By Josmat Jerry
The October 20 massacre channeled through its bloody paintings were enough to send pains and heart warming clues to the beatings of the whole society. Lots of actions followed with the hunting and burning down of recognized buildings coupled with the declaration of curfew in some highly affected states. During the past week (18/Oct – 24/Oct/2020), there was continuation of the well known FG and ASUU saga, bye-elections adjournment and the attack on Oyetola. But the Lekki blood bath remains the top highlight of all. Below are some major political events that played out during the course of the week.
I WON’T RESIGN FROM AKEREDOLU’S GOVERNMENT – DEPUTY GOVERNOR
After some newspaper reported that the Ondo State Deputy Governor, Mr Agboola Ajayi, was planning to tender his resignation letter, he himself denied the reports on October 20 describing such reports as falsehood and a figment of the imagination of writers. The deputy governor alleged that the reports of his planned resignation was sponsored by the governor and his aides.
#EndSARS PROTEST HAS ‘HIDDEN AGENDA’ – APC
Yobe State governor, Mai Mala, who is also the acting chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has said there is a hidden agenda behind the ongoing protests which have claimed lives. He also said the current protest rocking parts of the nation may lead to anarchy if not well handled. Speaking to BBC Hausa on October 19, the governor said “there are criminals who see the disbanded police unit as threat to their criminal activities.”
PDP, APC TRADE WORDS OVER ATTACK ON OYETOLA
The Osun State chapter of the All Progressive Congress and its Peoples Democratic Party counterpart on Monday, October 19 engaged in a war of words over the violence which erupted while Governor Adegboyega Oyetola was addressing #EndSARS protesters in Oshogbo last Saturday, October 17. The PDP blamed the violence on a supremacy battle between group of hoodlums called “State Boys” who were nurtured by the APC. APC in a separate statement described claims by the PDP as “illogical, empty and far from reality.”
BLACK TUESDAY : 49 KILLED AS PROTESTS TURN RED
On the night of Tuesday, October 20, Armed Forces shot at unarmed protesters at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos. According to Amnesty International, shortly before the shooting, CCTV cameras were allegedly removed. These were later confirmed by the Lagos State Government to be laser cameras and not CCTV cameras. In addition, the electricity supplying light to the toll gate were cut and the advertisement billboards which are owned and maintained by Loatsad Media were turned off. The killings, according to Punch, has claimed 49 lives.
INEC POSTPONES LAGOS, IMO, BAYELSA, OTHER BYE-ELECTIONS
Following the spate of violence in many parts of the country resulting from the ongoing #EndSARS protest against police brutality, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Thursday, October 22 met with the 37 Resident Electoral Commissions (RECs) to review preparations and thereby postponed all scheduled bye-elections in 11 states to an indefinite date. The commission is to meet again in two weeks to review the situation and decide on a feasible date for the elections.
11 CHAPTERS OF ASUU REJECTS FG PROPOSAL, POSTPONES MEETING TO MONDAY
Some Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) members which include ABU, UNIUYO, UNILAG and others have unanimously rejected all the proposals of the Federal Government. Also, the meeting between the FG and ASUU deadlocked again on Wednesday, October 21 following disagreement over the payment platform that would be used in disbursing the salary arrears as the 30bn Earned Allowance of the university lecturers. The meeting is set to reconvene on Monday, October 26.
NIGERIANS ATTACK BUHARI FOR SNUBBING LEKKI SHOOTINGS
Following the #EndSARS protest which has been on for two weeks, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) addressed youths and Nigerians demanding for the disband of SARS on Thursday, October 22. But eminent Nigerians and #EndSARS protesters, who reacted to the President’s speech, berated him over his failure to comment on the shooting of protesters by soldiers in Lekki, Lagos. They said his broadcast was devoid of empathy.
ONOCHIE’S NOMINATUON : APC IS BEHIND VIOLATIONS, ABUSES IN NIGERIA – PDP
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has stated that the attempt by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to justify President Muhammadu Buhari’s appointment of his aide and front line APC member, Ms. Lauretta Onochie, as a national commissioner of INEC has shown that APC is the brain behind the series of constitutional violations, violation of rules and crass abuse of apparatus of power like the police, abuse of human rights and social restiveness threatening Nigeria and the national cohesion in the last five years.
‘I’M STILL JAGABAN, ASIWAJU OF LAGOS’ – TINUBU
Bola Tinubu, National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, on Saturday, October 25 boasted that he still remains the Asiwaju and Jagaban of Lagos State, while dismissing insinuations that he alongside his family members left the country due to the ongoing protests. He spoke while addressing newsmen after he visited Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu. According to Tinubu: ” I still hold the title of the Asiwaju of Lagos and I’m still the Jagaban.”
TOP US OFFICIALS STORMED ASO ROCK OVER LEKKI SHOOTINGS
In midst of the national crisis over the Lekki shootings on Tuesday, a delegation from the United States government arrived at Aso Rock on Thursday, October 22 to discuss with the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, behind closed doors. The team, according to the US Mission in Nigeria discussed the ongoing violence, the importance of allowing citizens to peacefully demonstrate, and accountability and justice for victims. The team also expressed condolences to the victims of the shootings and urged the Nigerian government to abide by its commitment to hold those responsible accountable under the law.