JUST IN: University of Jos tuition hike sparks protests.

Students of the University of Jos have kicked against the N45,000 new school fees, and appealed to management to be “more considerate in view of the hard times”.

The institution’s Vice Chancellor, Sabastian Maimako, recently announced the review of the fees, from N27,000 to N45,000, citing dwindling budgetary allocations, rising bills and the need to upgrade some materials.

Mr. Maimako said the figure was endorsed by parents, old students and other stakeholders at a meeting in Jos, where all factors were considered.

But Sydney Daman, President of the institution’s Students Union Government, SUG, who briefed journalists on Friday in Jos, described the new charges as “too harsh”.

“The university attributed the increase to the economic recession, but it is clear that students are worst hit by current realities,” he said.

Mr. Daman appealed to the students to “hold-on a bit”.

“No student should be in a hurry to pay the new fees. We are consulting with management and shall communicate the final agreement to everyone,” he said

He said that the students union had met with management “three times”, where it discussed the fee issue and sought for a figure that was favourable for both parties, but that management eventually did as it wished.

“We have not exhausted all the options; we are still appealing and shall continue to meet all stakeholders,” he said.

Mr. Daman, however, called on students to be “responsible, mature and peaceful” while supporting the struggle for a downward review of the charges.

The students’ leader faulted management’s claim that parents and guardians had accepted the hike at a stakeholders meeting.

“The university has 18,000 students; less than 100 parents/guardians attended the meeting, while SUG officials, who attended the meeting were barred from talking. So, it is not right to claim that there was fair hearing,” he said.


Source: NAN

Protesters storm National Assembly over herdsmen attacks.

Hundreds of protesters yesterday stormed the National Assembly (NASS) complex in Abuja to draw the attention of the federal lawmakers to the renewed killings of persons by suspected herdsmen in some farming communities of Benue State. They were, however, denied entry by some 200 armed policemen.

Apparently miffed by the incident, the protesters challenged the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, to rather deploy his men to halt the maiming at Tombo Mbalagh in Buruku Local Council of the state.

Led by the Movement Against Tiv Massacre (VATIM), the protesters registered their annoyance at the killing last weekend of 10 persons in the council area by herdsmen. The sad incident, they added, prompted Governor Samuel Ortom to issue a 48-hour ultimatum to security agencies in the state to fish out the culprits.

According to him, the decision was informed by the need “ to protect the lives and property” of the citizens just as he reiterated the directive to have the erring herdsmen arrested and prosecuted.

He told newsmen yesterday in Abuja after the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting at the Presidential Villa that a governor of a state must guard the people against internal and external aggression.

The killings are spreading to different parts of the country. A greater worry is that the Federal Government is virtually painting a picture of helplessness. If it fails to take drastic steps in halting these killings, victims would continue to express their anger through protests and self-defence.

The convener of the group, Irene Awunah, deploring the action of the police leadership, noted: “The IGP should please look towards sending a detachment of armed policemen to the villages where Fulani herdsmen are killing people in their native communities, instead of sending them after us.

“We are simply trying to draw the attention of the National Assembly to what is happening in our villages. The legislators were elected to make laws that would safeguard the peace and unity of Nigeria, among others. So, security personnel should be deployed where they are needed, our procession is peaceful.”

She said they were at the National Assembly to table their “cry” to the leadership and get answers from the Federal Government on the persistent attacks on Benue farming communities.

Though the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara were not available to address the irate group, they were eventually addressed by Senator George Thompson Sekibo (PDP, Rivers East), accompanied by Jeremiah Useni (Plateau South East) and Shaaba Lafiagi (Kwara North) after insisting earlier on being talked to by the two presiding officers of the National Assembly only. This came after they had shunned two members of the House, Diri Douye (Bayelsa) and Mojeed Alabi (Osun).

Sekibo told the protesters that no fewer than three motions on the attacks in the state and other parts of the country had been sponsored in the eighth Senate.

His words: “The Senate is standing by you. We shall do everything within the limits of the law to ensure these herdsmen are taken to particular areas where they can feed their cattle.”

The spokesman of VATIM, Tersoo Akula, warned that the people might resort to self-defence if steps were not taken to halt the killings.

Following the fresh onslaught, the House of Assembly is holding a public hearing on a proposed bill geared at checking the activities of
herdsmen in the state. But analysts are, however, of the opinion that the establishment of ranches as obtained in other climes would effectively address the perennial problem.

Contacted, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Police Command Public Relations Officer, Anjuguri Manza, said he was yet to be briefed on the deployment.


Source: The Guardian

There’s a ‘plot to trigger anti-Buhari protests’ across the nation – Group

A group known as the Northern Patriotic Assembly has alleged that there were plans to trigger a nationwide protest against President Muhammadu Buhari.

In a press conference on Monday, Kwuanu Terrence, spokesman of the group, said some individuals intend to exploit Buhari’s health saga through paid protests and “media propaganda”.

Terrence said Buhari did what he ought to have done by informing the national assembly that he was proceeding on a medical leave.

“We have reliably gathered that the inhumane rumours about the president’s health are calculated to cause a sense of uncertainty when he eventually returns to the country so that there would be apprehension about the veracity of any decision taken by him and for Nigerians to see him as someone whose body may not pull through the rigours of state functions,” he said.

“The plot in this instance is to trigger nationwide protests similar to the Yar’Adua era, asking him to abdicate.

“Fortunately, no human being is God to be able to correctly predict the outcome of schemes undertaken in pursuit of inordinate ambitions.

“We have been clearly informed that a governor has set up a secretariat for meetings of elders to harness their best brains and further such alliances in the event that President Buhari has to continue staying back on doctor’s recommendation.

“For this purpose, a refined model of the Save Nigeria Group (SNG) has been activated to be launched in the coming days. Financial mobilisation for paid protesters is being concluded as we speak.”

#IStandWithNigeria: We Hear You Loud And Clear – Acting President Osinbajo

The following are excerpts from the opening remarks of Ag. President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN,  at today’s consultative forum between the Economic Management Team and the Private Sector on the Economic Recovery Growth Plan, which is to be launched later this month.

The Ag. President in response to the #IStandWithNigeria protesters across the country, said;

WE HEAR YOU loud and clear, those who are on the streets protesting the economic situation and even those who are are not, but feel the pain of economic hardship. We hear you loud and clear. You deserve a decent life and and we are working night and day to make life easier.

The Ag. President also recalled the words of President Buhari, a few months ago when he said;

“I know that uppermost in your minds today is the economic crisis, the recession for many individuals and families is real. For some it means not being able to pay school fees, for others it is not being able to afford the high cost of rice, millet, or of local or international travel. And for many of our young people the recession means joblessness, sometimes after graduating from university or polytechnic.

I know how difficult things are, and how rough business is. All my adult life I have always earned a salary, and I know what it is like when your salary simply is not enough. In every part of our nation people are making incredible sacrifices.”

The journey out of the damage caused by years of neglect and corruption is bound to be difficult but there is a glorious light at the end of the tunnel. Let us work together, steadfastly and patiently for the economic change that will come very soon.

Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN 

Ag. President 

Federal Republic of Nigeria 

February 6, 2017

I Didn’t Stop The Protest, I Only Backed Out Of The Physical Convergence – Tu Face

Popular Musician, Innocent Idibia, a.k.a Tu-Face, has explained why he is not physically present in the protests taking place in Abuja and Lagos state.


In a phone interview with Channels Television on Monday, he insisted that he is still in support of the rally but had only backed out for security reasons.


“I don’t have the sole franchise to protest so I’m still in support of them, I think its within their rights.


“I can’t tell anybody not to stand for what they believe in. For me, there were a whole lot of things I put into consideration. I noticed a whole lot of people were trying to hijack the process.


“I only decided to back out of the physical protest due to security reasons but it’s not as if I’m not still standing by the things I said or the things I believe about governance in Nigeria for a long time now.


“I want to make it clear, I was not arrested by the DSS, I am free, I am good, nobody intimated me, nobody harassed me, nobody paid me to start it in the first place and nobody paid me to stop it.


“I didn’t stop the protest I only stopped the physical convergence”.


The singer had started a movement “One Voice Nigeria”, and had planned to embark on the protest over what was termed “obnoxious policies” of the Federal Government, come February 6, 2017.


As at Sunday, he had denounced plans to go ahead with the protest after intense pressure was mounted on the group from the police as a result of security threats.


Source: Channels TV

REPORT: What Went Down At The #IStandWithNigeria Protests

Today marks the somewhat beginning of the #IStandWithNigeria protests which has become one of the most publicized civil protests after #OccupyNigeria in 2012.


There were several stumbling blocks which made so many Nigerians doubt the eventual possibility of the protests. Recall that some days ago, Tuface Idibia who was the face of the protests backed out at the very last moment. However, that and the subtle threats by the Police did not deter Nigerians from trooping out in their hundreds to protest against bad governance.


People trooped out in the early hours of Monday morning in Lagos to converge at the National Stadium in Surulere while those in Abuja converged at the Unity Fountain to later move to the Aso Villa with placards, chanting anti-government songs and slogans.


Heavy police presence was seen at Gani Fawehimi park, Ojota, Lagos as protesters were prevented from gaining access to the park to gather and protest.


Despite the huge presence of security forces in strategic locations, Nigerians were not intimidated from carrying out their civic rights by making public their disdain for bad governance.


At the moment, protesters in Lagos have started leaving from National Theatre, Iganmu, after being addressed by Charly Boy, Seyi Law, others. Organizers thanke the police for providing security while it lasted. Protesters mill out and head their separate ways.


While in Abuja, the protesters are back to Unity Fountain, leaving behind the pro-Buhari group who also came out to show support and loyalty to the government.


Reports reaching us has it that Port Harcourt protesters were ‘not allowed’ to converge. According to Channels Television, police dispersed protesters in Port Harcourt, making it impossible for them to gather — or even protest.


While in Ibadan, Femi Aborisade, human rights activist and lawyer, addressed the crowd as protesters in Ibadan, Oyo state, started their march at the University gate and ended it in Bodija market.


Only time will tell how impacting the protests have been.


And from the outlook of today’s protests, according to Charlie Boy, “Nigerians will march again in March”.

#IStandWithNigeria: “I was never arrested by DSS” – 2face Idibia opens up.

Reports made the rounds online yesterday that Innocent Idibia, popularly known as 2face was arrested by DSS operatives before the cancellation of his protest.


But the singer took to his Facebook page this morning to deny the reports.


2baba had late Saturday night, cancelled the highly publicized protest, citing security concerns.


Following the cancellation, reports immerged that the singer was arrested by the Department of Security Service, a claim the iconic pop star came up Monday morning to deny.


He wrote, “Thanks for your concern guys. I’m fine and free. Reports about DSS arresting me are not true.


“We are still compiling your responses for the leadership.


“State your opinion on social media with the hastag #IstandwithNigeria.


Peace! One luv!!”

#IStandWithNigeria: Buhari’s Aide Denies Attempt By FG To Bully Organisers.

Personal Assistant (on Social Media) to the Nigerian President, Lauretta Onoche, has denied any attempt by the Federal Government to bully the organisers of the anti-government protest.


Speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, she stated that all that the government was interested in, was for the popular musician, Innocent (Tu-face) Idibia to come and explain why he and his group were organising the protest.



“I could never ever frown against the protest, what I frowned at and I still do, are the motives behind the protest.


“I have come back to Nigeria to see that protests are not really what we see. So when I read in the news “Tu-face to lead other stars to protest President Buhari’s policies”, I looked at the headline and I felt there was something not quite right.


“You can’t protest against something that you are not aware about, what policies are you protesting,” Onoche questioned.


“I wanted to be sure that Tu-face and the people he was leading into the protest understood what the policies were.


“I wanted him to come on national television and explain to Nigerians what those policies he was not happy with were”.


Furthermore, the president’s aide stated “I don’t think he’s been bullied. He has a right to protest.”


According to her, denying anyone such rights can be likened to “beating a child and asking him not to cry”.


She also alleged that the exercise is been hijacked by politicians.


Unfavourable Policies


Meanwhile, hundreds of protesters under the aegis of the #I Stand With Nigeria group, have gone ahead in Abuja and Lagos to protest what they call “unfavourable government policies”.


Source: Channels TV

BREAKING: Pro-Buhari groups take to the streets to protest in Abuja.

Two groups comprising those in support of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and those demanding a better deal from the government are currently at the Unity Fountain, Abuja.


Those protesting against the current economic situation are under the aegis of #ISTANDWITHNIGERIA, while their counterparts are of the Buhari Volunteer Network.


The pro-government group says it is out to sensitise the populace on the achievements of the All Progressives Congress (APC) government.


But Chidi Odikalu, former chairman of the Human Rights Commission, who is on the side of those protesting against the current economic situation, said he was at the Unity Fountain to demand good governance.


More to follow…

OPINION: The two faces of Tuface – By Reuben Abati

Tuface’s decision to lead a protest to register the dissatisfaction of Nigerians with the performance of the incumbent administration and to reiterate the value of government’s responsibility to the people was his finest moment as a citizen and artiste. But it is also now, with his Jammeh-like volte-face, his worst moment. His transformation into a champion of democratic values and voice of the masses brought him added stardom and value. His retreat has turned him into a revolutionary manqué. He deserves our understanding and sympathy.

When on 24th January Tuface (Innocent Dibia) announced that he was going to lead, under the umbrella of the Tuface Foundation, a mass protest against the economic policies of the Buhari government, he immediately attracted public interest. A multiple award-winning musician, a naturally talented stage performer and author of at least two evergreen songs: “My African Queen” and “If Love is a Crime”, TuBaba, as he is also known, sounded like he was moving from art to politics, and seemed ready to answer to the true calling of the artist as the conscience of the people.

Artists and creative persons have always led protests and lent their voices to progressive causes. That much is the case in the United States at the moment, where artistes have raised their voices and joined protests to remind the “insurgent in the White House” that America is a land of freedom, democracy and justice and not bigotry and tyranny. Here at home, Fela, and his cousin, the Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe and others as well, have shown the power of creativity and stardom as a veritable vehicle for social change and justice. Artists and their art, and their movement from stage, or the printed page, to the public arena of action have always saved humanity, by humanizing man. This has been the case from Sophocles, all through time and history to Olanrewaju Adepoju, Beyonce and Kanye West.

But activism comes with a price. Tuface obviously didn’t bargain for that. He received enormous support. His announcement of the February 5, later February 6 protest energized the angry, frustrated Nigerian base, and drew our unrelenting “children of anger” back into an overdrive on social media. The international community also became interested, waiting to see the effect of a protest driven by star-power in Nigeria. It was coincidentally a season of protests across the world: in the Gambia, there had been protests against Yahyah Jammeh with a positive outcome, in the US, the UK and elsewhere, Donald Trump’s travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries and his misogyny led to protests on both counts, and in the case of the former, a Federal judge has given a ruling that has resulted in the suspension of the ban. In Cameroon, concerned citizens are protesting over discrimination against English-speaking Cameroonians. In Romania, a sea of protesting citizens has just had its way. There is all around the world, right now, a resurgence and affirmation of people power, be it Brexit or left-wing activism in Europe. Individuals and groups lead such moments in history- what makes them different is the fire in their bellies and their readiness to command the revolution, at great personal risk.

It looked initially as if Tuface had that burning fire in his belly, but he couldn’t make that leap between self-preservation and the risks of rebellion. He had appeared on television. He spoke confidently about the need for real change in Nigeria. He encouraged Nigerians to come out en masse to support the movement. He even announced the colour and dress code of the protest. His wife stood by him and she, too, talked about her husband’s convictions about national progress and good governance. Each time Tuface appeared in the media, during those five minutes in the sun, he looked bright and determined. But everything changed late Saturday evening. The recorded video of Tuface’s volte-face, announcing the cancellation of the Feb. 6 protest showed him looking dispirited, broken, ashen, as if he had been shaken up and chastised. He looked unsettled with his scraggy, uncombed beard. It is not difficult to know when a man’s balls have been squeezed.

Tuface actually deserves our sympathy. He must have gone through a lot of pressures that broke his spirit. His capitulation makes us appreciate even better the heroism of those who always stood up to dictatorships. His example is indeed a great lesson…And I mean that positively for the fact that…Despite the massive support that he received, he also received a lot of discouragement. An old ally of his, some guy appropriately called Blackface was one of the first persons to blacken the idea of the protest. Some Nollywood, belle-forever-face-front-chop- money-money-finish-carry-go characters also opposed Tuface. Some musicians too, although in the long run, Tuface was able to mobilise the support of every section of the Nigerian community at home and in diaspora. By Saturday when he poured cold ice on the whole thing, the protest had even grown beyond him, much larger, with others seizing the initiative and turning what he had thought would be a small show into a nationwide and diaspora event.  At that point, Tuface was no longer the singer of sultry songs, but the symbol of a rebellion. The enormity of that potential must have frightened him. He didn’t have the courage to see it through. Leadership is about courage. A coward can never lead a rebellion.

But we should struggle to understand his situation. He was accused of having seven children from three women, which is an absolutely stupid point. An artist does not have to be a saint. We relate to their art and their engagements with society on the basis of the positive value that they bring forth.  It is also possible that Tuface received pressures from his multiple in-laws, and even the Baby Mamas defending their stakes in his life.  The official wife must have been accused of trying to encourage him to get into trouble so he could get killed and she alone can sit on his estate.  The Baby Mamas and all the in-laws must have called to remind him that his children are still very young and he needs to be alive to be their father and so he should think twice before going to use his chest to stop Nigeria Police bullets. Family members, to whom he is obviously a breadwinner, must have advised him to stay with his singing and dancing and not get involved in politics. They would remind him how Fela’s mum got killed and how Fela’s house was razed down, and how every artist who dared the Nigerian government ended up in exile or in prison or with a strange motor accident.

The Nigerian government was of course unhappy with the planned protest, and the idea of it created enormous confusion in Abuja and Aso Rock. While the office of the Acting President spoke about the right to protest and the government not having anything against the expression of fundamental human rights, the Office of the President on vacation made it very clear that the would-be protesters are enemies of the government of the day and sore losers. Those two seemingly contradictory impressions from Aso Rock can only point to one thing: high-level intrigue within. That is probably why the Nigeria Police kept shuffling: we don’t approve of the protest, we do, we don’t, we beg.  The timing says it all also. With the President out of the country, and the plan of the protesters to welcome him with a Trump-like protest from Abuja, to Lagos, Port Harcourt, Uyo and Akure, and in parts of the Western world, the damage would have been incalculable. And Tuface would have been held responsible for leading the sabotage.  No Nigerian government since 1999 has benefitted from any mass protest. The anti-third term protest hobbled the Obasanjo government. The Jonathan government never recovered from the pro-fuel subsidy protests of January 2012. Tuface and his planned protest had set the stage for a similar prospect for the Buhari government.

What Tuface imagined was a clean-hearted civil action would have resulted in absolute panic, with some informal voices in and around government doing dangerous analysis on ethnic and religious grounds.  Reckless hypotheses such as the following: (a) “so, as Baba hand over this thing to Osinbajo so, the only thing his Christian brothers think they should do is to organize a protest in Baba’s absence?” (b) “You don hear say Osinbajo’s office say people have right to protest? So, Baba cannot even travel on vacation again. Walahi, these Yoruba people cannot be trusted.”  (c) What are these security people doing? If they are loyal to Baba, by now they should have invited that Tuface, and ask him about the two SUVs that Akpabio gave him and his wife when they got married. They should show him strong evidence that the SUVs were bought with Akwa Ibom state government money and he should pay back the money or get ready to be sued for being an accomplice in a case of diversion of public funds.  (d) Or you could have some people affirming the narrative that was put out by the APC and friends of the government of the day viz:  “this is the PDP at work. Tuface must be an agent of PDP. Why are our own APC people sleeping? Baba no dey around, they want to pull down the country. So, Tuface is now working with Ayo Fayose of Ekiti, to embarrass Baba? This Osinbajo, can we trust him?”

By pulling the trigger at this time, Tuface simply put a lot of people under pressure and placed their jobs and loyalty at risk -no doubt about it, they must have come after him with a sledgehammer to stop and discourage him. Clear evidence: a counter-revolutionary #IstandwithBuhari protest has already been announced to last for two days. The Tuface revolution that has been abandoned by its main motivator teaches us more lessons about the dynamics of power in Nigeria and the temperament of the resident power elite. Will the protest now take place on February 6, without Tuface? Or will everyone hold fire and down their tools of anger? What is certain, however, is that Tuface is likely to sit at home tomorrow with Anne, his temptingly pretty wife by his side, watching the latest episode of Big Brother Naija on TV, with chicken and salad before him, and a bottle of wine, and one of his hands, innocently setting the stage for the amorous prelude for child number eight. With his wife telling him: “don’t worry yourself dear, Nigeria is not worth dying for. Who wan die make e go die. You have tried your best, my darling husband!”.

That is how many would-be heroes become anti-heroes, and their dreams die a-borning. If the protests go ahead on February 6 as many are threatening, nonetheless, Tuface would lose a lot. If it doesn’t go ahead, he would still lose. The torch of protest that he has lit may not burn on the streets of Nigeria; it is burning already in the minds of the people. He may have chickened out, but he has already achieved the goal of his initial plan. He has by lending his star power to an anti-Buhari protest, expanded the population of angry Nigerians. He has given voice to their anger and fears. His withdrawal from action will not excuse him. Whatever anyone tells him, in the long run, he would still be punished for his bravery and cowardice on both counts. He should not be surprised if for the next few months, he doesn’t get invited to any concert, or performance contract, or if he gets to perform anywhere, he could be booed off the stage. He should not be surprised if his phones stop ringing, or if it rings at all, he could be told: “call me on what’s app I beg, I don’t know if they are monitoring your calls.”

Let no one blame Tuface. His stage name Tuface is the name of Janus: the two-face Greek god, who looks in two directions. When it mattered most in his career, Tuface Idibia answered the call of his name!

#IStandWithNigeria: Comedian SeyiLaw joins protesters at the National Stadium

Nigerian comedian SeyiLaw just arrived the National Stadium, Surulere to join the protesters.


The comedian, who on Sunday said Innocent ‘2baba’ Idibia only cancelled his participation in the protest, and not the actual event.


Seyi Law said the protest is not about the Nigeria music icon but about the demand for good governance by Nigerians.


He noted that Nigerians have a right to protest while stating that he understood why 2baba had to pull out.


“Please if they won’t let us gather, can we stage a social media revolution for tomorrow and keep tweeting and trend with #NigeriansProtest,” he wrote.


“My heart bleeds right now. This is not about Tuface. This is about us and our demand for good governance. God knows I will be at the stadium tomorrow whether people gather or not. I have a right to be at the stadium too.


“Tuface has cancelled his own participation not my own. I want to assure you that I will be at the stadium tomorrow. I am giving Nigerians the assurance that I will be at the stadium tomorrow. We have a right to our protest. I absolutely understand @official2baba, but I am not backing out.


“These pple think it’s about 2Face. They are mistaken. It is about us. We only appreciate his willingness to stand with us.”

Nigerians have the Right to Protest against the Government – APC

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has said that Nigerians have a democratic right to conduct peaceful protests.


The party made the comment in reaction to a nationwide protest championed by popular musician, 2Face Idibia to protest the policies of the Muhammadu Buhari administration.


“For us, it is about the constitution of Nigeria, Tuface or any other citizen of the country has the right to stage a peaceful protest,that is the position of our constitution. We as a party will not be part of anything that will abridge or take away the right of citizens to protest, especially in a democracy,” APC National Publicity Secretary, Bolaji Abdullahi told ThisDay.


“We have as a party benefited greatly from citizen’s right to express their democratic rights and our being in government is not going to change that orientation to promote the liberties and right of citizen hold dissenting views,” he added.


He also spoke on a threat made by the police to prevent the protest from holding as planned.
“Well I don’t know exactly what the police are saying about banning the protest.  I think what the police will probably be saying is that they are concerned about the issue of safety and threat to lives and property in the course of the protest,” he said.


“There are always fears that hoodlums might hijack a peaceful protest and use the opportunity to perpetrate violence on innocent citizens. I suspect this might be the consideration of the police.  But this should not be good enough reason to deny citizens the full enjoyment of their constitutional rights however they wish to express them.


“We believe that protests are a form of feedback, although we may not agree with the grievances but at same time, it may be an opportunity for us to communicate more about what we are doing that the citizens may have had sufficient information on. It may an opportunity for us to give better clarification on what our government is doing.


“But fundamentally, it will be a form of feedback for us to do more in citizen’s engagement and enlightenment and to focus more on our commitment to the promises we made to our people. I do not see it as anything that is antithetical to our democracy,” he added.

No ban on ‘peaceful protests,’ Presidency declares.

The Nigerian government has said it will not prevent people from registering their displeasure with the state of the nation through peaceful protests.

“This administration will not prevent Nigerians from expressing themselves in peaceful protests,” said Laolu Akande media aide to Vice President Yemi Osibanjo Friday on Twitter. “It’s a fundamental right of the people.”


Akande’s clarification came after the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr Fatai Owoseni, said his command would not allow the  protest planned by popular artist, Innocent Idibia, also known as Tuface, to hold in any part of the state.

“We know that Tuface does not have the capacity to contain such a crowd and we will not fold our hands and watch while things go out of hand,” he stressed.

Tuface had announced that he would a ‘massive nationwide’ protest on February 5. He later postponed the planned mass action to February 6.

He said there was a “need for Nigerians to rise against what is happening in this country having waited patiently for the legislatures that were elected to represent the people all to no avail.”

“A call for good governance,” he said. “A call for urgent explanation into the reckless economic downturn nationwide. A call for nationwide protests as we say No to the Executive, No to legislatures, No to judiciary…. You have all failed us.”

But Akande said the government has been investing in social programmes aimed at easing off the suffering of millions of Nigerians, claiming that the level of such investment has never been seen in the country.

“No government has ever laid out the kind of Social Investment Programme the Buhari govt is now running across the nation that will touch millions,” he said.


With rising prices of commodities, the effects of the programmes are yet to be felt by the people. The government acknowledged this problem on Wednesday at the Federal Executive Council and announced that it had set up a committee that would ensure a steady flow of produce to markets and reverse the rising food prices across Nigeria.

#IStandWithNigeria: Let us not make this protests about Tuface – By Yemisi Adegoke

With back to back protests all over the world, it was probably inevitable that one would spring up in Nigeria, but rather than being a straightforward affair it’s threatening to derail before the first placard hits the street.

When 2Face first announced plans for nationwide protests calling for good governance, almost immediately it started trending. On social media, Nigerians are split; the pro-2Face camp are lauding his past efforts to promote civic engagement and speak out against poor leadership, “no one is perfect” they argue and “at least he is speaking out.”

The critics however, are citing a series of reasons why he isn’t fit to lead the march, ranging from the bizarre accusation of his supposed ‘lack of personal governance’ to claims of his ‘illiteracy.’ While the sceptics are asking if he or any celebrity should lead the march due to the cosy nature of relations between some entertainers and politicians.

Conversation about the protest has been dominated by talk of who is sponsoring it, or pulling strings from behind the curtain, what APC politicians think, what PDP politicians think, what the presidency thinks, what celebrities will show up and 2Face. At the center of it all is 2Face. Questions keep rolling in about what his motives are, if he’s being paid, what artistes are supporting him, what artistes are not, if this march is a launch pad for a political bid and so on.

While I agree that it’s right to have questions and to ask them, the intense concentration on the man shifts the focus away from the message. Ideally such a movement would spring organically from the everyday Nigerian, like the Black Lives Matter movement or even closer to home in Zimbabwe. Last summer, Zimbabweans took part in an organised stay-away day, where schools and businesses across the country completely shut down in protest over a government policy.

But we don’t live in an ideal world and the power and draw of celebrity is undeniable. Let’s be honest, if an unknown Akin or Ijeoma from Mushin tried to galvanise a protest, how many people would listen, and more importantly, come out to take part in the protest?

While it might be honourable to lend a powerful voice to a cause, it’s important that focus on that voice doesn’t shift and become bigger than the cause itself.

Worse still is the danger that this voice will become the long-desired hero, idolized and relied upon to magically solve everything with the wave of a hand. There’s a tendency in Nigeria to pin hope on a hero; a politician, an activist, someone that will not only lead us, but save us. This mythical figure will do the hardwork of thinking, fighting and preserving our freedoms so we don’t have to.

In one of the videos he released on Instagram 2Face clearly defined what the march isn’t about: politicians trying to hijack the movement to score cheap points and highlighting of political leanings and tribal differences. And he’s right, it’s not about any of that, so let’s not make it about him either.

“We won’t allow the February 6 protest to hold”, Police boss says.

Fatai Owoseni, the Lagos state police commissioner, says some “hoodlums” are planning to hijack the Innocent 2face Idibia-led protest against the federal government.

According to The Nation, the commissioner said he would not allow the citizen action to carry on because the the musician, also known as 2baba, lacks the “capacity to contain such a crowd”.

“Information reaching us revealed that some hoodlums are planning to hijack the peaceful protest,” Owoseni was quoted as saying.

“And as such, we won’t allow it to hold in Lagos. We know that Tuface do not have the capacity to contain such a crowd and we will not fold our hands and watch while things go out of hand.”

After Idibia made known his intention to champion the protest, several celebrities publicly displayed support for it, expressing willingness to join .

The protest was initially billed to hold on Sunday, but was later pushed forward to Monday – the same day President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to return to the country from the UK, where he has been on vacation.

Idibia had announced that it would commence at National Stadium, Surulere and end at National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos.

Why I’m leading anti-government protest – Tuface Idibia

Despite the controversy around his planned anti-government rally, Nigerian musician, Innocent Idibia, popularly known as 2face, has insisted on going ahead with the rally and provided reasons for it.

Speaking at a press conference in Lagos on Tuesday, the singer said the protest would kick off on Monday from the National Stadium, Surulere in Lagos at 8 a.m. and terminate at the National Theatre in Iganmu area of the city.

Defending his choice of venues, the multiple-award winning artiste said “The National Theatre and National Stadium are the two national icons that epitomise our decline as a nation.”

2face also called on Nigerians to henceforth speak out about the issues affecting them and also share them via videos, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and SMS to 0902-355-5335.

“What are your daily struggles? How is it doing you? No matter what part of the world you are, I encourage you to share your stories. And join me on Monday in Surulere or online.

“Use any of the hashtags #IStandWith2Baba #IStandWithNigeria #OneVoiceNigeria on social media.

“We will take all the reports and send them to our elected representatives as ONE VOICE of Nigerians across party, ethnic and religious lines – as they hear real people talk about real issues,” 2face said.

He also put to rest viral reports that Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Apkabio, was sponsoring the protest.

“It is not a platform for politicians of any party to manipulate. I know you will still spin it but for one second leave your battles aside and just listen to people without trying to score cheap political points against one another. It is not a point scoring exercise. It is certainly not personal. It is not an organised labour platform. With all due respect to our comrades who have done much for Nigeria, this march is for the unrepresented.

“It is not a ‘my religion or tribe is better than yours’ matter. All our blood is red. I, Innocent Idibia, am a living example of a Nigerian who owe their success to Nigerians of every tribe and religion. None ask what religion or tribe I am before supporting me. I am grateful,” he noted.

Meanwhile, Blackface, a former bandmate of 2face, has called on Nigerians to boycott the protest in an Instagram post.

He wrote, “Instead of anyone staging a protest, we all should put our hands on deck to rebuild our country with everyone being committed to serving the country so there can be peace in the land once more.”

Also, the Lagos State Police Commissioner, Fatai Owoseni, has said the command was aware of the proposed demonstration.

Mr. Owoseni stated this on Monday to journalists in Lagos while parading the publisher of Biafra Times and nine others for allegedly publishing and circulating seditious and malicious publications.

The police chief said although his command was yet to be officially notified, the police would not allow unscrupulous elements to hijack the protest.

Read 2face’s statement below:

Since the idea of a nationwide march was first mentioned, the need for urgent solutions to the challenges facing Nigerians has become very clear. The people have hoped for a better Nigeria since 1999 but things are not getting any better for the majority.  We are still where we are – poor and desperate. I will no longer be quiet.

I want to thank EiE, The 2face Foundation, numerous colleagues and countless fellow Nigerians for stepping up to partner with me. I am just a musician with a point of view and the ear of my fans.

I have dedicated my time and resources to peace building, voter education towards peaceful elections and youth engagement in governance in Nigeria. This time around, my partners, colleagues and I have come together to present a platform for real Nigerians to communicate their real pains to government at all levels in a peaceful and articulate manner with a view to getting lasting solutions to our problems.

This march is about demanding that all saboteurs of good government policies should hands off.

This march is about encouraging positive minded Nigerians to continue to work without intimidation.

We have a system that is clearly designed not to work for the majority.

What is this match not about?

Therefore, it is with every sense of humility that I say that with this march, I want:

1)    Security

All Nigerian lives MUST matter. My religion, ethnicity or what part of the country I live shouldn’t determine the type of protection I get from my government.

According to the Constitution, “the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government.”

2)    Education

To develop beyond oil, we have to invest in our human capital. Every child must have access to quality education. If our teachers are not paid, how will we raise the next generation to lead the country and run our businesses?

3)    Health

Health is wealth. People die daily from lack of basic, affordable health care. We can definitely do better.

4)    Power

Government needs to make it easier to generate power at the state and local government levels so everything is not tied to the centre. We need electricity to be productive. The cost of generating our own power is crippling.

5)    Unemployment

Poor education plus a struggling economy means a lot of people are unemployed. Unemployed people are hungry and angry.

6)    High cost of living

Food, transportation, medicine, everything is 3 times, 4 times more expensive but our salaries haven’t increased. What do we do???

7)    Social Justice

According to the Constitution, “The Federal Republic of Nigeria shall be a State based on the principles of democracy and social justice.”

There cannot be one set of rules for the poor and another set for the rich.

8)    Transparency

The best way to kill corruption is to increase transparency. Government finances and contracts must be open and available to all. Who got the money, to do what and by when?

9)    Cost of government

Our governance is TOO expensive – federal, state, local – cars, housing, allowances. We must reduce the cost of maintaining our public officials

10)  Patriotism

I stand with Nigeria. There is enough in Nigeria for all of us to “chop belleful”. Enough is enough. We must put Nigeria first and keep all the greedy & selfish people away from leadership.

Protesters storm Ondo assembly as Mimiko presents last budget.

Some aggrieved residents of Ondo state stormed the state house of assembly on Wednesday ahead of the budget presentation by Olusegun Mimiko, the outgoing governor.


This would be the last time that Mimiko will perform the function, as he will be bowing out on February 24.


Wielding placards and chanting anti-government songs, the protesters are calling on Mimiko to pay the outstanding seven months’ salaries of civil servants before leaving office.


Security has been beefed up in strategic locations within the complex, while entry routes have been blocked.


The assembly is currently embroiled in leadership crisis. Jumoke Akindele, the first female speaker, was impeached last week, over allegations of fraud.


Akindele has since denied the allegations.


As of the time of filing this report, 18 of the 26 lawmakers in the assembly, had arrived at plenary awaiting the proceedings of the day.


Source: The Cable

Obama backs protests against Trump’s Immigration Policy.

Breaking his silence only 10 days after he left office, former President Barack Obama has backed nationwide protests against President Donald Trump’s Refugee Order on Monday.

In a strongly worded statement issued through a spokesman, Kevin Lewis, and reported by networks, Mr. Obama said he was “heartened by the level of engagement taking place in communities around the country”.

“Citizens exercising their constitutional right to assemble, organise and have their voices heard by their elected officials is exactly what we expect to see when American values are at stake.

“With regard to comparisons to President Obama’s foreign policy decisions, as we’ve heard before, the President fundamentally disagrees with the notion of discriminating against individuals because of their faith or religion.”

The former president rejected Mr. Trump’s defence on Sunday that his executive orders restricting travel from seven countries were “similar to what President Obama did in 2011 when he banned visas for refugees from Iraq for six months”.

“The 2011 order did not ban visas for refugees, who by definition don’t travel on visas.

“It tightened the review process for citizens of Iraq and for refugees from the six other countries, while Trump’s is a near-blanket order applying to nearly all residents and citizens of all seven countries.”

Former presidents walk a fine line between staying politically engaged and avoiding knocking their successor.

President George W. Bush, for example, remained markedly silent on politics during Mr. Obama’s eight years in office.

But Mr. Obama’s relationship with Mr. Trump is different, and Monday’s statement made clear that the former president will stay engaged and outspoken on political action.

Mr. Trump’s order temporarily banned immigration from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia and indefinitely stopped Syrian refugees from coming to the United States.

The White House has compared Mr. Trump’s action to what President Obama did in 2011 when “he banned visas for refugees from Iraq for six months”.

It was crafted in response to two Iraqi refugees implicated in a bomb making scheme and while it did not outright ban refugees from coming to the U.Saudi, it did increase the amount of vetting each Iraqi refugee received.

Mr. Trump defended his executive order on Monday in the wake of protests across the country.

He said that America would “continue to show compassion to those fleeing oppression” but would “do so while protecting our own citizens and border”.

“I have tremendous feeling for the people involved in this horrific humanitarian crisis in Syria.

“My first priority will always be to protect and serve our country, but as President I will find ways to help all those who are suffering,” Mr. Trump said.

History and results of the power of women in civil protest – By Chioma Dike

On the heels of the largest protest in US history, the numbers keep coming in and the magnitude keeps rising. This past weekend, the Women’s March on Washington took the world by storm, in protest of the 2016 Presidential race and election results which was laced with the dismissal of women’s rights, reproductive rights, civil rights and more. From women in Los Angeles chanting “My body, My choice”, to Barcelonan protestors chanting “Love trumps hate”, and protest signs in DC that read: “I march for my baby girl” to London with signs reading: “though she might be little her voice is fierce”, women, girls and their male supporters all came out in historic numbers to stake claim in their position regarding women’s rights as human rights.


A much higher number of people showed up for the Women’s March at 3.2- 4.2 million participants and counting in over 500 cities in the United States alone compared to the 250,000 who attended the inauguration. In Los Angeles alone, 750,000 showed up to march for women’s rights and in DC (500k), New York (250k), Chicago (250k), Boston (135-150k), Seattle (130k), Denver (100-150k) to name a few. But the protest was not limited to the US, protestors took to the streets in their marching shoes in London (100k), Canada (50-60k), Australia (10k), Paris, Cape Town, Barcelona, Tel Aviv, Singapore, Tokyo, Dublin, Vienna, Mexico, Berlin and even Antarctica with a total of 616 “Sister marches” around the globe.


While the organizers of the marches are working for a continued effort to seek results, all this strategic use of woman-power has got me thinking of some other examples of the power of the unity of women being used in civil unrest and their yielded results. With leaders like Chief Mrs. Margaret Ekpo, a 20th century pioneer of women’s rights in Nigeria, it should be apparent that Africans are not new to women taking the lead in resistance efforts.


During British colonial Nigeria, when Igbo women sought to gain representation in native leadership as well as fight excessive colonial taxation, in what was birthed Ogu Umunwanyi-also known as the Aba Women’s War, or the Women’s Market Rebellion of 1929. Over 10,000 Igbo women participated in anti-colonial, anti-tax-efforts. Ogu Umunwanyi was mainly organized and led by rural women, and spread rapidly throughout south-eastern Nigeria among the Igbo and Ibibio of Owerri and Calabar provinces, covering about 6,000 square miles and involving a population of two million people.


In the Abeokuta Women Anti-taxation Demonstrations, more than 100,000 women waged demonstrations against the Alake (King of Egba, a city in Abeokuta, Ogun State) and his supporters for exploitative policies during colonial rule which he supported including negotiating land contracts with foreign traders without seeking consent of the native owners; setting food and price controls; favouring European companies in leasing space by forcing the eviction of market women’s stalls and other exploitative acts. Using native forms of protests like songs, sitting-on, protest demonstrations with a combination of foreign methods at the time, such as petitions, court actions, and press conferences, the Abeokuta women succeeded in forcing Alake Ademola II to relinquish his throne on January 3, 1949, four women were placed on the Native Administration Egba Interim Council, the flat-rate taxes on women including the water rate, were ended, among other changes.


The most modern and sustained protest in Nigeria of the 21st century for women’s and girl’s rights has to be the Bring Back our Girls campaign for the return of all 276 kidnapped Chibok school girls from the grip of Boko Haram terrorist group since 2014. With over 1,000 days and counting, the protests and demonstrations requests, with undying hope, for the safe return of all kidnapped Chibok girls and also for the right of girls to receive an education. Since 2014, a number of the girls have been returned but not all, and the protest continues.


In 2003, when the women of Liberia united to encourage peace negotiations for the unrest in their country, they were kept out of peace talks but it was their efforts of sit-ins, demonstrations of praying and singing at town halls, parliament buildings and even outside of the building when peace talks had commenced that pressured the government and rebel groups to come to a solution to the long-standing fighting.


When the Ugandan government and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) engaged in a fierce conflict with the abductions of thousands of girls and boys by the LRA, displacement, rape and other atrocities women activists decided to mobilize to play a direct role in finding a negotiated settlement. During peace talks to end the war in northern Uganda, women marched hundreds of miles, from Uganda to the site of the talks in Juba, Sudan, to pressure a successful negotiation.


It was Angela Davis who said, “I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change, I am changing the things I cannot accept”, who was also a key player in the resistance to the oppression of Blacks in the Civil Right era.


The launching start of the Modern Civil rights movement in America, is accredited to the brave women Claudette Colvin and later, Rosa Parks (strategically) who refused to give up their seats on the public bus for white passengers in Montgomery, Alabama. This was followed by boycotts of major state revenue- generating commerce such as buses, sit-ins defying white/black designated public areas and non-violent protests and marches. These demonstrations were of course accompanied by lawsuits, talks between prominent African American leaders (mainly Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.) and federal/ state government officials and lawmakers which ultimately resulted in desegregation of public areas (one year after Colvin refused to give up her seat, federal lawsuit Browder v. Gayle ended segregation on public transportation in Alabama), voting rights for African Americans and the adherence to civil rights for all American citizens despite their cultural and lineage differences.


Most crucially, are the actions during and after protests that bring forth most change. Actions in the form of coalition-building, sustained advocacy campaigns, inter-sectional programs, direct communication with lawmakers and representatives that result in grand shifts. These are the shifts that oftentimes push the world to marvel at the vast amount of strength stored in women who are determined to rise beyond any limitations.

9 Arrested As Police Break Up Shiites’ Protest At National Assembly Complex

The Police and members of Islamic Movement of Nigeria (Shia group), on Wednesday, clashed at the entrance of the National Assembly Complex in Abuja. Members of the Islamic group had gone to peacefully protest the continued detention of their leader, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakyzaky, but were tear-gassed by policemen.


The placard-wielding protesters, in their hundreds, arrived the main gate of the National Assembly Complex singing anti -government songs and calling on the government to obey a court ruling directing the Federal Government to release their leader. Sheikh El-Zakyzaky has been in the custody of the Department of State Security Services (DSS) for over a year.


The Police had earlier appealed to the protesters not to proceed beyond the Federal Secretariat Complex, claiming that the rally constituted a threat to the public.


But the plea was ignored, with the protesters heading towards the main gate of the National Assembly Complex while chanting: “Free Zakzaky”.


The rejection of the plea not to take their rally beyond the Federal Secretariat Complex made the Police to literally use tear gas to disperse them.


The protesters responded by picking up expended canisters of tear gas to hurl back at the policemen.  Some of the protesters resisted policemen who attempted to make arrests.


The situation was stopped from degenerating when the police elected to use watercannon to disperse the protesters.

BREAKING: Osun State University Shut Over Police Shooting

The management of the Osun State University (UNIOSUN) has ordered the immediate closure of the institution over alleged Police shooting of two students.

The management said that the situation on campus has been tensed as some group of students were said to be nursing grudges against the security operatives in the state over last Saturday’s incident in which two students were shot over alleged internet fraud.

The affected students have been recuperating at the Ladoke Akintola University Teaching Hospital, Osogbo as seen when the Osun State Deputy Governor, Grace Titilayo Laoye-Tomori visited them.

Mrs Laoye-Tomori, while speaking to newsmen, charged security operatives to be alive to their responsibility and avoid accidental discharge in the course of performing their duties.

The Deputy Governor who assured the students that the state government would get to the root of the matter to prevent future occurrence, said justice will be done on the matter.

In a statement issued and signed by the Acting Registrar of the university, Mr Gafar Shittu, the university said the students must immediately proceed on mid-semester break.

ONSU Demands Probe

Meanwhile, the indigenous association for students, Osogbo National Students Union (ONSU) has demanded the probe of the policemen over the shooting of the two students of Osun State University.

The union lamented that the incident threatened the peace of Osogbo and insisted that the matter must be investigated and that the errant policemen must be brought to book.

In a statement jointly signed by the President and Public Relations Officer of ONSU, Adeyemi Idris and Obarayese Sikiru, the body expressed worry that the policemen that were supposed to protect the citizens were the ones endangering their lives.

According to the statement, “It is our belief that the police who claim to be friends of the people should always act their words. It is not enough for them to act on information without thorough investigations.

“We acknowledge the effort of the state government of Osun and Police top hierarchy in the state at dousing the tension which almost degenerated into chaos. Osogbo people are known for peace and security agents should assist in maintaining the peace.

“We appeal for calm on the part of the students of the university and we want to implore the Police authorities to investigate the incident dispassionately to ensure that the culprits are brought to justice.”


Source: Channels TV

Arik Air passengers stranded nationwide as shutdown by protesting workers intesifies.

Aviation unions on Tuesday shut down the operations of Arik Air, leaving hundreds of the airline’s passengers stranded across the country.

The strike was embarked upon by the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), the Air Transport Senior Staff Services Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) and the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers(NAAPE).

The unions embarked on the joint strike following the airline’s failure to pay seven months salary arrears and other alleged anti-labour practices.

The unions said the industrial action would continue indefinitely until their demands are met by the management of Arik Air.

They shut down Arik Air’s flight operations at both the local and international wings of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos and also barricaded the airline’s corporate headquarters within the airport premises.

As early as 6:00 a.m, the aggrieved workers stormed the airport chanting solidarity songs and carrying placards with various inscriptions, denouncing the actions of Arik Air’s management.

Addressing the protesters, Mr Olayinka Abioye, General Secretary, NUATE, said the unions decided to ground Arik Air for safety reasons.

Abioye said : “Arik Air has refused to pay workers salaries for seven months and we know that a disgruntled worker is an accident waiting to happen.

“The airline has been defaulting in taxes and other statutory deductions from workers remunerations.

“The management has refused to allow total unionisation of its employees, in compliance with extant labour laws and with respect to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

He also demanded for the immediate reinstatement of five of the airline’s employees who were sacked for their involvement in unionism.

Abioye further alleged that Arik Air was owing about N13 billion and N6 billion to the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), respectively.

According to him, the airline was also indebted to its aviation fuel suppliers and ground handlers and should therefore be declared insolvent by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

Also speaking, Mr Frances Akinjole, General Secretary, ATSSSAN, said the unions were prepared to embark on the strike for as long as possible.

“Things cannot be business as usual for Arik. A pilot who is disgruntled can crash an aircraft deliberately. An engineer who is being owed salaries can sabotage the aircraft.

“So we need to ground Arik Air until the management shows that they are responsible,” Akinjole added.

Some of Arik Air’s passengers at the General Aviation Terminal resorted to changing their travel plans as there was no staff to attend to them at the airline’s counter.

One of the passengers, Ms Tomisin Olukare, said she bought a one-way ticket from Lagos to Abuja at N42, 000 three days ago.

“I came this morning and there is nobody to attend to me and my flight is supposed to leave by 10:00 a.m., so I am really confused,” she said.

Another passenger, Mrs Chika Emmanuel, said an agent assisted her in buying an Air Peace ticket for Abuja immediately she sensed that there was going to be a disruption on Arik Air operations.

Emmanuel said she would be demanding for a refund of her ticket from Arik Air when she returns from her trip.

When contacted, the Corporate Communications Manager of Arik Air, Mr Ola Adebanji, said the airline would soon issue a statement explaining their position on the situation.

Nyesom Wike leads street protest in Rivers State, says ‘Enough Is Enough’.

Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers state, on Thursday led thousands of supporters to stage a protest over alleged police high handedness during Saturday’s legislative re-run election.

The protesters also accused security personnel of killing members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and demanded the transfer of two policemen alleged to be masterminds of the attacks.

The protest started from Government House to Azikiwe Street and Bank Road before terminating at the Police command headquarters on Moscow road in the city centre.

At the police headquarters, Wike told Cyril Okoro, the state deputy commissioner of police, that people of Rivers were fed up with organised killings.

“On behalf of the Rivers government and good people of the state, we have to let the police know that enough is enough,” he said.

“We demand that Steven Hasso, the assistant commissioner of police in-charge of operations, and Akin Fakorede, commander of Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), be posted out of the state.

“We have come here peacefully to communicate this demand and urge that this request is communicated to Police headquarters in Abuja because I (Wike) have written repeatedly (to IGP).

“Please, I don’t want people to die anymore and definitely do not want corrupt senior police officers posted to Rivers state.”

He said the police had refused to sanction the two policemen in spite alleged video footage, which purported the duo and other security operatives, attempting to allegedly snatch results of the Rivers east senatorial district.

He described as unfortunate and worrisome a situation where policemen “paraded themselves as politicians in uniform”.

Insisting that the “biased” security operatives must be posted out of the state, Wike said: “If they don’t leave the state, then we will do all we can to ensure that they leave this state because they have killed innocent people.”

In his response, Okoro assured Wike that the command will deliver the message to the IGP for possible action.

Meanwhile, the governor has denied the audio linking him to an attempt to rig the election.

He described it as an “outright lie”, saying a “voice changer technology” was used to blackmail him.

“We categorically deny these latest allegations as a sick fabrication, and an outright lie,” read a statement issued on his behalf by Tam George, commissioner for information.

“Governor Wike never made any contact with INEC officials, in person or by telephone. No one would have thought that the APC would resort to an audio impersonation of Governor Nyesom Wike, using a voice changer technology.

“The voice changer technology is often used by teenagers especially in South Korea and Japan to launch innocent technological pranks at each other, mainly for laughs. The use of such a technology to blackmail a governor is a new criminal low for the APC, a party already widely discredited for its addiction to falsehood.”

Anti-Zakzaky protesters storm high court

Protesters under the aegis of Coalition on Good Governance and Change Initiative (CGGCI) stormed the federal high court in Abuja on Monday.


The demonstrators expressed dissatisfaction with the order to free Ibraheem Zakzaky, leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN).


On Friday, Gabriel Kolawole, a judge of the court, ordered that he should be released within 45 days.


Zakzaky and some of his followers were arrested in December, following a clash involving the military.


Okpokwu Ogenyi, president of CGGCI, said the order given by the court to free Zakzaky was “legalising terrorism”.


“Judiciary has dealt a fresh blow to the future of Nigeria by legalising terrorism while leaving the rest of us at risk of losing our lives,” he said.


“In the space of one week, the judiciary has ordered dangerous fanatics and demagogues to be returned to the streets to resume brainwashing, radicalizing and militarising vulnerable youths in the population.


“This could have only been in keeping with fulfilling obligations entered into for less than honourable considerations even as we cannot rule out a judiciary that is taking its pound of flesh from an executive arm that has exposed the sleaze on its soiled bench.


“If the entire judiciary has activated its vendetta against the security agencies that they see as the executive arm, the precedence set by Justice Gabriel Kolawole took things to the ridiculous by awarding N50 million of tax payers’ money to finance IMN’s radicalisation programme while also asking that the police further deploy its personnel to protect a man whose sect members.


“This judge also failed to realise the weight of his utterance that  has basically ordered the government to build a new headquarters for a proscribed group – we do hope he will keep himself on the bench for when other terror groups approach to demand for the government to build them headquarters.”

Don’t Repeat 1983 Violence, Yorubas Beg Ondo Electorate

As the people of Ondo State prepare for Saturday’s governorship election, Yoruba communities in some parts of the country have appealed to the electorate in the state to avoid a repeat of the violence that erupted between Michael Ajasin and Akin Omoboriowo during the 1983 election.

The President General-elect of the South-South, South-East Yoruba Council, Chief Adekunle Alabi, who made this plea while speaking with newsmen in Port Harcourt on Monday, expressed the need for the people of Ondo State to embrace peace during the exercise.

Recalling how lives and property worth millions of naira were lost during the politically motivated violence that erupted in the state 33 years ago, Alabi warned that a repeat of such incident could affect the nation’s democracy.

Alabi, who emerged the president general-elect of the council after an election in Port Harcourt on Saturday, urged politicians in Ondo to play by the rules of the game.

He also pleaded with the Independent National Electoral Commission and security agencies to be neutral during the governorship election so as to avoid serious agitations that could affect the safety of the people.

“The people of Ondo should embrace peace and ensure that the governorship election is violence-free. I also urge them to avoid a repeat of the violence that erupted between Michael Ajasin and Akin Omoboriowo factions in 1983.

“INEC and security agencies should do their work properly; they should be neutral and with God, we believe the exercise on Saturday will be free and fair,” Alabi stressed.

BREAKING: Violent protests erupt as Donald Trump becomes president-elect in America.

Crowds of angry protesters have taken to streets across the United States chanting “Not Our President” while setting fires and smashing windows.


Hundreds of people descended on California minutes after it was announced that Donald Trump had won the election.


Hillary Clinton supporters were filmed setting fire to the US flag while marching through the streets of Portland, Oregon, shouting “F*** Donald Trump”.


Footage also emerged of activists setting tyres and rubbish bins on fire, blocking main roads and lighting flares.


People also burned an effigy of the President-elect, who will be officially sworn into office in January.


Meanwhile, a young student has reportedly been hit by an SUV and severely injured during a march in Berkeley, with one witness claiming the crash was intentional, according NBC Bay Area .


Hillary Clinton supporters burn a US flag in Portland, Oregon, during protests after Trump wins (Photo: Twitter)
Police detain a protester marching against president-elect Donald Trump in Oakland, California
Hundreds of protesters gathered to march after it was announced that Mr Trump had won the election (Photo: Reuters)
A fire rages on a main road after angry protesters took to the streets (Photo: Rex)

Other protests have broken out in the San Diego, San Fransisco and San Jose areas, according to reports.

People could be heard chanting “Whose streets? Our streets” and “Not Our President”, according to Twitter users at the scene.

A demonstration also unfolded at the University of California, Davis where students blocked streets as they marched and chanted anti-Trump slogans and “You are not America, we are America,” according to Twitter posts.

Anti-racist protesters are to stage a demonstration outside the US Embassy in London following the shock election victory.

People link arms as they march through the streets of Oakland, California (Photo: Reuters)
The carnage left in the streets of Oakland after protests broke out (Photo: Rex)

Activists accused the President-elect of having a long history of “racist outbursts” as well as his promise to build a wall between the US and Mexico.

Sabby Dhalu, co-convener of the Stand up to Racism group, said: “Donald Trump used the oldest trick in the book – he stirred up fear and racism in the context of a stagnant economy and the resulting fall in living standards – to mobilise a vote for him.

“The danger now is racists across the globe feel emboldened by Donald Trump’s victory and racism and sexism become normalised through the most powerful figure in the world.

“We call on anti-racists and all progressives to join us tonight outside the US Embassy.”

Protesters chanted “Who’s streets? Our streets” and “Not our president” (Photo: REX)
Police were called to deal with protesters after peaceful marches turned violent (Photo: reX)
Protesters set fire to tyres, rubbish and even American flags (Photo: Rex)

The billionaire businessman will become the 45th president of the United States after voters gambled on his pledge to “Make America Great Again”.

Speaking at a victory party in New York after rival Hillary Clinton conceded defeat, Mr Trump urged Americans to put the election behind them.

“It is time for us to come together as one united people,” he said.

“I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans.”

Hillary supporters turned out to vent their fury at the election result (Photo: Splash)
Fires burned on highways, which police were forced to close in the hours after the election result was announced (Photo: rex)
Furious students marched in cities across the United States moments after Trump declared victory (Photo: Rex)

Taking to the stage with his family, including wife Melania, Mr Trump promised a plan to double economic growth and invest in world-class infrastructure.

“Working together, we will begin the urgent task of rebuilding our nation and renewing the American dream.”

It would be a “beautiful thing”, he said.

The election of the outspoken businessman and TV personality, who has never held public office, shows the anger and frustration of many Americans who felt left behind by the economy and ignored by the political establishment.

Mr Trump said: “The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.”

Police were called to deal with activists after people began smashing windows and starting fires (Photo: reX)
Protesters in Oakland to Broadway in downtown to protest the election of Donald Trump (Photo: Rex)

The Republican candidate sealed victory when he took key battleground states Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

The Clinton camp initially refused to throw in the towel, but Mr Trump told supporters shortly before 8am UK time: “I’ve just received a call from Secretary Clinton. She congratulated us – it’s about us – on our victory and I congratulated her and her family on a very, very hard-fought campaign.”

During the battle for the Oval Office, Mr Trump had repeatedly described his rival as “crooked Hillary” and called her a “nasty woman”.

(Photo: Getty)

But he struck a conciliatory tone in his first appearance as president-elect, thanking the former first lady and secretary of state for her “service” to the country.

Mr Trump sought to give reassurance to international leaders about his intentions: “I want to tell the world community that, while we will always put America’s interests first, we will deal fairly with everyone – all people and all other nations.

UNILAG Shut Over Students’ Protest

The authorities of University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, have ordered the closure of the gates of the main campus at Akoka due to protest by students.

The aggrieved students were said to be protesting against the rustication of some members of the students’ union.

The rusticated students were leaders of the students body that led a protest in April over poor electricity and water supply in the community, and the difficulty faced by a large number of students living off campus to attend classes as a result of the fuel crisis.

Members of the suspended University of Lagos Students Union (ULSU) executive had earlier in the month protested what they described as an “unjust rustication” of the union members.

The aggrieved students gathered at the school’s Senate building to demand thorough investigation of the suspensions of the students’ leaders, ranging from two to four semesters, for their role in a protest that led to the closure of the university in April.

South African Universities Close After Tuition Fee Protests

At least three South African universities suspended classes on Wednesday because of student protests over tuition fees after the government recommended above-inflation increases for 2017.

Students demanding free tertiary education marched near Johannesburg’s University of the Witwatersrand, known as “Wits”, where classes were called off for the rest of this week.

Academic activities were also suspended at the University of Pretoria’s main campus, and the University of Cape Town said it had temporarily suspended classes on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Demonstrations since 2015 over the cost of university education, prohibitive for many black students, have highlighted frustration at the inequalities that persist more than two decades after the 1994 end of white-minority rule.

The latest protests were triggered by a government recommendation on Monday that 2017 tuition fee increases be capped at 8 percent. Inflation stands at 5.9 percent.

Police spokesman Lungelo Dlamini said 31 students arrested on Tuesday at Wits had been released, but gave no further details.

The government and the main opposition party have accused students of turning campuses across the country into battlegrounds and damaging university property.

Weeks of violent demonstrations last year forced President Jacob Zuma to rule out fee raises for 2016, but university authorities have warned that another freeze for the coming year could damage their academic programmes.

Protests Don’t Pay, Mugabe Warns Citizens

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Monday warned that protests against his rule “don’t pay”, after a string of public strikes across the country were quelled by police.

“Things like protests don’t pay because usually they end up being violent protests,” Mugabe said while addressing hundreds gathered to commemorate Heroes Day in the capital Harare.

The day is marked to remember fallen heroes of the liberation war of the 1970s.

“What does it help to go in the streets with the intention to show that you are able to throw stones? To throw stones, to hit the police with stones — we do not want that.”

The 92-year-old leader’s comments come after a series of street protests erupted in past weeks, sparked by Zimbabwe’s faltering economy.

Last week riot police used tear gas and water cannons to break up a protest by several hundred demonstrators in the capital.

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Ex-Militants’ Planned Protest: Army, Navy, Police, DSS Takes Over Warri, Effurun.

The Nigerian Army, Navy, Police and Department of State Services, DSS, have deployed personnel in strategic locations in Warri, Effurun and environs in Delta State, following intelligence report that ex-militants plan to protest the non-payment of their monthly allowances.


development, yesterday, Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs and Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Brig-Gen. Paul Boroh (retd), told Vanguard on phone that there was no need for the protest.


He said: “It is true that there are some debts, but the money has come. The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, will start payment from today or tomorrow. I have long passed this information to the ex-militants that payment will start soon. I do not know why some of them are still insisting on the protest.

Imo State Recalls Suspended Workers To End Protests

The Imo State government has recalled workers it suspended in 19 parastatals in the state, ending the disagreement between the government and labour unions on the issue.

The decision was reached on Wednesday after a meeting between the State government officials and some leaders of the labour unions.

In an agreement signed after talks by the ‘Committee on Joint Government-Labour Negotiation in Imo State’, an immediate recall of all suspended workers of Imo State was recommended, “notwithstanding that the parastatals in the opinion of Government should have been more productive”.

One of the other clauses in the agreement is that the gross revenue of the Government from all sources would be verified every month by the joint committee  of Government and Labour.

The agreement read: “That the Government will retain and run all its  affairs with not more than 30% of the verified revenue for the month, while the committee will apply the balance of 70% in the settlement of salaries of public servants and pensioners.

“Negotiations will continue with a view to fully accessing the wage bill of every Ministry, Department and Agency (MDA) and to determine the funding modalities of parastatals within the agreed percentage sharing framework.

“That a comprehensive agreement will be reached by both parties”.

Both parties were also of the opinion that at a quarterly interval, the position in Imo State on the critical areas would be reviewed and compliance ensured and that all revenue subheads for the month would be fully disclosed by the office of the Accountant General to select Committee of Labour.

Credit: ChannelsTv

Protests As New Electricity Tariffs Begin Today

There is apprehension among residential and commercial electricity consumers across the country as the new Multi-Year Tariff Order (MYTO 2015) takes off today amid doubts over commensurate electricity supply.

A meeting called by the regulator, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) with the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) on Friday failed to convince the manufacturers to drop their earlier opposition to the new tariff regime.

It learnt that at the meeting with NERC management, MAN insisted that its members would not discuss the tariffs because the matter was in court.

A committee was subsequently set up to discuss an out-of-court settlement.

While employers under the aegis of the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) demanded an improved electricity supply, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has rejected the new tariffs.

Speaking in an exclusive interview, the Director General of NECA, Olusegun Oshinowo, said employers of labour were spending huge resources to power their operations, which contribute to the overall cost of production.

He said: “Well, an increase of the tariffs is not something that employers would moan about really especially if one looks at how much diesel is sold at. For us, the issue is not primarily about increment to tariffs but about the availability of electricity. If power is available, employers would spend less on their operations, which would ultimately lead to a reduction in the prices of goods and services. So, if electricity is available, employers would do much more, employ more workers and produce at cheaper rate that would benefit the economy in the long term.”

Organised labour under the aegis of the NLC has however, berated NERC’s decision to increase electricity tariffs without ensuring availability of meters to promote social justice where consumers would pay for exactly the amount of electricity they consume.

According to the Congress President, Ayuba Wabba, relying on estimated bills rips consumers off.

He said: “Congress considers as illegal, unfair, unjustifiable and a further exploitation of the already exploited Nigerians, the 45 per cent increase in electricity.”

Credit: Guardian

Pro-Biafra Activists Continue Protests In Aba

Worried by spate of protests by pro-Biafra groups, seeking self determination for the people of South East and their neighbours, Imo State Governor and Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Governors’ Forum, Rochas Okorocha yesterday said he had taken steps to arrange a meeting of governors and chieftains of the Ohaneze Ndigbo “to discuss the matter.”

The move came on the heels of continued protest by pro-Biafra activists under the aegis of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in Aba. The groups had staged a miniature rally on Saturday to protest the continued detention of the Director of Radio Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, by the Federal Government.

Credit: Guardian

Gigantic Statue Of Satan Erected Amid Protests (PHOTOS)

Hundreds of people attended Mass at a Detroit Catholic Church in protest of an 8.5-foot bronze statue of goat-headed Satan that hundreds came to see.  A group called the Satanic Temple unveiled the Baphomet statue during a private event on in a Detroit industrial building on Saturday, which people could attend starting at $25 dollars a ticket.


Its location was kept secret by the group until the last minute to avoid public demonstrations planned for its unveiling. Leading up to the statue’s unveiling, the group also received messages from people threatening to burn the venue of the event down and blow up the statue. In response, around 250 people attended mass Saturday morning at St. Joseph’s Church in prayer for the city and in protest of the statue’s unveiling.

The Satanic Temple originally intended to unveil the statue in public, but the owner of the venue, Bert’s Marketplace, returned the rental feel to the group after finding out about the statue unveiling.

The group unsuccessfully attempted to have the statue displayed near a monument of the Ten Commandments, which was located on state grounds of the Oklahoma Capitol. But in June, the state Supreme Court ruled that the display of the Ten Commandments — or any religious statues on state grounds — violated the state’s constitution. The Satanic Temple claimed the move as a victory, according to the New York Times.

Following the unveiling of the satanic statue, the group intends to place it outside the Arkansas Statehouse in Little Rock, the same location where another Ten Commandments monument is planned.


CCECC Staff Protest Against The Chinese Construction Company’s Treatment Of Its Nigerian Workers

Nigerian workers of China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) at the ongoing N29 billion Ikorodu Road reconstruction project, yesterday, protested alleged anti-labour practices by the company and unwillingness of the company to pay disengaged employees their entitlements.

The aggrieved workers, who carried placards, chanted protest songs in front of the CCECC office at Majidun area of Ikorodu, Lagos, as early as 10:00 am, yesterday.

“CCECC stop cheating us, pay us our pay-offs,” “CCECC, we are not slaves, pay us,” and “We need our pay-off, it is our right,” read some of the placards.

According to Vanguard, one of the affected workers, Thaddus Akaa, said the protest was to seek their due compensations from CCECC, stressing that workers had been tolerating the alleged abuse because of fear of being sacked.

“I started working with them since, 2011 and we worked across Nigeria tirelessly from Sunday to Monday without any break till the end of the month; no weekend, no holidays.

“They called us all sorts of names, treat us like slaves and drove many of us out of the company without any notice or compensation. Most of us have been sent out without any plan of payment and our fear is that the project is nearing completion and it will be handed over to Lagos State government on May 13 without them giving us our pay-offs,” Akaa lamented.

Also speaking to Vanguard, a forklift operator, Ope Adako said the workers had to protest in order to let the world know how CCECC had been treating Nigerians.

“They have no respect for their labour; we beg our government to quickly come to our aid.

“In times of redundancy, it is understandable that companies can lay off workers, but compensations must be given to such staff.

“Most of those they have sacked have not received any word on how the company intends to compensate them. The company’s management ignored us totally and they have turned our union to a mere puppet, who speaks for the management’s cause,” he added.

Adako also said that many of his colleagues, who had been working with CCECC for over 10 years were among those who were indiscriminately laid-off by the company.

Malawi Protests Against Attacks On Immigrants In SA

A diplomat at the South African High Commission in Malawi said hundreds of people protested outside the commission in the capital, Lilongwe, against anti-immigrant attacks in South Africa.

The commission’s Welcome Simelane said on Tuesday that it was a peaceful protest and demonstrators handed over a petition to High Commissioner Cassandra Mbuyane-Mokone. Malawi’s information minister Kondwani Nankhumwa said nearly 400 Malawians arrived home on Monday, travelling overnight by bus from South Africa.

Police said there was no new violence reported in Johannesburg and surrounding areas.

Credit: AP