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#Endsars Anniversary: Stakeholders call for re-training of security agents

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#Endsars Anniversary: Stakeholders call for re-training of security agents
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As the nation marks one year anniversary of the #Endsars protest, some stakeholders in Lagos have called for the training and re-training of security agents in preventing similar protests from escalating in future.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that in 2020 a “march” with the hashtag #EndSARS calling for an end to police brutality by Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) was hijacked by hoodlums.

The aftermath resulted in loss of lives and destruction of property across the country.

Activities by angry protesters, as well as hoodlums who “cashed in” on the protest to unleash mayhem in Lagos and other parts of the country, included  acts of arson on police stations, court houses, television stations, as well as destruction of roads and other public infrastructure.

To mark the one year anniversary of the #Endsars protests, some Non-Governmental Organisations have called for accountability on the part of security agents.

While urging government to ensure that there is a re-training of security agents, they also called for the punishing of all those found guilty of contravening extant criminal laws during the #Endsars protest.

Mr Anthony Makolo, Director of the Makolo Anthony Empowerment Foundation, (MAEF), called for the training of police officers, as well as other security agents in the dispensation of their duties.

He said that there was also a dire need to train the security agents in devising more modern means of executing their operations, especially in the areas of intelligence gathering.

“There must be a serious training of the men and officers of the Nigeria Police Force on the latest version of technological gathering of information, including analysis, investigation, arrest and prosecution of suspects.

“The authorities must now go beyond lip service in ensuring that there is a real reform within the Nigeria Police Force; these reforms must translate into holding each police officer accountable for torture or ill treatment meted on suspects,” he said

Makolo also noted that the #EndSARS movement simply demonstrated that whatever ethno-religious tension plaguing the nation could be effectively curtailed by unity.

According to him, since the protest saw all categories of people coming together to plead a common cause, it also means that Nigerians can achieve a lot in unism.

“Power belongs to the people, so, we can achieve a lot positively to better our nation if we unite.

“The authorities at all levels, must also be prompt in responding to the challenges of the people,” he said.

Speaking in the same vein, Mrs Ebere Obiora, Ogun State Coordinator of the African Women Lawyers Association of Nigeria (AWLAN), underscored the need for government to be more responsive to the plight of its citizens.

She described the #EndSARS protest as a peaceful movement by Nigerian youths, against the indiscriminate abuse of human rights, extortion and extra-judicial killings, particularly but not limited to the SARS unit, of the Nigerian Police.

According to her, further into the protest, other issues of inequitable distribution of social goods became the focus of the protest.

“The youths had all rights and reasons to request for better leadership, and these are reasons that “ring true” to all ages in Nigeria, and through all ages since independence.

“The protest was not founded on new issues, so, the only way to stop future protests is to solve the issues being complained about,” she said

Obiora consequently urged government to continually be responsive to the needs of its citizens, adding that where this is ensured, there would be no need for the youths to “take to the streets”.

On his part, the Country Director for the Advocacy for Justice and Accountability (AJA), Mr Ogedi Ogu, urged government to ensure that those behind destruction in the #EndSARS protest were held accountable for their actions.

“To avoid such occurrences in the future, the Nigerian State must hold people accountable for their actions and inactions.

“The overzealous or trigger happy security agents must be held accountable for every action

“If the various actors whose actions and/or inactions triggered the #EndSARS are made to undergo the consequences of their actions, the intending reckless and unruly ones would have self-restraint and begin to learn how to fit into a civilian space,” he said

Ogu noted that the era of having security agencies who kill, maim and extort citizens whom they are meant to protect must be nipped in the bud, adding that “business as usual” must also be discouraged. (NAN)

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Defence and Security

Suspects Linked To Owo Church Massacre Arrested – General Irabor

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Chief of Defence Staff, General Leo Irabor
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The Suspects Linked to terror attack on the Saint Francis Catholic Church in Owo, have been arrested.

The Chief of Defence Staff, General Leo Irabor disclosed this on Tuesday during a parley with executives and editors of media organisations in Nigeria.

General Irabor said the attackers were arrested during joint operations involving the Armed Forces, the Department of Security Services (DSS) and the police.

About 40 people were killed when the gunmen stormed the church on June 5, opened fire on the congregation, and also detonated explosives as the worshippers scampered for safety.

Earlier, operatives of Amotekun Corps in Ondo State had arrested some suspects in connection with the killings.

Briefing journalists in Akure on June 23, the state Commander of Amotekun, Adetunji Adeleye, expressed assurance that all the attackers of the worship center would be apprehended.

Adeleye, however, did not give the actual figure of the suspected terrorists arrested.

“As regards the Owo incident, we have recovered the last vehicle they used for that operation and we made some arrests and we have also recovered some vital things which we are working on,” he said.

“A number of people have been arrested concerning the Owo issue as well as a well number of equipment. On that day, we pursued them to the point that we recovered the vehicle and we are still pursuing them We have told you that until we get to the root, I can assure you that the perpetrators and their sponsors will be brought to book.”

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Defence and Security

Gunmen Kidnap Three Children In Kogi, Demand N100m Ransom

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Gunmen have kidnapped three underage children in Ajaokuta Local Government area of Kogi State, asking for ransom of N100m.
 
The Police Public Relations Officer of the Kogi State Command William Ayah confirmed the abduction on Friday.

In a statement, he said the Commissioner of Police in the state Edward Ebuka has deployed operatives of various police anti-kidnapping units in collaboration with vigilantes and hunters to trail the kidnappers in order to rescue the children and bring the perpetrators to book.

The three children whose ages ranged from three, five, and ten years were on Wednesday evening around eight o’clock kidnapped at their resident, Kaduna Estate Ajaokuta Steel Township complex, by yet-to-be-identified gunmen

Eyewitness reports revealed that the kidnappers who were fully armed with guns shot sporadically to scare residents away before they abducted the children.

A family member who wants anonymity disclosed that the gunmen on Thursday morning contacted the family and demanded N100m as ransom.

The incident is coming days after gunmen killed three policemen and five vigilantes at Jida-Bassa also in Ajaokuta Local Government Area of Kogi State.

But, as part of measures to curb the incessant security challenges in Kogi State, the state governor Yahaya Bello ordered the closure of all brothels and banned the use of facemasks in public places for proper identification.

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Defence and Security

Imo Killing: Fish out perpetrators, Northern Elders task security agencies

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IGP Usman Alkali Baba:
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The Northern Elders Forum, NEF, has condemned the murder of eight people suspected to be migrants from the North by yet-to-be-identified gunmen in Owerri West Local Government Area of Imo State.

The Arewa elders also asked on the security agencies to fish out the perpetrators of the killings in the state.

NEF’s Director, Publicity and Advocacy, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, in a statement on Friday said: “We are deeply concerned over rising cases of profiling, targeting and killings of Northerners in many parts of the South.

“The recent murder of Nigerians in Imo State, apparently on suspicion that they were northerners, is one incident among many recent ones that involve harassments, illegal arrests, attacks and killings of Nigerians from the North.

“It would appear that groups that target northerners draw inspiration from the silence of leaders and the absence of appropriate response from security and other law enforcement agencies.

“The Forum draws attention once again to the dangers  of these escalating incidents and provocations.

“The impression that northerners are fair game for groups and organizations in the South is forcing northerners to exercise their rights to travel and live peacefully in any part of Nigeria only under great danger and fear.

This is intolerable and unacceptable.
“The Forum demands that governments, communities and law enforcement agencies protect northerners living in the South.

“It demands clear and emphatic condemnation from leaders, elders and communities  who understand that the welfare and security of all citizens are vulnerable to the degree that other citizens  are unsafe in certain parts of the country.

“We serve notice that the North will use the degree to which contestants  for political office speak in clear terms in condemnation of these attacks on northerners as a yardstick for our support of candidates and parties.

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