndSARS movement. If these two boiling points burn together to produce the fire next time, a new Nigeria will be possible.
Afghanistan (AP) — The Taliban swept into Afghanistan’s capital Sunday after the government collapsed and the embattled president joined an exodus of his fellow citizens and foreigners, signaling the end of a costly two-decade U.S. campaign to remake the country.
Heavily armed Taliban fighters fanned out across the capital, and several entered Kabul’s abandoned presidential palace. Suhail Shaheen, a Taliban spokesman and negotiator, told The Associated Press that the militants would hold talks in the coming days aimed at forming an “open, inclusive Islamic government.”
JAMB, in conjunction with heads of tertiary institutions, will hold the 2021 policy meeting to determine minimum cut-off marks and other issues for admissions into the 2021/2022 academic session. This meeting will be chaired by the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu.
Apart from the announcement of the minimum admission cut-off, the JAMB bulletin stated that; “The meeting is expected to chart policy directions for the nation’s tertiary institutions, set admission guidelines and present application statistics, candidates’ performance as well as evaluate the 2021 Admission exercise”.
Last year, JAMB and others had pegged the minimum cut–off mark at 160 and above for admission into universities, 120 for polytechnics and 100 for colleges of education. We’ll see if it changes this year, considering some controversies of some irregularities in the conduct of this year’s UTME.
Twenty-two family members of slain Islamic State fighters are currently in Abuja….
The Federal Government announced this in a statement, saying they were among 101 stranded Nigerians repatriated from Libya.
The individuals, according to a statement by Head, Media, Public Relations and Protocols, National Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abdur-Rahman Balogun, were received by officials of Ministry of Foreign Affairs; NIDCOM; Nigeria Centre for Disease Control; National Drug Law Enforcement Agency; National Emergency Management Agency; Department of State Services; Nigeria Immigration Service and Port Health.
The statement read, “The stranded Nigerians include the 22 family members of suspected former members of ISIS that were killed in Libya as well as their children.
“All evacuees came with Negative PCR test for Covid- 19, and landed at exactly 10.15 pm at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport GAT wing, aboard Airforce C130.”
ISIS fighters are scattered across Libya, which has been engulfed in violent extremism since the death of Muammar Gaddafi, the country’s strong man.
Gaddafi was killed in an uprising in the country in 2011. Since his death, many parts of Libya have not known peace.
Former Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi ll has said that Nigeria as a country has made no progress in the past 40 years. “In 1980, Nigeria’s GDP per capital on purchasing power parity basis was $2,180. In 2014, it appreciated by 50 per cent to $3,099. According to the World Bank, where were we in 2019? $2,229. At this rate in the next two years in terms of purchasing power parity, the average income of a Nigerian would have gone back to what it was in 1980 under Shehu Shagari. That means, in 40 years, no progress, we made zero progress. 40 years wasted,” he said.
The former Emir who was also Governor of Central Bank( CBN), spoke at a colloquium in Kaduna on Saturday to mark his 60th birthday anniversary. The event which was moderated by ace journalist, Kadaria Ahmed, had in attendance Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, former Deputy Governor of CBN, George Moghalo, the Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, Emir of Zazzau, other Emirs and chiefs, University dons, other distinguished Nigerians, among others.
According to the former Emir, “I told my family during a dinner to mark my birthday that, maybe one of the reasons that I am able to face any challenge is that I know that, no matter what happens, there would be friends who are standing waiting for me: Nasir El-Rufai, Bukola Saraki, Albert Wigwe, Aig Imoukhede, Aliko Dangote, all of them. So, it is a blessing to have people who are with you in good times and bad times, who are with you for who you are.” “Usually when people gather like this, it is for either someone who is in office or someone who is dead. You leave office, especially when you are seen as a trouble maker, people don’t gather to honour you. So, it is what I remain grateful to Allah for.”
“So, what I will say briefly in all these 60 years is that my dream in life has always being to remain the same person to live by the values I set for myself, stand by those values and be ready to face the consequences.” ‘But if there is anything that I have to share with the younger generation especially that I now consider myself getting old is that the fears that we have are grossly unfounded. As Kingsley said, when we started the banking reforms. On the eve of the banking reforms, every day, on the front pages of newspapers, the banks’ CEOs were at the Villa. They were the friends of the President, they were oligarchs, they were untouchables.”
“I remember when we started going after the bankers, someone called me and said, you know you are young man, you don’t know what you are doing, you will not succeed. What have we done today? So far, three or four of the wealthiest and powerful bank CEOs in this country have gone to jail and nothing happened.” “You can fight any system, you don’t need a large number. People can have temporary powers to use but the truth will always prevail. So, when I was suspended as CBN Governor, I made a famous statement that you can suspend a man, but you cannot suspend the truth. And this is the truth that has come out.”
“As His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto said recently, this country has a problem. We cannot ignore the fact that things are not working. When you are in a society that is so abnormal, you cannot afford to be a conformist, because if you all conform things will not change.” “Many years ago, when I was screaming about the billions being spent on fuel subsidy, I remember there was an attempt to arrack my house in Kano, then I was in the CBN. Where are we today? We are made to face with the reality. That fuel subsidy is unsustainable. Now when the decision is taken, it will be more painful than if they had removed it five or 10 years ago.”
“I only speak to the best of my understanding what I see about the country and I have paid the price, but Nigerians are the ones paying the real price. It is the price you see in increased poverty, it is a price you see in insecurity, in high rate of inflation, in loss of values of our currency, in the numbers around malnutrition, unemployment, out-of-school children, maternal mortality, and infant mortality.” “Calling me controversial or calling me an enemy or critic, will not make those facts go away. So, anywhere we go, we must face these facts. Am I happy about it on my 60th birthday? No. Because, 60 years ago when I was born, the United State government advisory was telling investors that Nigeria has a better economic future than Japan. Today where are we and where is Japan? “
“It is not about one or two governments, it is about decades of a people throwing away opportunities and every time we are given a chance to make a change, we go back to the same old things.” “And you know, when I have a platform like this, I have to talk. I have tried not to say much not because there is nothing to say or because I am afraid of speaking. The reason I have not spoken much in the last two years is because, I don’t even have to say anything anymore, because all the things we were warning about have come.”
“In 1980, Nigeria’s GDP per capital on purchasing power parity basis was $2,180. In 2014, it appreciated by 50 per cent to $3,099. According to the World Bank, where were we in 2019? $2,229. At this rate in the next two years in terms of purchasing power parity, the average income of a Nigerian would have gone back to what it was in 1980 under Shehu Shagari. That means, in 40 years, no progress, we made zero progress. 40 years wasted.” “Between 2014 and 2029, on the basis of this index of the purchasing power of the average income of an average Nigerian, we have wiped out all the progress made in 35 years. We have a responsibility as a people to rise and improve the lives of the people of this country.”
“It is no longer about government, political parties, traditionsl rulers, Emirs. The days are gone of saying one class of people whether they are Emirs or civil servants cannot talk. When there is fire, everyone has to go with a bucket of water. We need to understand how our economy works as a people, we need to understand our choices. 70 per cent of our challenges in this country from insecurity to herder/farmer clashes, all have their roots in economy. Even this shout about restructuring is about economics, it is about resources. We need to grow this economy and make it work for the poor people.”
“Since I am wearing two caps as an economist and an Islamic scholar, I need to say that, at the level of the North and Muslims, we need to look hard at ourselves and questions the choices we have made.” “As Emir of Kano, we got scholars to sit for three years. We drafted a Muslim Code of Personal Status that began to address some of these issues. That law was ready in 2019, but it has not been passed.” “I also sent it to the Chairman of the Northern States Governors’ Forum, the Governor of Plateau state and said in case any of the Governors need it, give it to them. I have not heard anything. But we keep talking about poverty in the North. We keep talking about Almajirai. These Almajirai did not produce themselves.”
“If you cannot maintain one wife and you marry three and if you cannot maintain three children and you have 17, if you leave those children on the street without education, without training, you are going to have young men that would be problem to our society.” “The youths that you see on drugs, those in stealing and kidnapping are all products of that social system. And we need to ask ourselves, is this what Islam said we should have? Are these the children that Islam said we should have,” he asked.
Anderson and Ikebujo also forged Bakare’s signature and withdrew N33 million naira between April and June 2019.
Documents obtained by SaharaReporters have revealed how Uchechi Precious Ikebujo, a former Personal Assistant to the immediate past Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, late Maikanti Baru, and her alleged young lover, Anderson Newton Warribo, fraudulently took over the ownership of a company, Apres Engineering Limited from its owner, Micheal Bakare.null
Anderson and Ikebujo also forged Bakare’s signature and withdrew N33 million naira between April and June 2019 from the company’s bank account in Sterling bank.
Not satisfied, the duo through their lawyer, Daniel Momoh, wrote to the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and removed Bakare as the Managing Director of the company.
They also logged him out of the company’s email without notice.
Speaking to SaharaReporters, Bakare said the situation made him depressed.
He said he had written a petition to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) but the anti-graft agency did not act timely.
Bakare said, “In 2017, I relocated from Lagos to Abuja, trying to recover from the shock of failure in crude business that went sour. Getting here, I started selling the idea of crude oil logistics when my next-door neighbor in Rocky Base Estate, Karu, called Anderson Newton Waribo, showed interest.
“He told me that he knew a woman identified as Uchechi Precious Ikebujo who could invest in my idea and asked how much. I said all I needed was just office space and so I asked for 7million. We bought office equipment and simultaneously registered the company with the CAC. But I was shocked how Anderson made himself a stakeholder in the company registration without even letting me meet with the angel investor.
“I felt something was not right. I ignored it as I was desperate to get back in business. I, being the idea owner, emerged as the Managing Director with N10 million share capital of N50 million total share capital. After registration of the company and opening of its account, no monetary investment was made and none of these directors showed up at the job. I was really troubled so I started checking, checking only to discover that Anderson and Precious Uchechi Ikebujo are lovers, and both work at the NNPC.
“Ikebujo was at the time the Personal Assistant to the former NNPC GMD while Anderson was employed as her chauffeur for a cover-up. Anderson was living in her mansion in Asokoro while his flat was occupied by his mother and brothers.
“Some contracts came in from the Ministry of Works and there was about N33 million in the company’s account. One night, I got series of debit alerts from Sterling Bank through my phone number. I was worried about how the money was taken without my authorization. I needed to cosign before withdrawals would be made as a signatory to the account.
“I went to the bank and was showed how they forged my signature at the CAC. They lied that I resigned and I gave my shares away to them. I wrote to the ICPC and EFCC but they never responded until I got scared for my life and went underground as I was being threatened.
“Officials of the CAC must have connived with them because CAC never consulted me as MD of my company. The mysterious lawyer involved claimed I signed at his office. EFCC later called me for interrogation. Anderson was arrested and bailed without even inviting me to witness the arrest. The IPO in charge, Joseph Agboola, let him go without even involving Ikebujo. My lawyer, Barrister Tope Oloyede, expressed dissatisfaction with how the case was being treated but the IPO and his colleagues ganged up against him.
“There was no proof that I signed out of the company and most importantly, there was no financial exchange of my N10million share, yet this IPO called Agboola was forcing me to admit it.
“He took about 59 samples of my signature for forensic test and he never got back to me till date. If I called him, he would snap at me and end the call.
“Sterling Bank replied the petition I wrote that it was not in the position to ascertain or authenticate a forged document and that was why they never called me to find out if I thoroughly signed out my position in the company.”
Apart from the fraudulent act perpetrated by Anderson and Ikebujo, the action is also against Nigerian law which forbids public officers from engaging in private practice.
Part I, Fifth Schedule, Section of 2 (b) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria states that “without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing paragraph, a public officer shall not, except where he is not employed on full-time basis engage or participate in the management or running of any private business, profession or trade, but nothing in this subparagraph shall prevent a public officer from engaging in farming.”
Part 2 of the Fifth Schedule of the constitution defines a public servant to include; Chairman, members, and staff of local government councils, chairman and members of Boards of other governing bodies and staff of statutory corporations and of companies in which the Federal or state government has a controlling interest.
Ikebujo refused to comment on the matter and blocked the number used in contacting her by SaharaReporters.
The Ekiti state government has been slammed with a N15 million lawsuit by a junior secondary one (JSS1) student, who was allegedly punished by her school for carrying an indecent hairstyle.
The student identified as Gift Agenoisa, a student of Immaculate Secondary School, Ado-Ekiti, claimed to have been picked out during her school’s assembly on May 22 and given 20 lashes of the cane over an “indecent hairstyle” on the orders of the principal who also suspended her.
The mother of the student who filed the suit on behalf of the student claims that the punishment meted on her daughter left bruises, life-threatening scars, and bloodstains on her uniform and that she fainted and was rushed to the police clinic in Ado- Ekiti where she was resuscitated.
It further asserts that Agenoisa rights were infringed, and they are seeking N15 million in damages for breach of her “fundamental rights” and an immediate reinstatement to school with unfettered access to all services.
The school principal, Oluwasanmi F.M, the education commissioner Olabimpe Aderiye, Ekiti State Teaching Service Commission, and Ekiti state government are joined as defendants in the case.
Agenoisa is said to have resorted to filing the lawsuit after her letters of protest to the wife of Ekiti Governor and some relevant government agencies were not responded to.
Nigerian youths can find solutions to some of the toughest challenges facing the country and the African continent, says the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Nigerian youths can find solutions to some of the toughest challenges facing the country and the African continent, says the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Ismaeel Ahmed, the National Youth Representative in the APC Caretaker and Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), disclosed this in a statement to commemorate Nigerian youths on the International Youth Day (IYD).
“As we celebrate the International Youth Day today, I, on behalf of our great party and the CECPC, celebrate the potential and power of young people all over the nation to shape the future of our country,” stated Mr Ahmed. “With a large percentage of the nation’s population under the age of 35, our generation will find solutions to some of the toughest challenges facing our nation and continent as a whole.”
He stressed that the APC leadership and President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime were committed to providing an opportunity for young people to ensure they are not only leaders of tomorrow but also leaders of today. Mr Buhari had once told the international community that Nigerian youths were lazy.
Mr Ahmed further claimed that the utmost goal of the APC CECPC and the party’s leadership was in building skills to strengthen youth leadership in party administration, governance, business, academia. He added that the goal of the party’s leadership was also to provide young entrepreneurs with capital and a network to grow a start-up.
“Youth are often the voices at the forefront of advocating for our party before, during, and after the various campaigns,” said the APC youth leader. “Today, I commemorate the energetic spirit of young people all over Nigeria and their ability to improve and secure the future of our motherland.”
The IYD was established by the UN General Assembly, which on December 17, 1999, endorsed the recommendation made by the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth. The 2021 International Youth Day theme is ‘Transforming Food Systems: Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health’.
Operatives of the Special Fraud Unit (SFU), Ikoyi, Lagos on Thursday disclosed the arrest of one Salau Abdulmalik Femi, an alleged kingpin of a syndicate that specializes in hacking into the server of banks and corporate agencies.
The hacker, who displayed exemplary mastery of the cyber environment was arrested by agents of the anti-graft body.