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Friday, 30 October 2020

Prince Dapo Abiodun pre-season tourney gets kick-off date

 Dapo Abiodun Pre-season Tournament Communications Department


Prince Dapo Abiodun pre-season tourney gets kick-off date




The organizers of the Prince Dapo Abiodun Pre-season Tournament have revealed that this year’s edition of the pre-season tourney will hold from November 16th – 23rd, 2020 in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State.



The maiden edition of the prestigious pre-season tournament was held in 2019 at the ancient city of Ijebu-ode in Ogun State, Shooting Stars emerged as champions defeating Delta Force 1-0 in the final game. The tournament witnessed an historic moment in the semi-final game when Shooting Stars defeated Lobi Stars 5-0.



The tournament Coordinator Oye Bawala has revealed that the second edition promises an improved organization and top-notch competition for the clubs that will participate which also includes meeting up with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) guidelines on COVID19.




“We recorded a huge success last season in the maiden edition and we are looking forward to the second edition. We have reviewed the organization and we are planning to improve on all fronts this year, this edition is unique because of the outbreak of COVID19. We have set out modalities to meet up with the NCDC guidelines, we will get support from the Ogun State Government and the Ministry of Health.



“The competition helped the clubs that participated last season, the clubs were happy with the positive impact and how the tournament shaped their season. The clubs were able to compete brilliantly in their various leagues,” said Bawala.



The organizers have confirmed 11 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) clubs and five Nigeria National League (NNL) clubs that will compete for honours in Ijebu-ode, the pedigree of the shortlisted teams makes the tournament the biggest pre-season tournament in Nigeria.



Defending champions Shooting Stars will lead the other four NNL clubs, Crown FC, Bendel Insurance, Remo Stars, and Gateway FC. The NPFL clubs include; Four-time NPFL champions Kano Pillars, Rivers United, Warri Wolves, MFM FC, Nasarawa United, Adamawa United, Lobi Stars, Kwara United, Heartland FC, Wikki Tourists, and Rangers International.



Bawala added; “We have confirmed 16 clubs, these are clubs with pedigree that will make the tournament glamorous. The competitive level will be high and we are expecting fireworks in Ijebu-ode. We are also working on sponsors that will make the tournament more colourful.



“The tournament had a business impact on the communities in Ijebu-ode and the benefits on various businesses like hotels, transportation, food communities and more were enormous. The State Government saw the benefits and they are keen on sustaining the tournament.”



#GovAbiodunCup20

Wednesday, 28 October 2020

Oduduru launches foundation, gives palliatives to homes

 Oduduru launches foundation, gives palliatives to homes




Nigeria’s record holder in the men’s 200m and the second fastest man in the 100m behind Olusoji Fasuba, Divine Oduduru, has launched his Foundation in the country and at the same time reached out to the needy in the community.



The foundation named Divine Oduduru Foundation according to the Texas Tech University graduate will cater for children with no hope of going to school especially the orphans.



Speaking on the reason for starting the foundation, the 24-year-old said growing up in Delta State, he was opportuned to see children with no parents finding it difficult to achieve their targets in life with some of them unable to go to school.



“My foundation is really focusing on taking care of orphans who doesn’t have means of getting the better life they would have gotten if their parents were alive,” he said.


“At the moment, we have 18 children on the foundation’s scholarships, we are to provide education and good life for them.



“We are in a country whereby orphans are finding it difficult to enjoy and I am looking at how we can make them feel the love, the joy and happiness of every other child.


“We want to pick up children hawking on the streets, send them to school, those with no home to stay, provide accommodation for them, we are already putting up a structure whereby all these children will be staying and going to school from there.



“It didn’t stop at that, we are reaching out to the hospitals to help those who could not afford their bills, give hope to those that are hopeless and also reach out to the widows and those in remand homes across the country because we want a better future for all of them.”


Meanwhile, since arriving the country, Oduduru has visited several orphanage homes in Delta State, where he donated palliatives to the children in the homes.



Apart from the orphanage homes, the four-time NCAA champion in American collegiate competition, also visited a remand home in Sapele, as well as his former secondary school, West End Mixed Secondary School, Asaba.

DAKKADA FC COMPLETE MEDICALS, GET CLEAN BILL OF HEALTH

 DAKKADA FC COMPLETE MEDICALS, GET CLEAN BILL OF HEALTH


Edidiong STEPHEN 

Uyo. October 28, 2020.


Ahead of the commencement of the 2020/2021 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season, Dakkada Football Club have been given a clean bill of health after all their players underwent and passed routine medicals.

.

The checks which took place at the Nest of Champions, Tuesday, were carried out on all retained and newly recruited players of the 2018/2019 NNL champions.



The Uyo-based outfit were given the all-clear on Wednesday after all the results of the multifarious tests conducted came through, including ECG, Full Blood Count, Cardiovascular System, Musculoskeletal System, Echocardiography, Liver and Kidney Function, among many others.


Speaking shortly after the painstaking exercise, the Chairman of Dakkada FC, Coach Aniedi Dickson, said “we were here today in compliance with LMC-stipulated guidelines for participation in the upcoming new NPFL season”.


“Our players are cherished assets and we are not leaving any stone unturned in paying priority attention to their health needs because it is our intention to ensure that they are in tip-top shape ahead of the new season”, Mr. Dickson further added.



As the 2020/2021 season beckons, newbies Dakkada FC who had an impressive debut NPFL season last year have been perfecting pre-season plans in the outskirts of Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital.

Tuesday, 27 October 2020

Aisha Falode is an asset to Nigeria football, says Pinnick

 Aisha Falode is an asset to Nigeria football, says Pinnick




Chairperson of the Nigeria Women League, Aisha Folade has been described as a priceless asset to Nigeria football for her creative innovations to the development of the game in the country.



The president of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Amaju Pinnick said this on Tuesday in Abuja at the opening of the women league new secretariat.


"Since she took over the leadership of the NWPL, she has brought in a lot of vibes. We can only improve on what Aisha Falode has done, she brought a lot of innovations into the women league, even a blind man can feel it," Pinnick sai.


"We will only add to what she has been doing, there is a lot of ingenuity, redirecting in the female football in Nigeria, she is an asset, who is so priceless for us in Nigeria.  


"We are proud  of her, we have gotten a new coach for the National senior women team and there are new foreign  based Nigerian players who have declared their interest to play for the country, young and enterprising players for us to prove Women AFCON is our birth right.


"We are working towards getting two friendly matches for the team to size them for the engagements."


On her part, Falode said the NWPL will witness new innovation as the league kicks off this year.



Folade said female football which has taken the  country to a higher ground in the continent and doing well at the global level will not be pushed back but efforts will be made to improve the welfare of the players in the club to get the desire result.


She said unlike in previous years, the new season will be played with all the teams in one block, adding that this will toughen the clubs ahead of the continental champions league.


She said the new office will be a centre for the development of positive ideas that will add value to the administration of the game in the country.


She however, expressed appreciation to the Pinnick led NFF board for their support for the growth of women football in the country as he has been in the forefront of the evolution of the women participation in football.


According to her, this and many more has helped in boosting the morale of the players and enhanced their greater productivity in most major competitions.


She said the league will be played in line with COVID-19 protocol as the league body will ensure all what is required is adhered to.

Ahlan Cup congratulates Tobex on her appointment as Super Falcons Media Officer

 Ahlan Cup congratulates Tobex on her appointment as Super Falcons Media Officer



The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Executive Committee Member, Dr Shariff Rabi'u Inuwa (Ahlan) has congratulated, Mrs Oluchi Tobe-Chukwu, a media member of Ahlan Cup, who was appointed as Media Officer of the Senior Women National Team, the Super Falcons on Tuesday. 


In a statement signed by sole financier of Ahlan Cup, Dr Shariff Rabi'u Inuwa on Tuesday, the astute administrator said that he was profoundly proud but unsurprised by the achievements and the well-deserved appointment of Mrs Oluchi Tobe-Chukwu.


He noted that as a member disciplinary and appeals committees of Ahlan Cup, Oluchi Tobe-Chukwu's knowledge, dedication, and humility are well known to the football fraternity.


Dr Shariff Rabi'u Inuwa said it was through these remarkable qualities that Ahlan Cup first appointed her as a member of its ethics committee and also an important part of the media team.



"Tobex has glittered whenever she has worked, and we are confident she will repose the confidence the NFF have shown in her," Dr Shariff Rabi'u Inuwa said.


"It's wonderful to see a lot of our people excited with your appointment. On behalf of the entire members of Ahlan Cup, I wish you great success."


"Good luck & always count on us for the necessary support."

ANFSC congratulates Raji, Tobechukwu on Eagles, Falcons appointment

 Authentic Nigeria Football Supporters Club felicitate and congratulate Mr Babafemi Raji and Mrs Oluchi Tobe-Chukwu on their appointment as the media officers of the Super Eagles and the Super Falcons respectively. 

 



Babafemi Raji popularly known as the Topmost striker is a seasoned 

journalist and presently the Group Manager, Programmes and Contents in Brila Media Group,  He was a member of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Media Committee set up by the tournament sponsors, and is a certified management consultant and a fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants.


 


Mrs Oluchi Tobe-Chukwu popularly known as tobexSports, is an astute women football advocate and a writer with passion for domestic women’s league.  She’s a former footballer herself, having played for clubs like Hamza Queens, Flamming Flamingos and Ibom Angels.

 

According to the president of ANFSC, Prince Abayomi Ogunjimi, "both Tobex and the Topmost striker are seasoned journalists and they will bring their wealth of experience to bear in the cause of projecting the senior national teams in good light."


Congrats TobexSports 

Congrats Topmost Striker


Authorized 

Management

NFF appoints Raji, Tobechukwu for Eagles, Falcons



 


NFF appoints Raji, Tobechukwu for Eagles, Falcons


 



The Nigeria Football Federation has announced the appointment of Mr. Babafemi Raji as the new Media Officer of the Senior Men National Team, Super Eagles. He takes over from Mr. Toyin Ibitoye who has been in the post for five-and-half years.


 


Raji, presently the Group Manager, Programmes and Contents in Brila Media Group, started sports journalism as a freelancer with NTA Ile-Ife between 2003 – 2006 while studying at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife. On graduation with Bachelor of Arts in English, he joined Radio Brila, Nigeria’s first all-sport radio station in 2008. He was a member of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Media Committee set up by the tournament sponsors, and is a certified management consultant and a fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants.


 


Also on Tuesday, the NFF announced the appointment of Mrs Oluchi Tobe-Chukwu as the Media Officer of the Senior Women National Team, Super Falcons. She takes over from Miss Jane Onyinye Nweze.


 



Oluchi Tobe-Chukwu, popularly known as tobexSports, is an astute women football advocate and a writer with passion for domestic women’s league. A Federal Government scholar as the second best graduating student in mass communication at the Federal Polytechnic, Auchi, she holds a master’s degree in the same discipline from the Lagos State University. She’s a former footballer herself, having played for clubs like Hamza Queens, Flamming Flamingos and Ibom Angels before pursuing her education further.


 


NFF’s Director of Media and Communications, Ademola Olajire, praised Mr Ibitoye and Miss Nweze for excellent services rendered while they were with the Super Eagles and the Super Falcons respectively, and wished both of them good fortune in their future endeavours. “Mr Ibitoye and Miss Nweze were superb to work with. They demonstrated excellent people skills and acuity, and were diligent, energetic and knowledgeable. We wish them the very best in their endeavours going forward.”

3RD EDITION OF STEPHEN KESHI NATIONAL UNDER 17 FOOTBALL TOURNAMENT KICKS OFF IN BENIN , EDO STATE


3RD EDITION OF STEPHEN KESHI NATIONAL UNDER 17 FOOTBALL TOURNAMENT KICKS OFF IN BENIN , EDO STATE



The Board of Trustees of the Stephen Keshi Football and Vocational Training Center (SKFVTC) Obazuwa, has commenced plans to kick start the 3rd Edition of the Stephen Keshi National Under 17 Football Tournament from 1st to 5th December 2020 in the ancient City of Benin Edo State



The Annual youth tournament, which follows the hosting of the Stephen Keshi annual Memorial lecture, which promises to  attract more than 40 Youths  Football teams from across the states of Nigeria to Edo is put together by the Stephen Keshi Football and Vocational Training Centre Obazuwa, under the auspices of Nigeria Players Union, National Association of Nigeria Professional Footballers, NANPF,  to immortalise and preserve the legacies and contributions of late Stephen Keshi , both as a coach and player to the overall development of football in Africa 



The inaugural Edition of the tournament was held in Benin, Edo State in  2018 and was later  expanded in its second hosting  2019 in Asaba Delta State to include two categories, Under 17 and 21 . This years edition, due to impact of Covid19 pandemic resulting in restrictions of sporting activities which has just been lifted, has led the organizers to deliberately packaged this year edition to capture only the under 17 category due to time constraints



Details for Registration will communicated as soon as possible

Monday, 26 October 2020

Minister visits injured youth in Hospital, Reassures of reforms

 Minister visits injured youth in Hospital, Reassures of reforms



Youth and Sports Development Minister, Mr. Sunday Dare visited some youth  who were injured during the recent #EndSars protest in Lagos where he promised that their protests are being  adequately adressed by the Federal Government. 


Speaking during  a visit to the General Hospital in Victoria  Island, Lagos , Mr. Dare said


"We sympathize  with all those thay got injured during the protests  and commiserate  with those that lost  loved  ones . We believe  the struggle  is not in vain.Government   appreciates your right  to protest  legitimately which is part of our democratic  process. 



"I feel your pains and Government  is committed  to addressing  all the issues raised by the protesters.  While some have been  adressed, others are being  looked into. But the Ministry  of Youth and Sports Development has twenty-five  initiatives  that adress  the  needs of the Youth.


"We shall explore  all avenues to engage  our youth constructively. Your voices  have been  heard"



He further said " There are on going refoms which would be deep and intensive.  Government  has a seat for the youth at the negotiating  table.

 


"The youth must move away from the street and come to the negotiating table. Dare concluded


 *Media Office To The Honourable Minister Of Youth and Sports Development*

Sunday, 25 October 2020

Gov Wike Pre Season Tourney: Covid-19 protocols will be strictly adhered to

 Gov Wike Pre Season Tourney: Covid-19 protocols will be strictly adhered to - Hon Sirawoo



 

Permanent Secretary, Rivers State Ministry of Sports, Honour Sirawoo has assured that the COVID-19 guidelines will be strictly followed during the second edition of the Governor Wike Pre Season Tourney. 


He said this during a telephone conversation with SportsVille on Sunday.


According to him the safety COVID-19 protocols will be strictly followed during the pre season tourney in the Garden City of Port Harcourt.


"Let me congratulate and commend the Sports Minister for his efforts, and praise my colleagues (Sports Journalists) for the pressure that they put on the system," Honour Sirawoo said.


It will be recalled that the Governor Wike Pre Season Tourney Organizing Committee chaired by Badawiy Bashir was inaugurated last Monday.


And Hon Sirawoo declared that all the Covid-19 protocols would be strictly adhered to.


Hon Sirawoo continued: We have directed the committee handling the tournament to ensure that every Covid-19 protocol is adhered to. If you allow two persons to the Stadium, they must be subjected to the appropriate screening and protocols. The distancing must be there.


"We want to enjoy good football. We have appealed to the teams to come along with certified copies of tests that they were subjected to, in order actually match our actions on the Covid-19 protocols."


"Having said that, the Governor Wike Tournament Committee was inaugurated last week. It is in the second edition, the first edition was fantastic and we saw benefits it brought to our people. 


"Rivers State is the home of sports and football features prominently. People haven't seen quality matches for sometime due to the Covid-19 pandemic," he added.


The Governor Wike Pre Season Tourney will kickoff on November 6, 2020 with Enyimba, Abia Warriors, Rivers United, Plateau United, Kwara United, Nasarawa United, Akwa United, MFM FC, Niger Tornadoes, Gombe United, Bayelsa United, Bendel Insurance, Goddosky FC and Cynosure FC expected to grace the event.


Venue of the tournament is Sharks Stadium.

Hoodlums attack Complete Sports

 HOODLUMS ATTACK COMPLETE SPORTS




The head office of Complete Communications Limited, publishers of Complete Sports newspapers in Okota, Lagos, Nigeria has been attacked by hoodlums.

The hoodlums seized on the curfew imposed by the Lagos State Government in the wake of the violence and looting that engulfed the state in the aftermath of the #EndSARS protests in the country, to carry out the attack.

In a signed statement, Group Managing Director of Complete Sports, Dr. Mumini Alao, said: "The hoodlums came very early on Sunday morning, 25 October, 2020. They attacked our office security guards, tied them up and proceeded to ransack several offices in the building. Luckily for us, one of the guards escaped to raise the alarm, thus forcing the fleeing hoodlums to abandon some of their loot, including a Toyota Corolla car, Apple desktop, HP laptop and several GSM phones taken from our premises.

"The incident has been reported at the Okota Police station, while two of our personnel that were injured by the hoodlums have been treated at a private hospital."

Complete Sports is the pioneer all-sports publication in Nigeria. It was first published in November, 1995 and will clock 25 years on the newsstand next month.

Countdown To Gov Wike Football Tourney: Committee Says Port Harcourt Remains Safe



As invited teams across Nigeria make plans to storm Port Harcourt for the Gov Wike Pre-Season Football Tournament, chairman of the Organising Committee, Bashir Badawiy says it promises to be an unforgettable experience.


Badawiy, who stated this as the countdown to the tourney gathers momentum, stressed that Port Harcourt remains safe for all participating teams and fans alike. 


According to him, "we have twelve days to go and I can tell you that the tournament will set the pace for the season to come. 


"Port Harcourt is ready to host all the football teams coming to fight for bragging rights. It will set a marker for all pre-season games. 


"Gov Wike tournament is the place to be and I am glad that all the teams have signified their intention to be in the Garden City."


Bashir commended Rivers Sports Commissioner, Boma Iyaye and Permanent Secretary, Sir Honour Sirawoo for their untiring efforts to ensure a successful competition. 


The Governor Wike Pre-Season Football Tournament starts on November 6, 2020 with 16 teams from the NPFL and NNL angling for the winner's podium.

Saturday, 24 October 2020

Minister Holds Virtual Town hall Meeting with Youth

 Minister Holds Virtual Town hall Meeting with  Youth


 Announces  Help Line 




The Minister  of  Youth and Sports Development Mr. Sunday Dare  has announced that a new help line  will be opened to provide timely information on youth focused programs and attend to the needs of  Nigerian Youth. This move is to deepen  communication  between Nigerian youth and government and to ensure consistent  engagement.  


Ministers of Women Afairs Dame Paulen Tallen and Minister of State,  Labor  Barrister  Festus Keyamo, SAN were all in attendance to update the youth on government actions in the wake of the endsars protest. 


Speaking during the second   Virtual town hall meeting held on Friday October 23rd  which had about 11,500 youth participating Via zoom and Facebook/ YouTube organized by the Ministry, contributors  commended the steps  taken to address  the  demands of the youth from the EndSars campaign.


While appreciating the concerns raised by Nigerians, Mr. Dare said


"We are seeking for continued  engagements  with the youth , hence we are in dialogue  with them online where  most of them are active.  


Our youth must  apply  themselves  in a delibrate way  to these  opportunities   so that they can become gainfully  employed. There are 25 youth opportunities  in existence. We are matching training  of Youth with entrepreneurship. Our youth are innovative,  so we need  to support them with finance  so they  can be wealth creators”.



In her view,   Minister  of  Women Affairs Dame  Paulen Tallen said


 " I thank the youth who joined  this dialogue. We will get it right with dialogue  as alot of reforms are on going.

 

Hopefully, we would begin to see new reforms that can empower  Nigerian Youth.


Barrister  Keyamo  praised the youth for  speaking out against police brutality.


 *Media Office To The Honourable Minister Of Youth and Sports Development*

Monday, 19 October 2020

AKWA UNITED STILL OWING LATE ISMAILA SHAGARI.

 AKWA UNITED STILL OWING LATE ISMAILA SHAGARI.


By Akin Bolarinwa 


The families of late Ismaila Shagari who died mysteriously after a brief illness alleged that the management of Akwa united football club has abandoned the late player's family and the wife with two kids without the financial entitlement the state government promised the Akwa United players and officials that won the Aiteo FA Cup in 2017. 



The late Ismail Shagari died this year because he was unable to get proper medical treatments while he was on sick bed due to financial constraint encounter by the family which led  to accumulated medical bills.


Information reaching us revealed that Ismaila Shagari waa owed about Two million Naira (#2,million) being part of his share from the Seventy million naira (#70,million) promised the players and officials since 2017 for wining the FA cup.


Shagari left behind a struggling wife and two lovely children and it is difficult period for them at this moment.



Now several months after his death, the management of Akwa united football have not redeemed their pledge of sorting out his outstanding benefits.


The families of (late) Shagari stated that they would write to the League Management Company and the Honourable Minister of Youth  and Sports to seek redress for his as they can not stand helplessly while the late  goalkeeper's  immediate family (wife and children) continue to live in penury.



The 26 year old, (late) Ismaila Shagari was a great goal keeper with Akwa United football club and contributed to the team wining the Aiteo Cup in 2017.

Anambra FA Crises: Youth and Sports Ministry intervenes, Urges NFF to uphold Ifeanyi Ubah’s election

 ANSFA:SENATOR IFEANYI UBAH IS THE AUTHENTIC CHAIRMAN OF ANAMBRA FA ......SPORTS MINISTER ,HON SUNDAY DARE  DECLARES.



Brands the Caretaker Committee Illegal 


Tells the NFF to follow its Statue and uphold Anambra FA Election 


Anambra FA Crises: Youth and Sports Ministry intervenes, Urges NFF to uphold Ifeanyi Ubah’s election 


The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports has declared its support for the reelection of Senator Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah as the Chairman of Anambra State Football Association. 

The Ministry made this known in a statement titled “Resolution of the Ministerial Meeting on the Anambra State Football Association”. 



According to the statement dated 15th October, 2020 and signed by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr Gabriel Aduda, after a meeting that had representatives of the Nigerian Football Association (NFF), the Secretary of the Anambra State Football Association and its members, Senator Ifeanyi Ubah and his delegates, and the Chairman of the Anambra State Sports Development Commission in attendance, the Ministry clearly reviewed facts presented by various camps involved and found no error in the declaration of Senator Ubah as the winner of the virtual election conducted by the Anambra State Football Association in line with the guidelines of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and consequently, it advised the NFF to uphold the result of the election and channel grievances (if any) to the electoral committee in line with the NFF statute and extant laws.


The Ministry further revealed that the meeting observed that the issue of amendment to the guidelines for elections into states football association is an exclusive right of the congress of the state football associations in accordance with Article 20 of the NFF statutes and that the said article has been tested by the NFF in its June 18, 2019 directive to the Katsina State Football Association. 


The meeting further observed that when the Anambra State Football Association was stopped from conducting the election physically, it summoned an extraordinary congress meeting the following day and as a result, conducted a virtual election that had 98% of congress members in attendance, and that Senator Ifeanyi Ubah contested and won the position of Anambra State Football Association Chairman in the virtual election. 



With the Ministry’s intervention and observations, it is expected that the NFF will do the needful and put the crises to a permanent end. 


We may recall that the Distinguished Senator who is a CAF member has been the pillar of sports development in Anambra State  and has been singlehandely sponsoring the Anambra State FA activities  for several years now .


Long Live ANSFA 


LONG LIVE NFF 


LONG LIVE THE MINISTRY OF SPORTS


( Letters attached)






CONVERSATION WITH THE NIGERIAN YOUTH -Sunday Dare

 CONVERSATION WITH THE NIGERIAN YOUTH

-Sunday Dare

 

Protests have occurred across the country. Few saw this coming except with the aid of hindsight. However, the protests are here and we must be cognizant of the reasons why. Every society, every nation has its imperfections and challenges. Some of them are of high consequence while some of them minor in scope. No nation escapes this reality. The mark of a great nation is not that it does not have challenges and flaws, the mark of a great and hopefully compassionate nation lies in how it resolves its inconsistencies and social tensions.

 


Nigeria is a democratic republic established to ensure its people enjoy the benefits of good governance and the quiet enjoyment of their lives through the observation and protection of their fundamental human rights, including the rights to exist and to move about the nation freely as long as one moves about peacefully.

 

This is the ideal to which we as a nation and to which this government both strive. Yet, the protests show that we have not achieved this ideal. It is now painfully apparent that something undermining this noble goal was taking place and was taking a harsh toll on our people, especially our youth. The youth endured indignities, ranging from petty harassment, extortion, to beatings and killings at the hands of those who had been given a commission to protect them from such brutal criminality. That which was meant to protect you was distorted in too many instances to torment you. Once a good and functional ideal, SARS became a burden on the people.

 

Here, I must say that a few SARS officers are good, decent police officers trying their best in often challenging conditions. I say this not to cover or condone the wrongs done. I say this that we not unduly taint all for the bad acts of some. However, I also am not attempting to downplay the severity of the misconduct or to give some false solace or consolation to those who have suffered unduly.  The activities of the bad SARS officers had violently undermined the reputation and function of the squad. This is a national disgrace turned into unfortunate tragedy by the harsh mistreatment of innocent youth and other Nigerians.

 

Police brutality is neither a hallmark of democracy nor is it the stamp of this administration. Yet, something went wrong. Your courage and commitment to organize and then carry out peaceful protests brought this grave issue to the attention of the highest levels of this government.

 

Your protests made the government focus on your concerns. Once government investigated the matter and understood the gravity and veracity of the protest claims, government moved with dispatch and resolved to abolish SARS. Government has also moved with sincerity, committing itself to working on several other important demands raised by the protests. Here it is important to continue to act based on the premise that we all want the best for Nigeria and that the other person is motivated by good faith.

During this situation, some people have lambasted the protesters as troublemakers intent on bringing down the government. This was unhelpful. We cannot move forward if we taint everything as fundamentally motivated by partisan political coloration. A few things transcend political bickering. Also, those claiming that government was harsh and intolerant were wrong. Like any committed government, this administration does not want see innocent citizens brutalized by the police. There is no good that can come from such a policy as such a stance is morally and political bankrupt and counterproductive. The President and his government care for the people.

 

While we may have policy disagreements with others and have a different political perspective, no one should question the good faith of this administration and its commitment to the Nigerian people. It is an unfair and unfounded assertion to allege that we care not for the people and want to see them harshly treated. Such allegations are not born of sincerity but come from those seeking to gain political capital from the current situation.

 

Yet, all in all, the youth-led protests have done the nation and its people a service.   Good police action helps all of us but police misconduct adversely touches Nigerians of every demographic. By demonstrating for an end to brutality you have enhanced the liberties and freedoms of all Nigerians.

 

 

Thus, I salute the courage of the Nigerian youth for finding their voice, for mobilizing, for staying on message by keeping the peace during your protests that we may have even more peace. Your demands for action, and deep-rooted reforms, including adequate funding of our Police, show that you are seeking pragmatic solutions to real problems. In essence you had the fruitful insight to seek aid for the very Police that have inflicted hardship on you because you realize that only an improved police will better serve you. In essence, you seek not to destroy but to build better than before.

 

 

Government is nothing but a public service. Leadership must respond to the agitations and valid yearnings of society. In this case, this Government is doing that. The demands are being met as swiftly and practicably as possible. SARS has been dissolved, and will not come back. A multi stakeholder committee to address youth demands and relevant issues is already in place.

 

Shortly after the protests began, President Muhammadu Buhari issued a public broadcast vowing that police reforms have started with the dissolution of SARS.

 

Beyond dissolution of SARS, the police as an institution will undergo a reform process intended to promote community-police cooperation and to weed out unqualified and bad officers. Our youth, who constitute over 60 percent of the population and are often wrongly profiled, harassed and brutalized for no justifiable reason at all and this must stop.

 

Institutional change and reform are coming and government will fulfill this solemn promise. Yet, we must also realize that the changes and reform will take more than one day to effectuate. We are talking about changing the behavior and ideals of an institution that have been operating in a certain way for decades.

 

This episode is a dual lesson to us all. First, it instructs us on how law enforcement is not to act. Second, it also shows on how citizens can peacefully relay their grievances to government that it may take curative action. In this vein, the right to protest is part of the fabric of a responsive democratic setting. Protests are one of the legitimate ways people can lay their petition before government. Thus, the people have a right and duty to protest peacefully in order to raise serious grievance or call for important government action. And in the face of sustained protests, government has the duty to listen and the responsibility to respond to and resolve legitimate issues to the extent possible.

 

The people should never be afraid to protest as long as their cause is just and government should never be frightened by such protests but should accept that the protests are peaceful call by the people for government to help them create a better society and a better life. For protest to make any sense the protests implies and the protesters must believe government has the requisite good faith to listen and to act.

 

Thus, amidst these considerations is another important one. Genuine protesters must be careful not to allow those with nefarious motives to hijack their protests and steer them into violence or into conduct that actually undermines constitutional democracy instead of enhancing it. The line between legitimate protests and improper attack against the democratic order may not be the broadest but it is there and relatively clear. Yet, it is possible to be taken across that line if you do not remain disciplined and focused. Always be mindful that others with agendas contrary to your altruism will infiltrate the protests and will seek to exploit your constructive efforts to stir conflict and tension that cannot be resolved except through even more conflicts. Protests to build and improve society. Yes. Protests to foster chaos and disorder to tear down society, No.

 


As Youth, you seek the path of a new more just Social and Political Order but that better order can never be born or emanate from disorder and chaos. Better to seek the path of reform that builds on the extant democratic foundation, that recognizes initiatives this administration has already commenced but will also not hesitate to push and urge government to move faster and further if you believe that will better serve the nation. 

Thus, government and the youth must embrace dialogue.

This President and his administration will speak to you frankly and in good faith. There will be honest dialogue but no false promises on one hand or unfair suppression on the other.  

The youth must be sufficiently fair minded to assess the facts and the situation. Do not swallow the ugly narratives peddled with malicious intensity by organizations that politically oppose the President.  They seek to paint him as uncaring and hateful toward you. This is an unfair lie. The President cares deeply. He profits nothing when an innocent Youth or Nigerian is hurt, harassed or killed by those hired to protect them. He is personally insulted when the police act against safety and proper order. He is engaged in a dogged battle against vested interests that had literally hijacked the soul of the country over decades and are intent on avoiding accountability. This means, he is more than willing to dialogue with you because you both seek reform albeit sometimes in different ways with different priorities. As a father figure, the President has always maintained that his actions will ultimately prove that he always saw the youth as our greatest assets.

 

We must now be concerned that even protests can be subjected to the hurricane winds of manipulation to the extent that many would claim nothing is being done for the Nigerian youth. As the Minister responsible for this portfolio, I can say categorically that this is simply not true. For the first time in Nigeria’s history, a specific ring-fenced investment fund, the Nigerian Youth Investment Fund (NYIF) was approved by Government.  The President’s belief is that we must make substantial and meaningful financial investment in our youth if we truly want them to become creators of wealth, employers of labor and architects of a better Nigeria.

 

When Youth Corpers lamented the inadequacy of their allowances, many raised the competing needs for resources as a reason why increments would not be possible. This President ensured increment from N19, 800 to            N33, 000 naira monthly, even above the minimum wage. This pool is the single largest concentration of youth in the country annually.

 

The Social Investment Programme (SIP) of this government has won international acclaim. An enabling environment for youth-run Fintech companies to thrive has been created with a special license category created by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). 

 

 

The Buhari administration continues to make massive investments in every facet of Nigeria’s life so the country can have the infrastructure it needs for rapid economic development.

 

 

Still in the youth spectrum, we have established a roster of youth-focused programs never seen before, under this administration. The N-Power Youth Empowerment Programme has benefited over five hundred thousand (500,000) youth and remains the largest such youth program in sub-Saharan Africa. And there are countless stories of impact. The next batch of four hundred thousand (400,000) youth will soon take advantage of this initiative. The Bank of Industry (BOI) oversees the $20 million fund for Youth Tech Innovators and Entrepreneurs (YTIE), Youth Entrepreneurship Support Program (YES-P) among others. There is the National Young Farmers Scheme under the National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) aimed at encouraging and supporting thousands of young farmers across the country.  There is also the Graduate Internship Scheme (GIS) from which over        50,000 youth have benefited. Training in Mobile Device Repairs, Digital Skills Acquisition, Business Training and Support for SMEs are being undertaken by various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of Government. 

 

As Minister of Youth and Sports Development, every youth-focused request I have made has been greeted with the undivided attention of President Buhari meeting his approval. It is clear that Government needs to do more and we and we know this. We are not finished. Thus, I urge you to join us and when needed to prod us to do even more and go even further. 

 

We must however know when to pocket an achievement and we are at that point. Government is ready for greater engagement with youth. The protests have brought your grievances to the forefront and thus have fulfilled their stated objective. Now we must continue to discuss and work out solutions to these matters.

 

 

You have only one country and the President is positioning it for greatness through the institution of deep sometimes painful but needed reforms. Yet, he is ceaselessly assaulted by powerful vested interests who have skeletons to hide.

 

 

This is a country of youth in the century of the youth.  These protests have earned the youth a well-deserved place at the table.  So, take your seat in order to continue the progress and reform you have called for. 

 

From the protest, it is time for the next phase – dialogue. Identify trusted leaders and have them come forward. Any movement without leaders becomes rudderless and susceptible to being hijacked by people with agendas inimical to the very reasons behind the protests.  The youth have a unique opportunity to help write a new chapter in our journey to a more compassionate and benign society and a greater nation. Don’t let this historic chance pass through your hands. You deserve this moment, as does the nation we love.

 

We have a committed President who has the will power to get difficult things done. We have that in President Muhammadu Buhari.  I urge you to have the confidence and fortitude to have this conversation with him. You will find in him a listening ear and a ready partner. I say to the youth - Your time has come.  History now waits for you to turn protest into dialogue and grievance into solution.

 

-Sunday Dare is the Minister of Youth &Sports Development, Nigeria.

CONVERSATION WITH THE NIGERIAN YOUTH -Sunday Dare

 CONVERSATION WITH THE NIGERIAN YOUTH

-Sunday Dare

 


Protests have occurred across the country. Few saw this coming except with the aid of hindsight. However, the protests are here and we must be cognizant of the reasons why. Every society, every nation has its imperfections and challenges. Some of them are of high consequence while some of them minor in scope. No nation escapes this reality. The mark of a great nation is not that it does not have challenges and flaws, the mark of a great and hopefully compassionate nation lies in how it resolves its inconsistencies and social tensions.

 

Nigeria is a democratic republic established to ensure its people enjoy the benefits of good governance and the quiet enjoyment of their lives through the observation and protection of their fundamental human rights, including the rights to exist and to move about the nation freely as long as one moves about peacefully.

 

This is the ideal to which we as a nation and to which this government both strive. Yet, the protests show that we have not achieved this ideal. It is now painfully apparent that something undermining this noble goal was taking place and was taking a harsh toll on our people, especially our youth. The youth endured indignities, ranging from petty harassment, extortion, to beatings and killings at the hands of those who had been given a commission to protect them from such brutal criminality. That which was meant to protect you was distorted in too many instances to torment you. Once a good and functional ideal, SARS became a burden on the people.

 

Here, I must say that a few SARS officers are good, decent police officers trying their best in often challenging conditions. I say this not to cover or condone the wrongs done. I say this that we not unduly taint all for the bad acts of some. However, I also am not attempting to downplay the severity of the misconduct or to give some false solace or consolation to those who have suffered unduly.  The activities of the bad SARS officers had violently undermined the reputation and function of the squad. This is a national disgrace turned into unfortunate tragedy by the harsh mistreatment of innocent youth and other Nigerians.

 

Police brutality is neither a hallmark of democracy nor is it the stamp of this administration. Yet, something went wrong. Your courage and commitment to organize and then carry out peaceful protests brought this grave issue to the attention of the highest levels of this government.

 

Your protests made the government focus on your concerns. Once government investigated the matter and understood the gravity and veracity of the protest claims, government moved with dispatch and resolved to abolish SARS. Government has also moved with sincerity, committing itself to working on several other important demands raised by the protests. Here it is important to continue to act based on the premise that we all want the best for Nigeria and that the other person is motivated by good faith.




During this situation, some people have lambasted the protesters as troublemakers intent on bringing down the government. This was unhelpful. We cannot move forward if we taint everything as fundamentally motivated by partisan political coloration. A few things transcend political bickering. Also, those claiming that government was harsh and intolerant were wrong. Like any committed government, this administration does not want see innocent citizens brutalized by the police. There is no good that can come from such a policy as such a stance is morally and political bankrupt and counterproductive. The President and his government care for the people.

 

While we may have policy disagreements with others and have a different political perspective, no one should question the good faith of this administration and its commitment to the Nigerian people. It is an unfair and unfounded assertion to allege that we care not for the people and want to see them harshly treated. Such allegations are not born of sincerity but come from those seeking to gain political capital from the current situation.

 

Yet, all in all, the youth-led protests have done the nation and its people a service.   Good police action helps all of us but police misconduct adversely touches Nigerians of every demographic. By demonstrating for an end to brutality you have enhanced the liberties and freedoms of all Nigerians.

 

 

Thus, I salute the courage of the Nigerian youth for finding their voice, for mobilizing, for staying on message by keeping the peace during your protests that we may have even more peace. Your demands for action, and deep-rooted reforms, including adequate funding of our Police, show that you are seeking pragmatic solutions to real problems. In essence you had the fruitful insight to seek aid for the very Police that have inflicted hardship on you because you realize that only an improved police will better serve you. In essence, you seek not to destroy but to build better than before.

 

 

Government is nothing but a public service. Leadership must respond to the agitations and valid yearnings of society. In this case, this Government is doing that. The demands are being met as swiftly and practicably as possible. SARS has been dissolved, and will not come back. A multi stakeholder committee to address youth demands and relevant issues is already in place.

 

Shortly after the protests began, President Muhammadu Buhari issued a public broadcast vowing that police reforms have started with the dissolution of SARS.

 

Beyond dissolution of SARS, the police as an institution will undergo a reform process intended to promote community-police cooperation and to weed out unqualified and bad officers. Our youth, who constitute over 60 percent of the population and are often wrongly profiled, harassed and brutalized for no justifiable reason at all and this must stop.

 

Institutional change and reform are coming and government will fulfill this solemn promise. Yet, we must also realize that the changes and reform will take more than one day to effectuate. We are talking about changing the behavior and ideals of an institution that have been operating in a certain way for decades.

 

This episode is a dual lesson to us all. First, it instructs us on how law enforcement is not to act. Second, it also shows on how citizens can peacefully relay their grievances to government that it may take curative action. In this vein, the right to protest is part of the fabric of a responsive democratic setting. Protests are one of the legitimate ways people can lay their petition before government. Thus, the people have a right and duty to protest peacefully in order to raise serious grievance or call for important government action. And in the face of sustained protests, government has the duty to listen and the responsibility to respond to and resolve legitimate issues to the extent possible.

 

The people should never be afraid to protest as long as their cause is just and government should never be frightened by such protests but should accept that the protests are peaceful call by the people for government to help them create a better society and a better life. For protest to make any sense the protests implies and the protesters must believe government has the requisite good faith to listen and to act.

 

Thus, amidst these considerations is another important one. Genuine protesters must be careful not to allow those with nefarious motives to hijack their protests and steer them into violence or into conduct that actually undermines constitutional democracy instead of enhancing it. The line between legitimate protests and improper attack against the democratic order may not be the broadest but it is there and relatively clear. Yet, it is possible to be taken across that line if you do not remain disciplined and focused. Always be mindful that others with agendas contrary to your altruism will infiltrate the protests and will seek to exploit your constructive efforts to stir conflict and tension that cannot be resolved except through even more conflicts. Protests to build and improve society. Yes. Protests to foster chaos and disorder to tear down society, No.

 

As Youth, you seek the path of a new more just Social and Political Order but that better order can never be born or emanate from disorder and chaos. Better to seek the path of reform that builds on the extant democratic foundation, that recognizes initiatives this administration has already commenced but will also not hesitate to push and urge government to move faster and further if you believe that will better serve the nation. 

Thus, government and the youth must embrace dialogue.

This President and his administration will speak to you frankly and in good faith. There will be honest dialogue but no false promises on one hand or unfair suppression on the other.  

The youth must be sufficiently fair minded to assess the facts and the situation. Do not swallow the ugly narratives peddled with malicious intensity by organizations that politically oppose the President.  They seek to paint him as uncaring and hateful toward you. This is an unfair lie. The President cares deeply. He profits nothing when an innocent Youth or Nigerian is hurt, harassed or killed by those hired to protect them. He is personally insulted when the police act against safety and proper order. He is engaged in a dogged battle against vested interests that had literally hijacked the soul of the country over decades and are intent on avoiding accountability. This means, he is more than willing to dialogue with you because you both seek reform albeit sometimes in different ways with different priorities. As a father figure, the President has always maintained that his actions will ultimately prove that he always saw the youth as our greatest assets.

 

We must now be concerned that even protests can be subjected to the hurricane winds of manipulation to the extent that many would claim nothing is being done for the Nigerian youth. As the Minister responsible for this portfolio, I can say categorically that this is simply not true. For the first time in Nigeria’s history, a specific ring-fenced investment fund, the Nigerian Youth Investment Fund (NYIF) was approved by Government.  The President’s belief is that we must make substantial and meaningful financial investment in our youth if we truly want them to become creators of wealth, employers of labor and architects of a better Nigeria.

 

When Youth Corpers lamented the inadequacy of their allowances, many raised the competing needs for resources as a reason why increments would not be possible. This President ensured increment from N19, 800 to            N33, 000 naira monthly, even above the minimum wage. This pool is the single largest concentration of youth in the country annually.

 

The Social Investment Programme (SIP) of this government has won international acclaim. An enabling environment for youth-run Fintech companies to thrive has been created with a special license category created by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). 

 

 

The Buhari administration continues to make massive investments in every facet of Nigeria’s life so the country can have the infrastructure it needs for rapid economic development.

 

 

Still in the youth spectrum, we have established a roster of youth-focused programs never seen before, under this administration. The N-Power Youth Empowerment Programme has benefited over five hundred thousand (500,000) youth and remains the largest such youth program in sub-Saharan Africa. And there are countless stories of impact. The next batch of four hundred thousand (400,000) youth will soon take advantage of this initiative. The Bank of Industry (BOI) oversees the $20 million fund for Youth Tech Innovators and Entrepreneurs (YTIE), Youth Entrepreneurship Support Program (YES-P) among others. There is the National Young Farmers Scheme under the National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) aimed at encouraging and supporting thousands of young farmers across the country.  There is also the Graduate Internship Scheme (GIS) from which over        50,000 youth have benefited. Training in Mobile Device Repairs, Digital Skills Acquisition, Business Training and Support for SMEs are being undertaken by various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of Government. 

 

As Minister of Youth and Sports Development, every youth-focused request I have made has been greeted with the undivided attention of President Buhari meeting his approval. It is clear that Government needs to do more and we and we know this. We are not finished. Thus, I urge you to join us and when needed to prod us to do even more and go even further. 

 

We must however know when to pocket an achievement and we are at that point. Government is ready for greater engagement with youth. The protests have brought your grievances to the forefront and thus have fulfilled their stated objective. Now we must continue to discuss and work out solutions to these matters.

 

 

You have only one country and the President is positioning it for greatness through the institution of deep sometimes painful but needed reforms. Yet, he is ceaselessly assaulted by powerful vested interests who have skeletons to hide.

 

 

This is a country of youth in the century of the youth.  These protests have earned the youth a well-deserved place at the table.  So, take your seat in order to continue the progress and reform you have called for. 

 

From the protest, it is time for the next phase – dialogue. Identify trusted leaders and have them come forward. Any movement without leaders becomes rudderless and susceptible to being hijacked by people with agendas inimical to the very reasons behind the protests.  The youth have a unique opportunity to help write a new chapter in our journey to a more compassionate and benign society and a greater nation. Don’t let this historic chance pass through your hands. You deserve this moment, as does the nation we love.

 

We have a committed President who has the will power to get difficult things done. We have that in President Muhammadu Buhari.  I urge you to have the confidence and fortitude to have this conversation with him. You will find in him a listening ear and a ready partner. I say to the youth - Your time has come.  History now waits for you to turn protest into dialogue and grievance into solution.

 

-Sunday Dare is the Minister of Youth &Sports Development, Nigeria.

Sunday, 18 October 2020

3 Years After AITEO Cup Victory, Akwa United Players Threaten Nationwide Protests Over Unfulfilled Promises

 

*3 Years After AITEO Cup Victory, Akwa United Players Threaten Nationwide Protests Over Unfulfilled Promises*



Players of Akwa United football club of Uyo have threatened to bring shame to the government and people of Akwa Ibom state by rubbishing the good name of Governor Udom Emmanuel following his failure to fulfill a promise he made three years ago, in the wake of their AITEO Cup victory.
 
   The Abdul Maikaba boys defeated Niger Tornadoes on penalties in a pulsating final, to win the second major football trophy for Akwa Ibom state, a feet that was celebrated by the club number one fan, governor Udom Emmanuel




In the euphoria of the victory the governor promised to give the players a cash reward of *70million naira* to be shared among all members of the AITEO Cup winning team

The victory was the second for the club and the state since it was carved out of the former Cross River State in 1987.

Regrettably, almost three years after, Governor Emmanuel is yet to fulfill his promise to the players, majority of whom have dumped Akwa united for greener pastures elsewhere.

In a strong worded letter signed by three of the ex-players, they claimed that so far, they have gotten the signatures of 18 first team members of the 2017 Cup winning side and that they have resolved to storm the streets of Lagos, Abuja and Uyo to register their grievances with an open protest.




They plan to take advantage of the ongoing #ENDSARS protests across the country to drive their messages across.

According to them, this is the first phase of a 3-prone plan aimed at getting what was promised them. 




      
Below is a copy of the letter sent in by the leader of the group

*2017 Victorious AITEO Cup winning team. Putting our grieviances in writing*

Sir,

*Eighteen members of the Akwa united team that defeated Niger Tornadoes to win the 2017 AITEO Cup, have decided to unite in our resolve to fight for what rightfully belongs to us*
   *As a reminder, the executive governor of Akwa Ibom state, Udom Emmanuel made a promise after our exploits in 2017 but till date, he has failed to match his words with action*
   *He said that "because we brought joy to the people of the state, by winning the AITEO Cup, all members of that victorious team will share 70m naira as a token of the state government's appreciation for a job well done"*.
      *Three years after, the promise keepers have refused to fulfill this promise, prompting us to come together with just one motive at heart*.
  *We intend to take advantage of the ongoing #ENDSARS protests, to mobilize Nigerians to help send our messages accross*.
       *We have resorted to this, after every other efforts fell on deaf ears*.
    *Please kindly use your medium to help send this message accross to the chairman of Akwa United and the executive governor of the state*.

Signed
Players Reps.

Some of the players who spoke on condition of anonymity urged the governor to fulfill his pledge to the team before the end of October and save himself and the state public ridicule and embarrassment.

Friday, 16 October 2020

Governor Wike Pre-Season Tourney Gets Date

 Governor Wike Pre-Season Tourney Ge


ts Date


The 2nd edition of the Governor Wike Pre-Season Tournament will take place from 1st November to 10th November at Sharks Stadium, Port Harcourt.


The kick-off date was made known to newsmen by the General Coordinator of the tournament, Badawiy Bashir.


The Kwara United General Manager stated further that arrival date for all teams will be Friday 30th October with accreditation and draws taking place a day later.


The participating teams are Lobi Stars, Abia Warriors, Plateau United, Kwara United, Bendel Insurance and Rivers United. 


Others are Gombe United, Remo Stars, Niger Tornadoes, Nasarawa United and Cynosure FC.


Sunshine Stars of Akure won the first edition and there is a giant befitting trophy for this year winner courtesy of Rivers State Number One Citizen, His Excellency Governor Nyesom Wike.

Thursday, 15 October 2020

"My Security did not shoot anyone" - Minister



‘My Security did not shoot anyone. I was in Ogbomoso to Condole Family of #EndSARS slain Protester’- Minister

 

Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare has stated the facts behind his Sunday 11th October’s visit to his home town, Ogbomoso during which suspected hoodlums attacked the Palace of the traditional ruler.

 

The Minister disclosed in a statement he personally signed on Wednesday that he was in the ancient town to commiserate with the family of Isaq Jimoh, a young man who was killed by the police during the #EndSARS protest and other wounded protesters in line with his mandate as the Minister with responsibility for the affairs of the youth in the country adding that his visit was also to ensure the protest did not degenerate to full blown anarchy following the clash between the protesters and police.

 


"Following the unconscionable and despicable attack by misguided suspected hoodlums and miscreants who hijacked the peaceful protest by the youth against police brutality under the #EndSARS campaign on the evening of Sunday 11th, October 2020 on the Palace of the Soun of Ogbomosho, His Royal Majesty Oba Oladunni Oyewumi Ajagungbade III and some of the wrong narratives and misinformation about what actually happened, it is important for me to set the record straight so that our people and the general public can be better informed.  I was at Ogbomoso, my home town, first in my capacity as the Minister with the responsibility for the Youth of Nigeria to commiserate with the parents of Isaq Jimoh who died, in #EndSARS protest, during a fracas with the Police. I visited Ogbomoso less than 48 hours after the unfortunate tragic incident to be with the family of the deceased protester.  Apart from my condolence visit to the family of Late Isaq Jimoh, I also visited other citizens, especially the 12 and 15 year olds who were victims of police stray bullets at the Bowen Hospital. I took the advantage of my visit to also show solidarity with the young protesters who were making a just demand to reform the police and operations of the Police Special Anti-Robbery Squad. I appealed for calm with a promise that the victims will get justice,” the Minister explained. 

 


While giving further details on the attack at the Palace of Soun of Ogbomoso, the Minister who saluted the conduct of his security details and that of the Department of State Security said he was at the Palace to confer with the paramount ruler, his council of chiefs and other leaders of Ogbomoso Parapo who were meeting at the palace when the thugs broke in.

 

“It was while the meeting was going on that hoodlums, thugs and other miscreants stormed the palace to disrupt the meeting. As expected, my security operatives responded to protect me, the Soun, his chiefs, other leaders that were in attendance and the NTA Reporter and Parrot FM journalist. My orderly and DSS operatives scurried us into safety upstairs and stayed with us to fully protect us. They did not fire a shot during the confusion created by the hoodlums.  It is still unfathomable how such a coordinated attack could be unleashed so swiftly.   



The rampaging protesters broke into the palace, destroyed chairs, overturned tables, and broke windows and every valuable thing on sight. I want to state that I do not believe that the people that invaded the Palace of Soun of Ogbomoso were neither Youth nor Students. They were miscreants and thugs who saw a window of opportunity in the genuine protest against SARS by peaceful protesters.”

 

The Minister who reiterated his earlier position that democracy recognises peaceful protest as one of the ways citizens can express their dissatisfaction on any issue of importance to them also noted that freedom to protest does not include criminality.

 

He said, “Peaceful protests are part of the democratic culture for citizens to raise issues of concerns for government’s attention. The Federal government encourages peaceful protest as essential ingredient of democracy but will not condone brigandage and criminality under any guise. I once again join the Soun of Ogbomoso and other leaders to appeal to the youth for calm in the face of police brutality which must stop. We must all work together to give peace a chance.”

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