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No Going Back On June 12 Protest -Deji Adeyanju Vows

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…Says It’s The Language Buhari Understands

…NANS Distances Self From ‘Buhari-Must-Go’ Campaign

Activist and Convener of civil society organisation, Concerned Nigerians, Deji Adeyanju, says there is no going back on the planned June 12 protest by his group.

According to him, protest is the language understood by President Muhammadu Buhari.

He spoke on Friday morning, when he featured on AIT ‘Kakaaki’ programme .

Adeyanju flayed the President for saying that EndSARS protesters planned to remove him from office last October when the campaigners staged demonstrations against police brutality and extrajudicial killings.

It was earlier reported that the President during an Arise TV interview on Thursday alleged that the #EndSARS protest was to remove him from office.

When asked a question, Buhari had said, “This question was answered last year when there was the #EndSARS protest. You remember the young people that wanted to march here and remove me?”

But speaking on Friday, Adeyanju said the aim of the protest by his group is not to topple the government, adding that only the National Assembly has the powers to remove the President from office.

The activist said, “The issues we are protesting against are very germane, they are about insecurity, internet shutdown, we don’t want another increment in fuel price because that is what they are planning. Again, the prices of food in the market is unbelievable.”

Continuing, he said, “If the President of a nation can be saying that people who are were protesting wanted to remove him from office, it calls the question as to the kinds of people advising the President. If you have someone like (the Minister of Justice Abubakar) Malami around, you should expect the worst, you should expect those kinds of things that the President was saying.

“Are we (protesters), parliamentarians? Only the National Assembly can remove the President from office. So, the President should disabuse his mind from that. These sycophants in government are his real enemies, critics are not his enemies.

“We are not criticising to mock the government. We are not protesting because we like to protest; we will like to be in our homes, or our offices…

“The reason why we are doing it (protesting) is because this is the language that Buhari understands.”

When asked whether the President truly understands protest as a language, Adeyanju said, “He does; when he was speaking yesterday (Thursday), he was speaking from a position of anger. This (protest) is the language he understands, this is the language all politicians understands.

Adeyanju further said that the President, who was “a protester” and “an activist” should respect the fundamental right of assembly and protest, adding that June 12 signifies struggle for freedom.

“June 12 signifies struggle for the emancipation of the country. It wasn’t just about the election of MKO Abiola and the struggles thereafter which led to the unfortunate death of Comrade Kudirat Abiola and several others. The essence of choosing June 12 is so that people can relate with the struggle, that the spirit of the struggle is not dead,” the activist added.

Buhari had in June 2018 directed the nation’s Democracy Day to hold on June 12 of every year as against the previous arrangement where the ceremony was held on May 29. The announcement was perceived to be in honour of the late Chief MKO Abiola, the presumed winner of the June 12 Presidential election, which was annulled by the military regime of General Ibrahim Babangida.

Meanwhile, the National Association of Nigerian Students has suspended its planned June 12 nationwide protest, The PUNCH has learnt.

NANS President, Sunday Asefon, made this known in a statement on Friday morning.

It was titled, ‘NANS Suspends June 12 Protest Over Concerns About Safety Of Protesters And Fear Of Possible Hijack By Politicians – Comrade Sunday Asefon’.

According to the NANS president, the planned protest was aimed at decrying the insecurity in the country, especially the serial abductions of students.

However, Asefon said some politicians with “different agenda” have perfected plans to hijack the protest to “ventilate their political opinions and sentiments”.

He also said the students’ body was not associated with the secessionist campaign or the ‘Buhari-must-go’ campaign slated to hold on Saturday by some politicians and activists.

He said, “Having considered the current security realities and the danger to the lives of our members in case of possible hijack of the planned protest, I in consultation with all the structures of NANS, therefore, announce the suspension of our proposed protest for June 12.

“The suspension of the protest is necessary to avoid a clash of interest and clash with security agencies that are on red alert to protect the nation’s infrastructure from security breaches on the proposed date as a result of many other protests slated for the date.

“We intend to protest for better security and improved welfare for our students, we must therefore not put the life of any of our students at risk to ventilate our grievances.”

Asefon further noted that the protest was not cancelled but postponed, adding that a new date would be announced for the demonstration.

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France Defeat Germany Thanks To Hummels’ Own-Goal

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France got the better of Germany in the standout fixture from the opening round of Euro 2020 group games, with a 20th-minute Mats Hummels own-goal proving the difference.

Didier Deschamps’ side started on the front foot, with Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe missing early chances.

France’s pressure was then rewarded, after Pogba delightfully found Lucas Hernandez and the Bayern Munich man’s cross was spooned into his own net by Hummels.

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Wike Blasts Buhari, Says President Should Protect Nigerians, Not Borrowing Money

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Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to live up to his constitutional duty of securing the country.

Wike said Buhari was not made the president to borrow foreign loans alone but to ensure the protection of Nigerians.

He spoke at the commissioning of the 21 kilometers Odufor-Akpoku-Umuoye Road in Etche Local Government Area of the State on Tuesday.

The governor also cautioned the president against shifting his role of protecting Nigerians to governors.

Wike pointed out that Buhari appointed heads of security agencies in the country, hence he can not ask governors to take charge of security.

He said: “Mr President, you’re the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. You appoint Inspector General of Police (IG), you appoint the Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Naval Staff, the Commissioner of Police (CP), Director of Department of State Service (DSS), and other heads of security. Which one do we appoint? How can people appointed by Mr President be under me? (sic).

“It is not only to borrow money for Nigeria that you’re in charge. You must, also, be in charge of other things including security.

“It is not when things are going bad concerning security, and you say you’re not in charge, and it becomes governors’ responsibility.”

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World Bank Counters Buhari, Says 7million Nigerians Fell Into Poverty In 2020

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The World Bank has revealed that soaring inflation has driven an estimated seven million Nigerians into poverty in 2020 alone.

This was contained in its development report update published on its website on Tuesday

According to the report, the rise in inflationary pressure has been driven primarily by surging food prices.

The Washington-based lender report titled “Resilience through Reforms” also stressed rising unemployment and insecurity has pushed Nigerians into criminal enterprises.

“A surge in insecurity over the past two years has further slowed economic activity and left more people unemployed, fueling a vicious cycle of violence and criminality,” the lender said.

“Despite the recovery in the economy from the recession witnessed in 2020, prices are increasing rapidly and this is impacting Nigerian households.” It added.

In the report, World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, was quoted as stressing that Nigeria faces interlinked challenges in relation to inflation, limited job opportunities, and insecurity.

“While the government has made efforts to reduce the effect of these by advancing long-delayed policy reforms, it is clear that these reforms will have to be sustained and deepened for Nigeria to realize its development potential,” he said

Also, Marco Hernandez, the World Bank Lead Economist for Nigeria added that “Given the urgency to reduce inflation amidst the pandemic, a policy consensus and expedited reform implementation on exchange-rate management, monetary policy, trade policy, fiscal policy, and social protection would help save lives, protect livelihoods, and ensure a faster and sustained recovery.”

The report, however, acknowledged notable policy reforms by the government aimed at mitigating the impact of the crisis and supporting the recovery; including steps taken towards reducing gasoline subsidies and adjusting electricity tariffs towards more cost-reflective levels, both aimed at expanding the fiscal space for pro-poor spending.

In addition, the report highlights that both the Federal and State governments cut nonessential spending and redirected resources towards the COVID-19 response. At the same time, public-sector transparency has improved, in particular around the operations of the oil and gas sector.

Nigeria had on Sunday published a fact-checking report on claims by President Muhammadu Buhari that the present administration has lifted 10.5 million Nigerians out of poverty in his democracy speech to Nigerians.

Nigeria used a variety of indicators, including how the economy is developing at a slower rate than the population, expanding population, and currency depreciation, among others.

The president’s assertion was deemed “improbable” since there was no sufficient data to back up his claim that over 10 million Nigerians had been pulled out of poverty in the last two years.

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