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Human Rights: ‘Nigeria Democracy Is Without Democrats’-Former Labour Leader



Govt Attempting To Gag Human Rights Space

A former labour leader in the defunct Bendel State, Rev. Olu Aderibigbe, Tuesday, December 10th, described the Nigerian democracy system as “democracy without democrats.”

Aderibigbe who made this assertion while speaking at the closing ceremony of the 2019 edition of World Human Right  Day, noted that Nigeria democracy is without democrats.

This year’s World Human Rights Day with theme: “Youth Standing up for Human Right”, was organised by Edo Civil Society Organizations.

He said, “The situation in Nigeria is that we are in democracy without democrats, or how do one explain the situation where people stole  billions of naira, money belonging to Nigerians and the most they get is ten years imprisonment, but when someone talks, they will say it is hate speech and the person is to be  given death sentence.

He called on Nigerians to condemn the proposed penalty for hate speech partucularly the proposed death penalty.

We should all condemn hate speech, they did not kill the former governor, who later became a senator, he was said to have stollen billions of naira. But when someone talks, they say hate speech and the person must be hanged. Look at the way Sowore was arrested in the court, we should all stand to condemn it.

Rev. Olu Aderibigbe (left)

He challenged Nigerians partucularly the youths to stand for their rights and also protect what belongs to them.

Corroborating Aderibigbe’s assertions, Leftist Omobude Agho, Coordinator-General, Edo Civil Society Organisations (EDOCSO), noted that this year’s Human Rights Day was United Nations call to youths to stand for their rights.

He said this year’s edition was a total shift of direction so that the younger generations wake up and take the fight of human rights and drive.

Speaking on how best the youth can know their rights, Agho noted that youths must first learn about what their right is and then take it upon themselves that it is their rights, adding that bring back civic education to the education curriculum is one of the ways.

Youths can know their rights by first learning about what their right is, then take it upon themselves that it is their rights. I think they should also insist that government should bring back civic education to the curriculum. It must be thought in the primary as basic and then brought to the secondary and university and other higher institutions.

“Our history must be brought back, that is how we know about the past. Our society was a better society when we had all these courses in our schools. As soon as they removed them deliberately and systematically, which we were not sensitive enough, that is how we found ourselves in this mess. We now shout that we are in military era but we are in democracy”, he added.

Agho raised the alarm that the government of the day has been making everything possible to gag the human rights space in the country and to shut up everybody, stressing that this has made EDOCSO to let the younger ones know their lives is being endangered.

He noted, “And you can see presently in Nigeria partucularly on where our leaders and government is trying to shrink the human right space and to shut everybody up. So we are trying to let the younger ones know that it is not the lives of the elderly ones that is being endangered because those ones are already on their ways out, but the younger ones who are coming in, whose lives, whose destiny is about to be changed. So, they better rise as we are speaking.”

On Sowore’s recent arrest in the court room, EDOCSO C.G. decried all manners of human rights abuse perpetrated by security agencies in the country, calling on the younger ones to speak against such.

EDOCSO Public Relations officer, Leftist Osazee Edigin, said the programme was packaged to sensitise members of the public on their rights and also chart a new course for new agenda for 2020 so that people can be more equipped in knowing their fundamental human rights and enforce them accordingly.

He noted that one of the problems faced in the state was that youths are being oppressed and intimidated, while their rights are being utterly abused by security agencies

“And this has been a general problem we have been facing in Edo State, where Edo youths are being oppressed, intimidated and their rights are being abused excessively in Edo State by law enforcement agencies basically, and by some government agents by their ways of operations.

“As we speak, if you go to detention, you will be amazed by the number of youths held their. And some are their beyond Constitutional time, and even when we wrote letters to some of these institutions, some of them refused and denied us access to these detentions facilities. This is to tell you a whole lots of human rights abuses going on in these agencies and they don’t want the civil society to know”, he said

Osazee, however,scored EDOCSO high in her bid in fighting for human rights by saying that the Organisations has freed many who were illegally detained or who a huge amount were requested from for bail without paying a dime.



Wike Lists His Priorities As FCT Minister To British High Commission




Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, has told the British High Commission in Abuja that security, agriculture and job creation are among the top priorities of the FCT Administration.

The minister made this statement when he received a delegation from the British High Commission in Nigeria led by the British High Commissioner, Richard Montgomery, on a courtesy visit to the FCT Administration on Tuesday.

The British High Commissioner had sought to understand the priorities of the FCT Administration for the development of the FCT in order to improve bilateral relations.

Responding, Wike said the creation of jobs, especially in the agricultural sector, is being prioritized to ensure that the teeming youth in the FCT are provided with a source of livelihood. He added that the FCT Administration, in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has also provided the necessary support to the security agencies to address the security challenges in the FCT.

READ ALSO: Wike Places N20m Bounty On Two Wanted Abuja Kidnappers

He said the ongoing provision of infrastructure in the Abuja city center and the Area Councils, apart from accelerating the development of the FCT, are also avenues for job creation for the youths who would be engaged during the course of the projects.

According to the Minister, “When you say priority, creation of jobs is key. If you are not able to create jobs, of course, you know what that will mean for the teeming youths. So, we believe that the creation of jobs is not only in the white-collar sector. Through these activities, many of the youths are employed.

“If you go to the area councils today, there are lots of jobs going on that have created opportunities for the youths to be employed. So, the creation of jobs is a priority for this administration.”

Stressing that the FCT has vast arable lands for agriculture, the FCT Minister also expressed the readiness of the FCT Administration to collaborate with investors in the agricultural sector to create employment for youths and promote food security.

READ ALSO: SERAP Drags Wike, Others To Court Over Missing LG Funds

We have to remove the youths from the streets. So, we believe that in partnering with investors in the area of agriculture, that will also create jobs. So, that, in fact, to us, is a major priority. We will be interested if we can see partners in these areas,” the minister stressed.

Wike also added that the FCT is open to investments and collaborations in the tourism sector to make the city a major tourist attraction.

Speaking further on the security challenges in the FCT, the Minister stated that remarkable improvements have been achieved in the last few months due to the level of support and commitment of the security agencies.

The FCT Minister, who blamed the heightened insecurity in the FCT in the recent past on the activities of kidnappers and bandits, from the states sharing borders with the FCT, noted that the security agencies have done quite well to tame the activities of the bandits and other criminal elements.

He expressed confidence that the improved security in the FCT will also increase investors’ confidence in the nation’s capital.

We cannot say that we have been able to solve all the problems, but it is important to know that we are making progress, particularly on the issue of security, which has been a source of concern, not only to residents but the diplomatic community,” Wike said.

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Alleged Diversion Of Palliatives: Sacked Kogi Council Boss, Atawodi Breaks Silence




Hassan Atawodi, the sacked Transition Chairman of Ofu Local Government Area, has opened up on why he was removed.

The Secretary to Kogi State Government, Folashade Arike Ayoade, had on Monday announced the sack of Atawodi in a statement by Governor Ahmed Usman Ododo, for allegedly diverting palliatives meant for his local government.

Speaking to journalists on Tuesday, Atawodi said he was removed from office courtesy of some political leaders who do not like him.

He added that the palliative meant for Ofu LGA was not handed over to him, saying, “How can I divert what was not given to me?”

While noting that it was a gang-up against him, as there was no time he diverted any palliatives meant for his people, Atawodi stressed that he was denied the clearance letter that would have allowed him to collect the palliative.

READ ALSO: Tinubu Launches expatriate Employment Levy

“My travails began from the first day I was appointed, possibly because I was not the choice of some alleged power brokers in my local government. After signing for the palliative for Ofu, the next day I could not get the clearance letter because of orders from above.

“Upon assumption of office, I appointed my five aides and six special advisers. Later, they reported me to the powers that be that I made the appointments without consulting them.

“They went to the extent of sending pictures of somebody I appointed to say he was a member of an opposition party.

“I was asked to meet with the Leader of the local government in the company of the House of Assembly member, the local government, and the zonal party chairmen, which I did and asked that they should please forgive me, following their report, with a call on them to please join me so that we can work together.

READ ALSO: FULL LIST: Agencies That May Be Scrapped Based On Oronsaye 800-page Report

“Following my appeal to those who reported me over the appointment, I was asked to dissolve the aides I appointed, which I did by going on air as promised and dissolved all the SSAs.”

The former Transition Chairman said he is innocent of the allegations of diversion of palliatives leveled against him, calling on the State Governor of Kogi State to look into the matter critically, as the said palliative was never handed over to him.

Continuing, he said, “I was not given a palliative to share. On hearing about the palliative, I went to the Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs, who said there is an instruction for me not to be given the palliative.

“The ommissioner asked me to put a call across to the Deputy Governor before it could be released. I called from the morning through till about 4:00 pm on the said day, without my calls being picked.

“I later went back to the Commissioner, who said the Deputy Governor is yet to call. I had to leave to return the following day.

READ ALSO: JUST IN: CBN Begins Sales Of Dollars To BDCs

“The next day, upon arrival at the Government House, I saw the DLG, SLG, and the APC Chairman for my local government. The commissioner said he has been directed to release the palliative to them.

“I was asked by the Commissioner to remain calm, particularly that with the several leaders I have in my local government, he doesn’t think I should bother myself with how the palliative would be shared.

“After they moved the palliative from the Muhammadu Buhari Civic Centre, I called the DLG to ask about the whereabouts of the palliative, that is the 1200 bags of rice. He said it was off-loaded at the residence of the Zonal Chairman in Ejule. I asked if it was safe there, as I would have guaranteed that if brought to the Local Government Secretariat, it would be safer and would reach the intended beneficiaries.

“I was at the Governorship Tribunal in Abuja yesterday when somebody called me to inform me that a letter of replacement was being typed to replace me, after which I was later told that I had been replaced.”

While the former Transition Chairman said he has taken the power play against him as the will of God, he lamented that he was surprised to read on social media that his sack was connected with the alleged diversion of palliatives that were never given or handed over to him.

“My hands are clean, and I know that my God will fight for me. Since my assumption, it’s been one battle to another. The DSS are all aware of my travails.”

The former Transition Chairman called on Gov. Ahmed Usman Ododo to constitute an investigation into the reason behind his removal, pointing out that it could not have been over a palliative that was not handed over to him.


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FX Crisis: Dollar May Exchange For N4000 By End Of 2024 — Ozekhome Warns




Human rights activist, Mike Ozekhome, says the Dollar may exchange for N4000 by the end of 2024 should the Naira keep falling against the Dollar at its current rate.

Ozekhome stated this in an interview on Channels Television on Tuesday.

The senior lawyer said there are no visible signs that the Naira won’t fall any further.

He said, “Just today, we paid out another $400 million that was so identified. In terms of the reserves, it has gone up to $34 billion.

READ ALSO: Forex Crisis: EFCC 7,000-man Task Force Goes After Dollar Racketeers

“If we are not careful we will get to the situation in Ghana, where they were carrying cedis in baskets to the market to go and buy things and put in their pockets.”

”Why have BDCssit under the trees and tables control our economy.”

Ozekhome stated that the government needs to do everything in its power to alleviate the suffering by going back to the drawing board.

He expressed surprise at the current administration blaming its predecessors for the economic state of the nation

”But to me, it is most embarrassing when I see officials of this government blaming the Jonathan government that left office in 2015, nearly 10 years ago.

READ ALSO: Cooking Gas Price Rises By 38% To N16,250

”Ironically blaming his own predecessor whom they took over from in the APC government. I think everything has gone wrong,” he said

Ozekhome noted that the current administration’s slogan of renewed hope translates to poverty.

This is not renewed hope, this is renewed poverty.”

Recall that recently, the scarcity and demand for dollars have led to a significant decline in the Naira. The problem according to analysts has been compounded by persistent foreign exchange supply challenges and a significant demand backlog.

But, the CBN governor, Olayemi Cardoso, in his MPC meeting announcement on Tuesday said he ”will do what it takes” to address the monetary issue equally promising to generate more liquidity for the forex market.

”Before the end of this year, if we are not careful, the Naira may exchange for N4000 to the dollar because e there is nothing in place,” he added.


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