President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday received report from Amb. Ahmed Rufai Abubakar, the Special Envoy he sent to South Africa to meet with President Cyril Ramaphosa over the xenophobic attacks on Nigeria.
President Buhari has also directed the immediate evacuation of Nigerians willing to return home.
He further directed the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama to continue to engage with appropriate authorities on the concrete measure the South African Government is expected to take.
This was contained in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Chief Femi Adesina.
According to the statement: “In the wake of the xenophobic attacks by South Africans against other Africans including Nigerians, President Muhammadu Buhari sent Amb. Ahmed Rufai Abubakar, Director-General, National Intelligence Agency (DGNIA) as his Special Envoy to South Africa, to convey a Special Message to his counterpart, President Cyril Ramaphosa.
“The Special Envoy, who was in Pretoria from Thursday, 5th to Saturday, 7th September 2019 conveyed: The deep concern of President Buhari and Nigerians about intermittent violence against Nigerians and their property/business interests in South Africa.
“President Buhari stressed the need for South African Government to take visible measures to stop violence against citizens of brotherly African nations.
“President Buhari is worried that the recurring issue of xenophobia could negatively affect the image and standing of South Africa as one of the leading countries on the continent, if nothing is done to stop it.
“The Special Envoy conveyed the assurance of President Buhari that the Nigerian Government is ready and willing to collaborate with the South African Government to find a lasting solution to the involvement of few Nigerians in criminal activities, and to protect the lives and property of the larger groups of other law abiding Nigerians and indeed Africans in general, against all forms of attacks including xenophobia.
“President Buhari further assured that the Nigerian Government will guarantee the safety of lives, property and business interests of South Africans in Nigeria.
“On his part, President Ramaphosa agreed that the violence was most disconcerting and embarrassing, adding that his government completely rejects such acts, which undermine not only the country’s image but also its relations with brotherly African countries.
“President Ramaphosa reaffirmed his stand against criminality and committed to do everything possible to protect the rights of every Nigerian and other foreign nationals in the country.
“The Special Envoy also interfaced with his South African counterpart, where they reviewed the situation of foreign emigrants in general and Nigerians in particular. They agreed to work together to find a permanent solution to the root causes of the recurring attacks on Nigerians and their property.
“President Buhari has taken note of the report and instructed the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs to continue to engage with appropriate Authorities on the concrete measure the South African Government is expected to take.
“President Buhari has also given instruction for the immediate voluntary evacuation of all Nigerians who are willing to return home.”
I See No Hope For Nigeria — Opadokun
Former Secretary of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), Pa Ayo Opadokun, has decried the fate of Nigeria, saying that the circumstances of the most populous African nation reflect hopelessness and bleak future among the comity of nations in the world.
Pa Opadokun, who is the Convener of the Coalition of Democrats for Electoral Reforms, spoke while delivering a lecture on ‘Nigerian Education and Library Services at the Molete Baptist Church, Ibadan, on Sunday.
He said: “I do not see hope on the horizon for Nigeria because those who should ask questions are busy grumbling. Both the young and old are not doing the needful. That would not bring a good result. Those who lament are not in my good books.
“Nigerians know what is wrong but they are busy lamenting. They know what to do to right the wrong but they do not have the guts or the conviction of the heart to face the consequences of their action to ensure that the right thing is done. So, God be with all of us.”
According to him, political justice is impossible in Nigeria because the foundation of the country was constructed on injustice. “Political justice is a prescription of a situation where all parties are equal, whereby no-one is in a position to impose his will on the other,” he said.
Going down the memory lane, he stated that the British came with superior war arsenals to colonise and coerce the different ethnic nationalities that they met in their land. He said that the nationalities did not submit to the colonial masters voluntarily but were conquered.
“They forced us to cohabit. With that kind of foundation, you cannot be talking of political justice. Unfortunately for us again, we were just five years into self-governance as a country when the military took over. And when the military conquers any territory, all that is in the territory is part of spoils of war. Nigeria, its people, it’s endowment and resources (human and material) are the spoils of war. And, the military has little regards for education.
“This is a major setback for Nigeria. This has hindered the country’s ability to contribute significantly to human civilisation. They worsened the situation because they sheepishly conceded to the enforcement of their so-called lingua franca on us. Invariably, what they have done to us is that the mother tongue, which should be the foundation or superstructure upon which a child can be educated was shattered.
“The Nigerian learners are going through multiple jeopardies now because they lack the fundamental superstructure upon which their education should be based. They do not understand the foreign language that was foisted on them and they don’t have a good grasp of their mother tongue because in most homes today, use of mother tongue is punishable because it is regarded as vernacular. That is injustice in the area of education.”
He made reference to efforts by a team of researchers led by late Professor Babs Fafunwa, saying that they used the English Language to teach all subjects to some students in Osun State while the other were taught all subjects in the Yoruba Language. He said: “There was monumental success in the results of those who were taught in Yoruba. But, the military came and bastardised the experiment.
“The military also came and frustrated our negotiated federal arrangements and substituted it with centralised system. That is part of the crisis of our lives. The military had a little regard for education. Look at the percentage that they allocate to education. We usually have a situation where between three to five per cent of the budget is allocated to education annually. Of the paltry sum, hardly would 20 per cent be spent on education. About 50 per cent would be spent on bureaucracy and contracts. In the last eight years, our recurrent expenditure as a nation has been between 78 and 82 percent. With such a scenario, how can a nation develop?”
He urged the congregation to make further investments in education by making available improved library facilities in the mission school.
The Host Pastor of Molete Baptist Church, Reverend Edward Alabi, describing Pa Opadokun as a lover of truth, said: “We do not hold the issues of education and importance of the library with levity. A child who doesn’t like reading cannot cohabit with me. Raise a child, plant a tree, read a book and you would be seen as a great person.”
Sowore: Falana Berates DSS, Gives Full Details Of Court Invasion
Femi Falana (SAN), the counsel to Omoyele Sowore has reacted to the press release of the Department of State Services (DSS) in which it absolved itself of responsibility for the armed invasion of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
Falana in a statement he personally signed on Sunday condemned the DSS for what he called the desecration of Court No 7 of Hon. Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu and the illegal rearrest of Omoyele Sowore.
He said the DSS pretended to forget that the abominable desecration of the Federal High Court was covered live by domestic and international media outlets and journalists.
The full statement reads:
“The Service argues on the one hand that the arrest of Sowore was “stage managed” by his supporters in order to give the Service a bad name whilst also admitting at the same time that officers of the Service arrested Sowore outside the Court.
“Having declared that the Service arrested Sowore “outside the court”, despite the “stage managing” argument, what the Nigerian people want to see happen is the immediate release of Sowore, pending his trial as ordered by the court.
“INDUBITABLE FACTS CONFIRMING DESECRATION OF COURT AND RE-ARREST BY THE SERVICE
“However, the following facts underscore our insistence that the Service was solely responsible for the desecration of the hallowed chambers of the court: By the advantage of information technology, the whole world has placed responsibility for the gangsteric desecration of the court on the SSS.
“The SSS cannot extricate itself from the abominable acts of 6th December, 2019. When I informed the court that fresh charges were being filed against our clients and that they could be re-arrested, the prosecution denied any such plan. As soon as the case was adjourned the SSS pounced on Sowore and caused a disruption of the proceedings of the court.
“Having taken over the courtroom vi et armis Justice Ojukwu hurriedly rose and asked the Registrar to adjourn all other cases. After the learned trial judge had risen for the day she summoned the heads of the prosecution and defence teams to her chambers.
“When the lead prosecutor, Dr. Liman Hassan SAN denied knowledge of the invasion of her court she directed him to invite the head of the SSS team in the court. When challenged to justify the invasion of the court the officer could not. He apologised to Justice Ojukwu on behalf of the SSS.
“The judge then directed the officer to withdraw the SSS operatives from the courtroom. The directive was complied with as the operatives withdrew from the courtroom but rushed out to join their colleagues who had taken over the entire court house.
“Notwithstanding that the SSS could not produce any warrant of arrest for Sowore the defence team decided that I should accompany him to the SSS headquarters in view of his physical brutalisation inside the courtroom and the open threat to his life. I did and ensured that he was driven in my car to the sss headquarters where I handed him over to the officers on duty.
“Thereafter, I requested for a meeting with the head of the SSS but I was informed that he was not in the office. Though, ordinarily, officers of the Service do not wear any uniform, on the 6th day of December, some of them were in mufti, many were not only armed but also masked while others disguised in lawyer’s black and white suit.
“Regardless of the form of appearance, the officers of the Service inside Court No. 7 were identifiable by their roles and acts of seizing Sowore and pinning him down. It is an utter poor reasoning to say that Sowore’s supporters were also those bent on injuring him in order to arrest him.
“The argument of the Service in this respect is as unfortunate and pitiable as the earlier argument of the Service in respect of the Late Chief Gani Fawehinmi who was once accused of wanting to set ablaze his own house. If Sowore’s supporters subjected him to such brutalisation in the presence of SSS operatives why were they not arrested for contravening the provisions of the Anti Torture Act, 2017?
“Or were the SSS operatives expecting the supporters of a defendant wanted by the State to kill him in their presence? Before submitting himself for arrest Sowore had rightly demanded for a warrant of arrest and detention order but the sss operatives were unable to produce either.
“ON RATIONALISATION OF RE-ARREST OF SOWORE BY THE SERVICE In rationalizing the re-arrest of Sowore, which is denied in the same Press statement, the Service alleged that Sowore held meetings with some people. Assuming without conceding that Sowore held meetings with some people in Transcorp Hotel as alleged by the sss, why did the Prosecution not inform the trial court that the defendant had breached his bail conditions?
“ON THE CLAIM OF THE SERVICE THAT IT IS LAW-ABIDING The sss says it is a law abiding institution. But why did it refuse to comply with the order of Justice Taiwo to release Sowore? Why did the sss threaten to report the judge to the NJC for granting bail to Sowore?
“Why did the SSS subject the order of Justice Ojukwu for the release of Sowore to its own approval by asking the sureties already verified by the judge to report themselves to the SSS? Why the SSS wait for the 24-hour ultimatum issued by the trial judge before releasing Sowore and Bakare?
“Incidentally, the current prosecutor, Dr. Liman Hassan SAN was the counsel to the defendant in the case of FRN v Air Commodore Mohammed. In that case the order of Justice Nnamdi Dimgba for the release of the defendant on bail was flouted by the SSS. As if that was not enough, the SSS invaded the home of the judge on 8th October 2016 when the houses of judges accused of corruption were raided.
“Even though I have never appeared before Justice Dimgba I have always known him as a judge of impeccable integrity. So, I challenged the SSS for painting an incorruptible judge with the brush of shame. It was after my intervention that the NJC gave the judge a clean bill of health. Thereafter, the judge was compelled to withdraw from the case.
“The SSS thought that it had won but it was a pyrrhic victory. Thus, Justice John Tsoho (current Chief Judge of the federal high court) to whom the case was assigned reiterated the orders of Justice Dimgba and proceeded to rule that trial would not commence in the case until the defendant was released from custody. It was at that stage that the DSS complied with the order of the federal high court.
“In the light of the foregoing we reiterate our demand for the release of not only Sowore in obedience to court orders, pending the verdict of the court in their trial. We equally call for the release of all other political detainees, and criminal suspects who have been admitted to bail pending trial by competent courts.
“Finally, it is common knowledge that this country was ruled by military dictators for about three decades. On no occasion did security operatives invade court premises to arrest political activists inside a courtroom. Therefore, the bizarre harassment of courts cannot be tolerated under a democratically government that claims to operate under the rule of law.”
Presidency Finally Reacts To Sowore’s Rearrest By DSS
The Presidency has finally reacted to the maltreatment of Omoyele Sowore, the convener of RevolutionNow Movement by officials of the Department of State Services (DSS).
The presidency on Sunday justified the treatment of Omoyele Sowore by the State Security Service (SSS)
The Presidency posited that Omoyele Sowore, is a person of interest to the Department of State Service (DSS) and not ordinary human rights activist.
Recall that despite the court order, he was rearrested at the court premises in Abuja last week by the service, an action that has drawn widespread condemnation.
But reacting to the rearrest, the Presidency in a statement issued in Abuja by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity), reiterated its accusation that Sowore called for a revolution to overthrow the democratically elected government of Nigeria.
It said no government will allow anyone to destabilise the country.
The statement read: “The Presidency notes some of the insinuations in the media about the arrest by the Department of State Services (DSS) of the agitator, Omoyele Sowore.
“The DSS does not necessarily need the permission of the Presidency in all cases to carry out its essential responsibilities that are laid down in the Nigerian Constitution which was the foundation for the restoration of democracy in our country in 1999.
“However, it should not surprise anyone who has followed his actions and words that Sowore is a person of interest to the DSS.
“Sowore called for a revolution to overthrow the democratically elected government of Nigeria.
“He did so on television, and from a privileged position as the owner of a widely-read digital newspaper run from the United States of America.
“He founded an organisation, Revolution Now, to launch, in their own words, ‘Days of Rage,’ with the publicised purpose of fomenting mass civil unrest and the elected administration’s overthrow.
“No government will allow anybody to openly call for destabilisation in the country and do nothing.
“Mr Sowore is no ordinary citizen expressing his views freely on social media and the internet.
“He was a presidential candidate himself, who ran and lost as the flag bearer of the African Action Congress (AAC) in the February 23 general elections.
“Nigeria’s democracy was a long time in the making and was achieved after decades of often harsh, military-led overthrows of government: the kind of situation Sowore was advocating.
“To believe in and desire armed revolution is not normal amongst ‘human rights activists’, as Sowore has been incorrectly described.
“Again, it is no surprise that he should be a person of interest to the DSS.
“Nigeria is already dealing with an insurgency that has left millions of people displaced and desperate in the northeastern region of our country.
“The Boko Haram militants, who are behind the violence, also fancy themselves to be fighting for some sort of revolution.
“Nigerians do not need another spate of lawlessness and loss of lives all in the name of ‘revolution’, especially not one that is orchestrated by a man who makes his home in faraway New York and who can easily disappear and leave behind whatever instability he intends to cause, to wit, Nnamdi Kanu.
“This is a matter for the DSS, acting under its powers.”