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Nigerian press focuses on casualties recorded during of youth protests, others

The casualty figures released by the Lagos State Police Command and the row over who invited the military to intervene in the #EndSARS protests are the trending stories in Nigerian newspapers on Wednesday.The police also said 16 police stations were burnt and 13 vandalised by hoodlums who hijacked the peaceful #EndSARS protests across the state, while it lost 58 patrol vehicles to the hoodlums.

The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hakeem Odumosu, who paraded the suspected hoodlums arrested during and after the protest at the Command Headquarters, Ikeja, said apart from the 58 police vehicles burnt and 13 vandalised, 62 vehicles belonging to individuals and those connected with pending cases (exhibits) were burnt and nine other vehicles vandalised.

He added that 15 motorcycles and tricycles were also burnt and 65 vandalised at different locations in the state.

The newspaper says that the Nigerian Government has declared Thursday, October 29, as a public holiday to mark this year’s Eid-il-Maolud, an Islamic celebration dedicated to the commemoration of Prophet Muhammad’s birthday.

Nigeria’s Minister of Interior, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola enjoined Muslims to imbibe the spirit of love, patience and perseverance which are the virtues of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, adding that doing so would guarantee peace and security in the country.

He urged Nigerians, particularly Muslims, at this moment, to abhor violence, lawlessness, wantonness and daylight robbery as witnessed across the country most recently, stressing that Nigeria is the pride of the black race and should provide responsible leadership for the greatness and development of the African continent and all black people.

While calling for a stop to all divisive tendencies across the country, he urged all Nigerians & the youth, in particular, to embrace peace and cooperate with the President Muhammadu Buhari-led-Administration in its effort to build a virile nation, which all citizens can be proud of.

Aregbesola, who described the youth as the hope and future of the nation, advised them further to deepen democracy and not dampen it.

ThisDay reports that a week after it triggered a global outrage over its alleged shooting of #EndSARS protesters in Lagos, the Nigerian Army yesterday broke its silence on the incident, denying that it fired at the marchers.

 It also disputed the claim by Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, that he knew nothing about troop deployment in Lekki Tollgate where soldiers were accused of shooting protesters for allegedly flouting the curfew imposed on the state to curb the social unrest unleashed by hoodlums who had seized the #EndSARS protest.

However, a statement by the Acting Deputy Director, 81 Division Army Public Relations, Major Osoba Olaniyi, which provided further clarification on the troop deployment during the protests, categorically denied that civilians were shot at.

Sanwo-Olu, in his first reaction after the shooting, had blamed the shooting on “forces beyond my control.”

However, in his first major interview after the shooting, the governor who was on ARISE NEWS Channel, the broadcast arm of THISDAY Newspapers, denied ordering the army to the state, saying such powers is beyond any state governor.

The Punch says that international customers – Niger, Benin, Togo – who purchase power from Nigeria remitted a total of N2.04bn in the first quarter of this year as their outstanding electricity bill to the Market Operator of the sector in Nigeria.

But special customers, Ajaokuta Steel Co. Ltd and its environs, did not make any payment in respect of the N0.27bn and N0.05bn invoices issued them by the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc and the MO respectively, during the period of review.

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission disclosed this in its report for the first quarter of 2020. It said a total of N4.05bn ($13.22m) invoices were issued by the MO to international customers including Societe Nigerienne d’electricite or NIGELEC; Societe Beninoise d’Energie Electrique or SBEE; and Compagnie Energie Electrique du Togo or CEET. The commission stated that during the quarter,

NIGELEC made a payment of ₦1.61bn ($5.27m) as part of its outstanding bills for the energy received from NBET and services rendered by the MO. “Similarly, SBEE paid ₦0.43bn ($1.39m) in respect of services received from MO,” the commission added.

The Sun reports that Nigeria’s private sector-led coalition against COVID-19 (CACOVID) has enjoined Nigerians involved in the wanton destruction of public and private properties and those looting warehouses where palliatives are kept to immediately desist from such act, to allow the states to proceed with a peaceful and fair distribution of the palliatives to the neediest and most vulnerable in the society.

The Coalition in a statement, recently released to the media, explained that though it embarked on the palliatives effort in April, the first deliveries could not start until June this year to the state governments.

“However, as of October 2020, a sizable portion of the items had been delivered but yet to be distributed by the Governors.

Although various states and the FCT had commenced flag-off of the distribution of food items since early August, some could not conclude the distribution due to late receipt of complete deliveries of the items allotted to them.”

In a statement signed by Osita Nwasinobi, CACOVID explained that 10 million vulnerable Nigerians were targeted to benefit from the Palliatives sent to the State governments across all the 774 local government areas in the country.

The Nation says that Police pension fund administrator, the NPF Pensions Limited has re-assured the personnel of the Nigeria Police both serving and retired on good investment return and safety of their pension fund assets.

The Chairman, Board of Directors NPF Pensions, IGP Suleiman Abba (Rtd), gave the reassurance during the commissioning of the new head office in Abuja.

Suleiman stated that the company would not relent at delivering the best services and make the enhancement of their welfare.

He said prior to the establishment of NPF Pensions in 2014, Personnel of the Nigeria police were registered and scattered amongst other Pension Fund Admisnitrators (PFAs) in the country with attendant challenges associated with lack of coordination and a dedicated service provider that will focus mainly on the needs of Police Personnel as they affect their pension matters.

Published on 28.04.2020

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