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Our Directive On Compulsory COVID-19 Vaccination In Edo Stands – Obaseki

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Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo has said that his government’s directive on no access to public places without being vaccinated still stands.

The News Agency of Nigeria NAN reports that the state government had announced plans to make it compulsory for residents to take the COVID-19 vaccine and present proof before accessing public places from the second week of September.

Obaseki, at a news briefing in Benin on Wednesday, also threatened to impose lockdown, if residents failed to follow the directive and comply with COVID-19 protocols in order to halt the spread of the Delta variant of the pandemic.

“The attention of Edo government has been drawn to an order by a High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers directing the government to maintain the status quo on the purported compulsory COVID-19 vaccination for citizens.

“To the best of our knowledge, the order is, at best, speculative and preemptive, as the scheduled date for the commencement of enforcement of the directive is the second week of September.

“We want to reiterate that our directive on vaccination stands,” Obaseki said.

He urged those planning social, religious, political or business events after the second week of September to ensure that both themselves and their guests were not only vaccinated but possessed vaccination cards as proof.

“Anyone without this proof will not be granted access to crowded facilities,” he said.

The governor also said that the government was commencing intensive enforcement of the use of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to curb the current spike in COVID-19 infections and deaths.

“It must be stated that there is an obvious misconception that the directive issued by the government was to make vaccination compulsory for all citizens.

“Although the governor has the power to make such an order under the Gazetted Quarantine Regulations, this directive is actually only a denial of access to public places of persons who chose not to be vaccinated,” he said.

According to Obaseki, the government’s overriding concern is the safety and health of the citizens.

He stated that the positivity rate (CPR) for COVID-19 hovered between 15 and 25 per cent, adding that deaths were consistently being recorded daily, with unvaccinated persons accounting for 100 per cent.

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Decisively End Police Brutality, Amnesty International Tells FG

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Amnesty International has called on the Nigerian authorities to put words into action and decisively end Police impunity and ensure that the rights of Nigerians to peaceful protests as guaranteed by the constitution are protected.

Speaking on the occasion of the #EndSARS Memorial on Wednesday, Country Director of the organisation Osai Ojigho said an independent investigation by the organisation found that the Nigerian Army and Police killed at least 12 people on October 20, 2020 at Lekki Toll Gate and Alausa in Lagos.

“Amnesty International was able to establish that pro-government supporters instigated violence at many of the demonstrations, providing cover for the Police to use lethal force against peaceful protesters.

“The organisation also found that detained protesters were tortured and refused or denied immediate access to lawyers. In many cases, Police abuse continued in detention, in Police stations and other holding facilities, and on the way to detention, in Police vehicles,” Ojigho stated.

A year after the #EndSARS protest, members of the security forces found culpable of human rights violations are yet to be prosecuted, while judicial panels of inquiry set up to investigate abuses by officers have made little progress.

Amnesty International has urged the Nigerian government to thoroughly, independently, impartially, and transparently investigate suspected perpetrators of human rights violations in the country and bring them to justice.

“Failure to bring to justice those suspected to be responsible for the torture and killings of #EndSARS protesters on 20 October 2020 is yet another indication that Nigerian authorities lack the political will to ensure accountability for these atrocities, and end police brutality,” the organisation said.
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Similarly, a Nigerian entertainer DJ Switch, who gained prominence after doing a live video of the Lekki Toll Gate shooting last October, has called out the Nigerian Minister for Information Lai Mohammed for discrediting the real-time information disseminated from the toll gate scene on the night of October 20, 2020.

Speaking at the Oslo Freedom Forum, a series of global conferences run by the New York-based non-profit Human Rights Foundation under the slogan ‘Challenging Power,’ DJ Switch stated: “Our leaders are afraid; it is as simple as that. They are afraid of a thinking, innovative and collaborative working Nigeria. They are afraid of every young Nigerian who, against all odds, have made it for themselves.”

Referencing Nigeria’s music legend Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s 1977 hit song, Zombie, where he likened the Nigerian Army to zombies, she said the song was relevant today, as it was 44 years ago.

The entertainer, who recently relocated out of the country and has remained a strong voice against Police brutality, added: “we stand up to our oppressors, starting with the Nigerian Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed.”

Despite the indefinite ban on Twitter in Nigeria, Nigerians within the country and in the diaspora, as well as other nationalities sympathetic the #EndSARS campaign which rode on the back of the global Black Lives Matter movement, have constituted a ‘netizen’ and launched a 20-day #EndSARS activism to commemorate the event of 20th October, 2020.

Various discourses are expected to be held, aimed at calling attention to the implementation of the five priority demands – the immediate release of all arrested protesters, justice for all deceased victims of police brutality, investigation and prosecution of all reported cases of police misconduct, psychological evaluation and retraining of all disbanded SARS officers by an independent body, and better salary and welfare for police officers.

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#EndSARS: FG Prescribes Compulsory Psychiatric Test On All Security Agents

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The Federal Government has directed the leadership of all security agencies in the country to conduct periodic psychiatric evaluations and drug tests on their men to forestall issues of human rights violations and extra-judicial killings by security operatives.

Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture stated this while briefing journalists in Abuja.

He said the National Executive Council has mandated that all arms-bearing security agencies ensure they carry out the same test on anyone seeking to be enlisted.

“NEC called on the leadership of the security agencies to ensure that persons recruited into arms-bearing security agencies undergo psychiatric evaluations and drug tests before enlistment and periodically after enlistment to ensure that the personnel is psychologically fit to carry live weapons and to identify behavioural tendencies that may require psycho-social interventions,” he said.

The Minister also faulted the reports on the alleged Lekki tollgate shooting, particularly by the Cable News Network (CNN) and Amnesty International, describing them as fake.

According to him, one year down the line, no family members of those allegedly killed have come out to testify about their claims and that there have been inconsistencies in the report on the number of those said to have been killed.

He equally assured that compensations will be paid to victims of police brutality as recommended by the various panels set up across the country, adding that security agents also indicted during the panels’ investigations will be prosecuted.

The Minister’s remarks come on the heels of the one-year anniversary of the #EndSARS protest held across different parts of the country and in Abuja.

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Pregnant, Nursing Mothers Can Serve In Husbands’ State Of Residence, Says NYSC DG

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All married women who are pregnant and nursing mothers not deployed to their husbands’ places of domicile can now proceed to the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) camps within their spouses’ states of residence, the scheme has said.

NYSC, however, said the pregnant women or nursing mothers must present for registration in addition to other documents, evidence of marriage, husbands’ identity and evidence of husbands’ place of domicile.

Director – General of the NYSC, Brig Gen Shuaibu Ibrahim said this during a briefing on the 2021 Batch C Stream One orientation exercise which commenced Wednesday in all the 37 camps nationwide.

The director – general explained that the new policy was to ease the burden on the women, saying that the NYSC is “an organisation with a human face.”

“All married pregnant and nursing mothers not deployed to their husbands’ places of domicile can now proceed to the NYSC camps within their spouses’ states of residence but must present for registration in addition to other documents, evidence of marriage, husbands’ identity and evidence of husbands’ place of domicile,” the DG said.

The Director – General, who was represented by Director, Press and Public Relations of the NYSC, Mrs Adenike Adeyemi, insisted that only prospective corps members and camp officials who test negative will gain access into the camp.

According to the DG, officials from the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) would be present in the 37 orientation camps during the exercise.

He said: “Prospective corps members and staff are aware of COVID-19 rules and safety protocols. In addition, every PCM and camp official would be tested at the camp gate and only those who test negative will gain access into the camp. NCDC officials are present in the 37 orientation camps.

“All camps have been fumigated and decontaminated in readiness to receive prospective Corps Members.

“There will be compulsory use of face mask, 2-meter social distancing and other non-pharmaceutical interventions on safety protocols in all our camps; (a) The hostel arrangement is in compliance with this. (b) Staggered registration of PCMs in batches still undertaken to avoid overcrowding at registration points.

“Synergy with the NCDC is still on. This is to ensure the safety of all prospective corps members and staff including the general public.”

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