Referring to the killings across the country , ethnic rivalries among others, the National Chairman of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Chief Olu Falae, has said the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), has failed Nigeria in all respect.
He said this at the weekend, in Enugu, when the party unveiled its manifesto ahead of the 2019 general elections, saying the APC should be voted out in 2019 or it would destroy Nigeria forever.
Represented at the occasion by Chief Ebenezer Ikeyina, the National Vice Chairman, South East, Falae said the APC has wasted “our time,” these past three years, citing the numerous killings as part of the degradation of the country. He said should Nigerians give SDP a chance, they will show that they are capable of moving the nation forward.
Falae, who said his party’s manifesto is to magnify Nigerian people and restructure the federation, added that any Nigerian who does not support restructuring is an enemy of the country.
“If any person is not talking about restructuring, the person is an enemy of Nigeria,” he said.
He also said Nigeria is a country everybody should be proud of and promised that SDP government will change the face of governance if given the chance.
The Enugu State Chairman of SDP, John Nwobodo, had earlier lamented that Nigeria is currently at crossroads and waiting for visionary leaders as an SDP government would offer, should they assume power.
“Nigeria, today, is in a dire straits. We are at crossroads, puzzled and perplexed. We can get out of the doldrums of misery, penury, poverty and insecurity. Nigeria’s deliverance and salvation is in your hands, in my hands and our hands,” he said.
COVID-19: FG To Evacuate Nigerians Abroad — But Not For Free
The federal government has begun moves to bring back Nigerians who are stranded abroad amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Abike Dabiri-Erewa, chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), asked those willing to return to notify the Nigerian missions in their respective countries.
She added via a statement on Friday that the missions will subsequently forward their names to the ministry of foreign affairs for action.
Dabiri-Erewa, however, said the financial implications of such evacuation will be borne by the respective individuals “who will be compulsorily quarantined when they return.”
“The interested Nigerians are advised to inform the missions in the various countries they are in, who will then collate and coordinate with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” the statement signed by Abdur-Rahman Balogun, NIDCOM spokesman, read.
“To this end, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa urged Nigerians stranded abroad willing to return home to key into this Federal Government gesture by providing their information to the mission in their respective host countries.”
She said while embassies in several countries are also on lockdown, Nigerians willing to return should fill a form here.
Some countries have been evacuating their citizens from Nigeria amid the pandemic.
BREAKING: Nigeria Records 20 New Coronavirus Cases, Two Deaths
Nigeria has recorded 20 new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total number of confirmed infections in the country to 210.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control made this known via its Twitter handle on Friday.
NCDC also announced that the country recorded two deaths in Lagos and Edo States.
The NCDC tweeted, “Twenty new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Nigeria; 11 in Lagos, three in the FCT, three in Edo, 2 in Osun and one in Ondo.
“Two new deaths have been recorded in Lagos and Edo States.
“As of 10:30 pm on 3rd of April, there are 210 confirmed cases of #COVID19 reported in Nigeria.”
Falana To Buhari: Withdraw Soldiers From Enforcing Lockdown
A Human Rights Activist, Femi Falana (SAN) has asked the Federal Government to withdraw armed troops from enforcing the lockdown order placed on the Federal Capital Territory; Lagos and Ogun States.
He said deploying armed troops is illegal and unconstitutional based on precedent judgements of the courts of the land.
He said, “In the March 29, 2020, national broadcast of President Muhammadu Buhari and the COVID-19 Quarantine Regulations issued thereafter to curtail the spread of coronavirus pandemic the members of the armed forces were not authorised to enforce the Regulations.
“But out of sheer impunity, the Defence Headquarters announced the plans of the armed forces to implement the presidential order on the restriction of the movement of the Nigerian people.
“In my reaction to the illegal plan of the Defence Headquarters to involve armed troops in the enforcement of the Regulations, I issued a public statement wherein I said that while the nation’s armed forces should be commended for making their medical facilities available to members of the public in the fight against the highly dangerous virus, the plan to dispatch armed soldiers to the streets to enforce the COVID-19 guidelines should be shelved because it is illegal.
“For the umpteenth time, I am compelled to draw the attention of the military authorities to the case of Yussuf v Obasanjo (2005) 18 NWLR (Pt ) where Salami JCA (as he then was) held that ‘It is up to the police to protect our nascent democracy and not the military, otherwise the democracy might be wittingly or unwittingly militarized.’ This is not what the citizenry bargained for in wrestling power from the military in 1999.
“Conscious steps should be taken to civilianise the polity and thereby ensure the survival of and sustenance of democracy.”
Falana said his position was also backed by the judgement in the case of All Progressive Congress v Peoples Democratic Party (2015) LPELR 24349 where Aboki JCA held that the President lacked the power to call on the Armed Forces to restore law and order in any part of the federation without the approval of the National Assembly as provided in sections 217(2) and 218(4) of the Constitution as amended.
He reminded the Federal Government of its legal obligation “to confine the Military to their demanding assignments especially in these trying times of insurgencies and encroachment into the country’s territories…
“However, in utter violation of the aforesaid injunctions of the Court of Appeal, the platoons of armed troops deployed by the military authorities have unleashed mayhem on innocent members of the public for allegedly breaching the COVID-19 Regulations.”
Falana regretted that the involvement of the armed troops in the enforcement had led to torture and brutalisation of innocent citizens as revealed in several video clips trending online.
He accused the military authorities of not conducting a thorough investigation but rather dismissing the video clip.
“Whereas based on a similar video clip which recently exposed a group of policemen who had engaged in the brutalisation of some traders in Lagos under the pretext of enforcing the COVID-19 Regulations the Inspector General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu ensured that the culprits were promptly identified and arrested for the purpose of prosecuting them.
“The civilised conduct of the Police Chief has demonstrated the readiness of the current police leadership to put a stop to the involvement of police personnel in the crude infringement of the fundamental right of the Nigerian people to dignity.
“In the light of the foregoing, we respectfully call on President Buhari and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces to restrain members of the armed forces from further enforcing the COVID 19 Regulations.
“Furthermore, we urge the President to order an investigation into the video clips of the brutalisation of members of the public by some overzealous soldiers and direct the appropriate authorities to bring them to justice for contravening the provisions of the Anti Torture Act, 2017,” he said.
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