The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, has claimed that the Federal Government is trivializing the #EndSARS demands, as State Governors cannot take charge of tactical commands when they don’t have the power to discipline anyone who errs.
Wike made this known in a statement on Friday evening, as the FG seeks ways to end the youth-led nationwide protests.
The Federal Government is trivialising the demands by #EndSARS protesters by directing State Governors to take charge of Tactical Commands of the Police.
State Governors cannot take charge of Tactical Commands because they cannot employ or discipline anyone who errs. pic.twitter.com/0jwmPfKujH
— Gov N E Wike Information. (@GovWike) October 16, 2020
The National Economic Council (NEC) this week ordered state governors to establish judicial panels for claims of police brutality, and also urged that Governors supervise tactical teams introduced by the Inspector-General of Police.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo also announced that governors would set up judicial panels of inquiry because only state governors, by law, can set up judicial inquiries in their states.
Wike said that it was impossible for State Governors to take charge of Tactical Commands because they couldn’t employ or discipline any erring party.
He added that Rivers had set up a Judicial Commission into activities of SARS, however, those found wanting were promoted by the Police Force.
“In Rivers State, we set up a Judicial Commission of Inquiry that indicted SARS officers. Instead of the Police authorities punishing the indicted officers, they shielded them and even promoted one to the rank of an Assistant Inspector General.
“Now the Federal Government wants us to set up another Commission of Inquiry, when the report of the last one we set up was not implemented,” he said.
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CACOVID reacts to looting of food items, explains why distribution of palliatives was delayed
CACOVID has explained why the distribution of palliatives to Nigerians to cushion the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was delayed.
Private sector-led Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) on Monday explained why the distribution of palliatives to poor and vulnerable families to cushion the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was delayed.
The coalition said that the distribution of the relief items, which were for 2 million most vulnerable families in the 774 local government areas across the country, was delayed due to the magnitude of the number of food items to be distributed.
This disclosure was made by the Acting Director of Corporate Communications of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Osita Nwanisobi, on behalf of the coalition, on Monday, October 27, 2020.
The coalition said that the large scale of this nationwide food programme and the timing of the orders, which coincided with the lockdowns and limited movement across the country, delayed the procurement and distribution exercise.
A statement by the coalition’s spokesman partly reads, “Members of the Private Sector-led Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) wish to call for calm, amidst the looting of COVID-19 palliatives meant for distribution in various State Government warehouses across the country.
“The Coalition is deeply concerned by the recent events and is urging those involved in the wanton destruction of public and private property to immediately desist from these raids, in order to allow the States to proceed with a peaceful and fair distribution of these palliatives to the neediest and most vulnerable in our society.
“Over the past few months, the private sector, through CACOVID has been working with governors, the FCT Minister, and the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) to procure, deliver, and distribute these food relief items to almost 2 million most vulnerable families (over 10 million Nigerians) across the 774 local government areas of the country, as part of the private sector’s support towards the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The sheer scale of this nationwide food programme and the timing of the orders and deliveries, which coincided with the lockdowns and reduced movement across the country, compelled CACOVID to roll out distribution in a staggered manner.
“The very large size of the order and the production cycle required to meet the demand caused delays in delivering the food items to the states in an expeditious manner; hence, the resultant delay in delivery of the food palliatives by the state governors.”
CACOVID warned that some intended beneficiaries for palliatives will not get the relief food items due to the looting of these items by hoodlums.
The coalition said it worked with all Governors and the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to share the food items to over 10 million poor Nigerians.
It, however, pointed out that not every warehouse in Nigeria that contains palliatives is affiliated with the CACOVID donation, given that the states themselves, the Federal Government, and other organizations have also made donations.
What you should know
It can be recalled that as part of the fallout of the outbreak of violence during the #EndSARS protests, there has been widespread looting of warehouses used to temporarily store the palliative items for distribution to the poor and vulnerable, as part of measures to reduce the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. These incidents have been prevalent in different states across the country including the FCT.
Nigerians have been very critical and expressed their anger over the non-distribution of these items in the face of hunger across the country, some months after the announcement of this exercise. They accuse the politicians of allegedly keeping these items for themselves, their cronies, and possible distribution during electioneering campaigns.
NEC sets up committee to address unemployment and improve national security
NEC has set up a committee to engage youths, others on employment, social safety nets and national unity
At the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting held yesterday, a resolution was reached by the Council that deeper needs and demands of the #EndSARS protests should be addressed by both Federal and State Governments. Hence, a committee was set up to engage the youths on unemployment, examine the underlining issues of the protests, and find solutions to improve national security.
This information is contained in the circular issued by the National Economic Council after the over 4 hours meeting and also a confirmatory tweet by Laolu Akande, the Senior Special Assistant on Media & Publicity to the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.
After over 4 hours of deliberations:
NEC SETS UP COMMITTEE TO ENGAGE YOUTHS, OTHERS ON EMPLOYMENT, SOCIAL SAFETY NETS & NATIONAL UNITY
*COMMENDS NIGERIAN POLICE, SECURITY AGENCIES ON HANDLING OF DISTURBANCES IN SOME STATES
— Laolu Akande (@akandeoj) October 26, 2020
At the end of the emergency meeting, a Joint Committee was set up by the Chairman of Council, VP Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, to work with State governments represented by the Governors of Ebonyi, Ondo, Niger, Delta, Borno, and Sokoto states to implement the resolutions of the emergency meeting.
The National Executive Council during the meeting affirmed an unequivocal belief and assurance that most members of the nation’s security personnel are law-abiding and are capable of restoring law and order in the country.
What you should know
The Committee would be chaired by the Vice President, while other members of the Committee are Governors of Sokoto, Borno, Niger, Ondo, Ebonyi, and Delta states.
The Joint Committee set-up by NEC is to see to the implementation of the following frameworks and the given objectives:
- Framing of a new security and stability architecture for the country.
- A framework of engagement with the youth, civil society, and religious leaders, in a bid to promote national unity.
- A framework to engage with security agencies that will devolve more control to State governors, who are the Chief Security Officers (CFO) of their states.
- A framework for the Federal Government to provide compensation for those who have incurred losses in the last few weeks.
- And a social security framework for the youth and Nigerians to deal with the problem of unemployment and poverty in the country.
ASUU discloses why it is yet to call off nationwide strike
ASUU has disclosed why after several negotiations with the government, it is still yet to call off its on-going strike.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has given the reason it is yet to call off its ongoing strike, following its dispute with the Federal Government.
The national body of the university lecturers said that they are waiting for the government to conduct an integrity test on the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), a homegrown payment platform created by ASUU in place of the government’s Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
While making the disclosure during an interview with Punch, the ASUU President, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, said the government needed to give the clearance to National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) to conduct an integrity test on UTAS.
The ASUU President said, “The integrity test will be handled by NITDA, it is the government that will facilitate it because NITDA is a government agency and unless you get clearance from the government that test cannot be conducted.”
On whether the government had accepted UTAS, Ogunyemi said, “We are still talking, we have given them the position of our members, we are thinking we should be able to hold a meeting this week if they have not changed plans. The meeting for Monday was postponed. In principle, they have accepted UTAS and told us to go for the test, and on our part, we have started the process.
“We had presented UTAS at three levels, starting with the Ministry of Education, Senate President and members of his team, officials of Ministry of Finance and Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, where all other stakeholders were present, including NITDA. All stakeholders have witnessed the presentation and the next stage of integrity test is what we are moving into.
“If government facilitates it, it is not something that should drag for too long at all. We don’t foresee any problem with UTAS, it also depends on how early the government makes it possible for the integrity test to be conducted.”
Ogunyemi also explained that ASUU was ready to resume academic activities if the government was ready to play its part.
He said, “Our members are ready to resume work as early as the government is ready to play its part. I’m sure you are not suggesting that our members should resume on an empty stomach or the strike should be suspended without any concrete action on the side of the government. We don’t like to stay away from our work because we like our students; they are also our children.’’
Ogunyemi noted that as far as they are concerned, they don’t have any issue with going back to work, but they want more sincerity on the side of government.
What you should know
It can be recalled that ASUU embarked on an industrial action about 8 months ago across the country, following its dispute with the Federal Government over their insistence on the implementation of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) in the payment of University lecturers’ salaries and allowances. Alternatively, ASUU developed a homegrown payment platform, UTAS, which they believe guarantees the autonomy of the university.
The Federal Government, following negotiation with ASUU, said that it might consider adopting UTAS as a way of finding a solution to the lingering crisis.