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mass action inevitable if government fails to comply
Some Civil Society Organizations have given a 14-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to release Omoyele Sowore and other illegally detained persons or risk having a nationwide mass action.
The CSOs at a press conference on the state of the nation in Abuja also stated five demands that they needed the government to unfailingly comply with within 14 days.
Among the CSOs that gave the ultimatum were Amnesty International, Centre for Democracy and Development, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Concerned Nigerians, SERAP, EiE, HEDA resource centre, People’s Alternative Front, TBN, Transition monitoring group (TMG), and WARDC.
Listing the demands of the groups, Yemi Adamolekun from EiE Nigeria said the
CSOs were concerned about the attack on the judiciary and attack on free speech and pattern of silencing.
She said, “We demand that President Muhammadu Buhari to show accountability as President and address the nation on his commitment to the rule of law and human rights. Secondly to release illegally detained persons by the department of secret service. Thirdly, government should obey all pending court orders, and lastly an investigation of officers who violated protocol and circumstances leading to Omoyele Sowore second arrest and his unconditional release.”
She warns that if the demands were not honoured by the government within 14 days, they will mobilise a mass action across Nigeria.
Corroborating Ademolekun statement,
CISLAC executive director, Auwal Rafsanjani, lamented that the country was under siege.
He stated that the mass action was collective responsibility of every citizen because everyone was in danger.
Rafsanjani accused the present government of perpetuating the same brutality they bemoaned back in 2015.
According to him, “In 2015, when DSS went and raided APC data centre they were crying. Lai Mohammed shouted that this is the worst thng that had ever happened in the history of Nigeria but today they are justifying this gross, violent violation of fundamental human rights in Nigeria.”
“We want to let the country and the whole world know that we are in a state of siege, what we are experiencing is worse than military dictatorship because during the military regime courts were not invaded to carry out illegal attack. Instead of them to apologize to the nation they were rather justifying the shameless act. We have a moral obligation as citizens to sanitize governance in this country, we must checkmate excesses of public officials.”
On his part, political activist, Deji Adeyanju stressed that mass action was inevitable with the pattern of this current government desecrating the courts.
He said, “Even Abacha obeyed court orders, every dictator in this country obeyed court orders. As a movement and as a people we must stop beating round the bush, President Buhari has not hidden his intentions from day one, he said that national security is second to rule of law and he has demonstrated it. When he disobeyed court order of El zakzaky we all kept quiet, he did it to Dasuki we kept quiet, now he’s doing it to Sowore. DSS never had any plan to release Sowore, they were compelled to release Sowore because Justice Ojukwu was courageous enough to give them 24 hours to comply. Whether we like it or not mass action is inevitable if government refuses to comply with the demands. The ultimatum starts today, they should release Sowore and others.”

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Lawal Abdulsalam, Student of civil engineering, student from federal polytechnic Ede if you don't know Lawal Abdulsalam then perhaps you started blogging yesterday.He runs one of the most popular blogs on internet.

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EXCLUSIVE: People can mourn me the way they like when I die – Obasanjo




Former Nigerian president, Olusegun Obasanjo, has responded to the criticisms that have trailed his controversial condolence message on the passing of Buruji Kashamu, a former senator and leader of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ogun State.

Mr Obasanjo, in the condolence message, said late Mr Kashamu, who was wanted in the U.S for alleged drug offences, was able to escape justice but could not evade death.

“Senator Esho Jinadu (Buruji Kashmu) in his lifetime used the manoeuvre of law and politics to escape from facing justice on alleged criminal offence in Nigeria and outside Nigeria,” Mr Obasanjo said.

“But no legal, political, cultural, social or even medical manoeuvre could stop the cold hands of death when the Creator of all of us decides that the time is up.

“May Allah forgive his sin and accept his soul into Aljanah, and may God grant his family and friends fortitude to bear the irreparable loss,” he added.

Several Nigerians have attacked Mr Obasanjo for his remarks which they say demonstrated disrespect for the dead.

A former governor of Ekiti state, Ayo Fayose said, “He (Obasanjo) should also remember that his own end will come too and nobody knows how the end will be.”

Mr Fayose who took to Twitter to post his comment said the former president was not a saint, and should, therefore, stop behaving like one.

“Can Obasanjo say in good conscience that he did not at some point collaborate with Kashamu and most of the things he (Kashamu) did politically were not with his collaboration?” Mr Fayose said.

“I thought that our culture is that every fight ends once one of the parties die?” Joe Abah, a policy analyst, said of Mr Obasanjo’s comment.

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Bola Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos state and a national leader of the All Progressives Congress, in his condolence message, said people should be kind to the dead since everyman would die someday.

But Mr Obasanjo in his response to the criticism told PREMIUM TIMES, Sunday, it was okay for people to mourn every death but that the living, including himself, must draw the right lessons from the lives of those who have died.

He said it is only in doing this that societies can make progress.

“When I was growing up, in our community, when anyone known with bad character died, we usually only mourn him and bury him. No eulogy. No praise-singing.

“There is an English saying that urges us never to talk ill of the dead. But in this case, we are not talking ill of the dead. We are only drawing lessons from the life and history of the dead. I am not gloating over his death. It is sad for anyone to die and we must mourn him.


“But we must learn from such a passage. There will be bad lessons. There will be good lessons. But we should not just be praise-singing or eulogising the dead, especially when there is no need to do so.

“We should not cover up bad histories and conducts so that the right lessons can be learnt,” he said.

PREMIUM TIMES told Mr Obasanjo that were already suggestions by his critics that on his passage, he might be mourned in the manner he did Mr Kashamu.

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The former president responded, “As you know, I say my mind as truthfully as I know them and in line with my convictions. People are free to say whatever they want about my comment. I don’t begrudge people for holding opinions on whatever I say or do.

“Let people say whatever they like when I transit. Now that I am alive, am I not being abused? Whenever I transit, let people say whatever they know or think about me. Let them say it as it is. What my maker thinks of me is what matters most,” he said.

Mr Kashamu, a controversial politician who for years was wanted by the U.S government for alleged drug offences but managed to beat repeated extradition attempts, died in Lagos Saturday from coronavirus complications.

He was buried on Sunday in his home town, Ijebu-Igbo, Ogun state.

Obasanjo Versus Kashamu

Mr Obasanjo had in a January 7, 2014 letter to the leadership of the PDP and then President Goodluck Jonathan, announced he was withdrawing from the then ruling party following the elevation of Mr Kashamu, whom he described as “a wanted habitual criminal” as the South-West leader of the party.

In that letter, Mr Obasanjo said he personally found the South-West PDP’s celebration of Mr Kashamu, who was a major financier of the party, unsavoury.

“Politics played by any national political party must have morality, decency, discipline, principles and leadership examples as cardinal practices of the party,” he said. “I have attached here recent documents that clearly indicates that you extolled PDP Zonal leader in the South West of Nigeria and an indigene of Ogun State, who is, to say the least, not a credit to the party as a member let alone being a zonal leader.

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“While I believe that a good and truly national political party must be a microcosm of the nation in its membership, made up of all sorts of characters from near-saints to near-satan, I also believe that on no account should a known habitual criminal that is wanted abroad to face criminal charges levelled against him be extolled as a political leader in a respectable and wholesome nation-building political party.”

Mr Kashamu tore back at Mr Obasanjo at the time While arguing that the former president had no moral right to attack anyone, the politician said Mr Obasanjo used him to wrestle power from former Governor Gbenga Daniel, who was then a thorn in Mr Obasanjo’s political career.

He said Mr Obasanjo dumped him thereafter and then began plotting his extradition to the United States.

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COVID-19: How we’re preparing to reopen universities — NUC




The National Universities Commission, NUC, Tuesday, said preparations were in top gear to reopen the nation’s universities after closure as a result of the outbreak of Coronavirus in the country.
To this end, the commission said it was collating data on the assessment of the level of preparedness by the various universities through their vice-chancellors to determine if the universities were safe for resumption to both academic and non-academic activities.
This was even as the commission said a total of 32 universities in the country were carrying out researches on solutions to the dreaded Coronavirus in the country.
NUC’s Executive Secretary, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, speaking at a media briefing in Abuja, disclosed that so far, reasonable number of vice-chancellors have submitted their reports on the level of their readiness to the commission, saying once the process was concluded, it would make a statement either to direct universities to resume or otherwise.
Rasheed, who spoke through the Deputy Executive Secretary, Academics, Dr. Suleiman Ramon Yusuf, at the briefing meant to showcase the ongoing contributions of Nigerian universities to the national response to COVID-19, however, regretted the expected resumption may be marred by a strike in public varsities even as he said efforts were on to looking for a permanent to the incessant industrial action in universities.
The commission, he was, was already working with universities in terms of what kind of preparation should be put in place before reopening.
“We have a template to vice-chancellors of all universities requesting them to suggest to us what kind of protocols and strategies are they putting in place in the various institutions. We are collating some of the responses which have already started coming in and at the end of the day the picture should emerge about the extent to which our universities are prepared to reopen for academic activities,” he said
Earlier, while speaking on the various contributions being made by Nigerian universities in coronavirus pandemic, Rasheed said over thirty-two universities in the country have so far involved in researches aimed at mitigating the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to him, a compendium put together by the commission showed Nigerian universities are making contributions, adding that the University of Jos, which he noted, was leading in herbal and natural product development, could do more if federal government release more funds to such institutions for research purposes.
“As in many other parts of the world, the pandemic has challenged our knowledge system, which has proved inadequate and insufficiently robust enough to respond to the challenges. Only a few institutions have been able to utilize open and distance learning systems to keep students engaged while the pandemic lasted and only a few laboratories continued with research and development activities.
“Nonetheless, the few who engaged in research and innovation work have demonstrated the need for a well-funded and robustly organized national research and innovation system to catalyse the national response,” he said.According to him, “The performance of the African Centers of Excellence, particularly the Center for the Genomics of Infectious Diseases at the Redeemer’s University, Ede in Sequencing SARS-CoV-2 virus, the collaborative development of vaccines with the University of Cambridge and as a pioneer national testing and screening centre and the other ACES in ABU, BUK, UNILAG, UNIBEN, UNIPORT and UNIJOS that also served as national testing and screening centres have proved that world-class Research and Development work is possible in Nigeria.”
“They demonstrate how the Nigerian University System can be readily effective and relevant to national development if research is valued and adequately funded and the institutions provided with resources to motivate researchers and innovators, including students,” Rasheed further said.

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