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Lai Mohammed’s mouth shut over #ENDSARS panel report

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The Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, has kept his mouth following the Lagos judicial panel’s report that affirmed that Nigerian soldiers massacred unarmed and peaceful #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki tollgate on October 20 last year.

Mr Mohammed has rabidly denied the soldiers killed protesters, predominantly Nigerian youths, at the Lekki facility.

After the report was released on Monday, Peoples Gazette made efforts to reach Mr Mohammed for comments, but phone calls and messages went unanswered. Also, the information and culture ministry, which he superintends, has kept mum in light of the damning report.

The panel’s report focused on police brutality, including an investigation into the Lekki killing, concluding that it was a “massacre.”

After the soldiers’ violent attack on civilians at the tollgate in October 2020, Mr Mohammed had insisted no one was shot and killed by the army.

Nigerian Army at Lekki Tollgate during #EndSARS protest and a dead protester used to illustrate the story [Photo: ICIR]

In the past year, Mr Mohammed has repeatedly pushed the notion that no protesters died at the tollgate despite multiple reports stating otherwise. Mr Mohammed also attacked international media that reported the killings by the Nigerian Army.

In November 2020, the minister attacked DJ Switch, who filmed the army shooting #EndSARS protesters at the tollgate, saying she will soon be “exposed for who she is.” The report has exposed Mr Mohammed as being untruthful instead. The minister referred to the disc jockey as a “purveyor of fake news” and publicly questioned her motive for revealing the army’s atrocious act on the night of October 20, 2020.

In November 2020, Mr Mohammed heavily criticised CNN’s report on the Lekki massacre. He said the report “did not just fall short of journalistic standards but reinforces the disinformation that is going around on the issue.”

In a letter written to CNN, the minister said it left out a video that could have shown that “armed hoodlums invaded the Lekki Toll Gate that night, and could have hit any of the protesters as they shot sporadically.”

#EndSARS protest used to illustrate the story

In January, Mr Mohammed challenged Amnesty International to prove that 12 people were killed at the tollgate. Mr Mohammed said the human rights organisation was gradually losing credibility.

In February, Mr Mohammed claimed both local and international media had not established that the military violently attacked the protesters, dismissing the report of killings as “fake news and unverified social media reports.”

In October, on the first anniversary of the Lekki tollgate massacre, Mr Mohammed, in a press briefing, further insisted there was no proof that any protester was killed at the tolls. In his statement, he described the incident as a “phantom massacre.”

“One year later, and despite ample opportunities for the families of those allegedly killed and those alleging a massacre to present evidence, there has been none: No bodies, no families, no convincing evidence, nothing,” Mr Mohammed had said. 

Politics

Secession not the solution to Nigeria’s challenges – Fayemi

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FAYEMI

The Ekiti State Governor, Fayemi Kayode, said on Saturday that secession would not end the country’s problems.

Fayemi, who stated this in his keynote address at the 21st Anniversary celebration of Mambayya House in Kano, cautioned Nigerians that secession would not solve the challenges, but duplicate them.

The governor said: “If we break up into three places, the problem will be replicated into three places. If we break up a hundred places, the problems will be replicated a hundred times.”

READ ALSO: Afenifere insists on true federalism, slams secessionist agitations

Fayemi noted that South Sudan fought with Sudan for almost half a century to gain independence, but went back later to fight itself.

He also listed the example of Eritrea and Ethiopia who fought a bitter war after they broke up.

He added that the citizens needed “a united Nigeria that is founded on core principles of equity, fairness and of justice to all.”

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APC members dumps party, joins PDP in Lagos

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The Paradise Breaking News
APC members burning brooms. File photo used for illustration purposes. 

Some members of the Lagos4Lagos movement, a group affiliated with the All Progressives Congress (APC), on Saturday, voted in favour of defecting to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Delegates of the PDP led by Raymond Dokpesi, former chairman of Daar Communications, had visited the group on November 8.

The meeting with the PDP delegates was part of efforts to advocate a collaboration with Abdul-Azeez Olajide Adediran, visioner of the movement, on joining the opposition party ahead of the 2023 general election.

The visit came weeks after the Lagos4Lagos movement organised a parallel state congress for the Lagos APC, and also condemned the leadership of the party in the state for adopting consensus as the option for electing ward executives.

In a video posted on his Facebook page, Bukola Saraki, former senate president, is seen calling for a voice vote on the group’s defection from APC to PDP.

“Those in favour that Lagos4Lagos should move to PDP say ‘aye’,” Saraki said, calling for a vote in the manner done at plenary at the senate.

Members of the group chorused “aye” in response and Saraki said, “the ayes have it”.

He, however, did not ask if any members were against defecting to PDP.

“We just took a vote: “All those in favour of the #Lagos4Lagos movement moving to the PDP, say: ‘Aye!’ The ‘ayes’ have it! #welcome,” Saraki captioned the video .

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PDP to inaugurate new NWC December 10

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Iyorchia Ayu

The newly-elected members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Working Committee (NWC) will be inaugurated on December 10 in Abuja.

The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, who disclosed this in a statement on Saturday, said the ceremony would take place at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.

He added that the valedictory session of the outgoing NWC would take place on December 8 at the National Executive Committee (NEC) Hall of the party’s national secretariat in Abuja.

The new National Chairman of PDP, Dr. Iyochia Ayu, and other members of the NWC were elected during the party’s national convention held on October 31.

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