Tons of palliative items such as thousands of bags of rice, cartons of noodles and other such items were found in several stacks in a storage unit at the palace of the Oba of Lagos HRH Rilwan Akiola.
The hoard was revealed after hoodlums raided and attacked the palace following the #EndSARS protest that had rocked the State.
Following the shooting by soldiers from the Nigerian army of peaceful protesters at Lekki toll gate on Tuesday hoodlums went amok across the state attacking and setting fire to several centres of commerce and media houses in Lagos. TVC TV station and the building housing Nation publications were set ablaze. Also attacked were the NPA building and the Oriental Hotel in Lekki. Several police stations and banks were also destroyed by arson attacks
The ‘End SARS’ protesters have has released a fresh list of ’23 demands’ President Buhari’s government must meet before the protests sweeping across Nigeria can be called off.The protests which initially started as a campaign against the high handedness and brutality of the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Police Force by a growing army of Nigerian Youths across the country have now evolved into a conscious citizen movement against bad governance.The protests have attracted much admiration and wide support from many older Nigerians both at home and in the Diaspora for the peaceful, orderly and well organised fashion the protests have so far taken.Several celebrities such as Wizkid, Falz, Riwa Savage and Davido have emerged as the public faces of the protests although no clear leader has been named or identified.A.couple of major Preachers such as the RCCG’s Pastor Enoch Adeboye and Sam Adeyemi of have spoken out publicly in support of the protestersOffshoot protests ahainst the dreaded unit have taken place in London, Manchester, and Dublin.There have also been protests in Washington DC, US and in Canada and many more are being planned in several areas and regions of the UK and in Nigeria.So far, the protests have spread to many areas of both Lagos Mainland and Island, Ogun State, Edo state, Oyo, Osun, Ekiti, Ondo states and Abuja.List of what Nigerian youths want the federal government to do before they can call off their protest;1. End SARS2. Sack security chiefs3. Improve security4. Full deregulation of the oil and gas sector to allow more investments for job creation5. Immediate passage of PIB6. Full deregulation of the power sector to allow investment capital flow to generate, transmit and distribute more power and create jobs7. Should hands-off petroleum pricing to enable free-market determination of pricing8. Close our northern borders to stop the free entry of Fulani herdsmen and bandits9. Inclusive government for all tribes and regions of Nigeria with 50 percent youths in charge of governance10. Allocate more funds to the education sector to provide better teaching tools and to pay better salaries to end ASUU strikes11. Change our academic curriculum to reflect modern-day realities12. All politicians should be placed on minimum wage to attract genuine public servants13. Migrate to 100 per cent electoral reforms with electronic voting tied to our BVN and GSM14. Return Nigeria to regional governance structure or restructure the country and embrace true federalism. States autonomy must be paramount.15. Disband the bi-cameral legislature and adopt uni-cameral16. Immediately reform Nigeria Police Force and let every state or region create its own police service.17. No more budget for running private affairs of elected and appointed public servants18. Enthrone university education as a minimum qualification for public office holders at all levels of government from the president to local government and ward chairpersons19. Strip ex-governors and all elected and appointed public servants of all benefits after office.20. Increase salaries of our doctors, nurses, teachers, police, military officers, and civil servants21. Government should hands-off ownership and management of businesses at all levels.22. Name and shame looters and make criminal offenders, and looters face trial in their home states and villages to shame them and their families.23. Stop foreign medical trips for public servants. Let them be treated here in Nigeria. When last did you hear an American President or a British Prime Minister visit Nigeria for medical tourism?Although the IG of Police took the unprecedented step to disband the SARS just a few days after the protests commenced, no word has been heard from President Buhari to address the protests or to reassure the nation.There has however been speculation that the army could be called upon to quell the protests. A move that many have warned could be counterproductive and backfire by pushing the protests to take on a violent and bloody turn.
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A number” of undergraduates were given used swabs, with some packaging reportedly containing names and addresses.
The University of Birmingham’s student newspaper, Redbrick, reported that “25 used test kits were handed to students”.
The mistake was made in Tiverton Road, Selly Oak, by staff taking part in Birmingham City Council’s drop and collect service yesterday Tuesday, October 13.
Dr Justin Varney, director of public health, today apologised for the mistake, saying a review of the process would take place.
He said it appeared only one of the tests had been opened, and none used, after staff reacted within minutes of realising the mistake.
He said a full forensic approach to investigating the incident was under way and students involved would be offered support.
But reports from students as seen on BBC news claim some students might have reused the contaminated swabs.
Speaking to BBC WM this morning, Wednesday, Dr Varney said: “The used kits look different from the unused kits so it is not clear why that was not picked up.
“The teams are trained and go through a training programme. Kits that have been used go into despatch boxes so it’s not clear what happened. Like any other organisation, when a mistake is made we look into it and that is what we are doing.
“We are going back to double check with the houses involved. Our job now is to be really clear with individual houses and approach this forensically.
“Our duty of care is to be absolutely crystal clear to check if anyone has been put at risk, have we got the right support for them, and make sure this kind of mistake cannot happen again and tighten the procedures further.
“Eleven thousand kits have been delivered through drop and collect to date, without problems.
“I am really sorry this mistake has happened. It is not what we wanted.
“It was picked up within minutes and acted on. We have seen that one set was opened, but the majority had not even opened the kit. We think the risk is very limited.”
“I hope people are not put off. This is an isolated error”.
After working 15 years with the London Metropolitan Police, 6 of which were spent working (and socialising) quite closely with uniformed officers, I was fortunate enough to learn and understand to a considerable extent, how the Metropolitan Police has managed to be on the forefront of world class policing. This places me in a unique position to comment on the true problems facing the Nigerian Police Force and how they can be resolved.
And it is not just about increasing salaries and wages.
The problem of the Nigerian police goes far beyond the issue of inadequate wages and salaries.
Yes, the boys in black are terribly and woefully underpaid, and this pathetic treatment of Nigerian policemen is mainly what has reduced our law and order officers to “Beggars with Guns”. But no matter how much we argue this point, it is not necessarily the main issue or cause of police brutality.
The typical cop on the street is filled with his own overblown feeling of power, entitlement and invincibility, topped up by serious deepset bitterness
The assumed superiority complex is generated by nothing but the uniform and the weapon he carries. This dangerous mindset is not limited to the mostly illiterate Nigerian policemen. It is the same attitude you will find among the majority of coppers in the US. The reason we do not have similar incidents of police brutality in the UK is because the police here is not routinely armed. And many UK officers have constantly reiterated their preference for not carrying arms as the temptation to use them will be too powerful to resist.
Which is basically why people submit unquestionably to the most ridiculous demands, extortion and threats of even the most illiterate, uneducated and unexposed rookie policeman on the roadside. Such cops hide behind their uniform and their guns to manipulate, terrorise, threaten and subdue the public. After all, no one in their right senses will dare argue with a man pointing a loaded gun at you. An armed man in uniform who is also almost likely high to his eyeballs on drugs and most definitely filled with so much hate and resentment in his heart.
The typical policeman in Nigeria is not obsessed with keeping criminals off the streets.
He is more interested in how much he can extort from fellow Nigerians that he secretly hates in his heart, and warpedly believes are better and more successful than him. So he tries to extort (beg) for handouts and when that fails, he resorts to violence.
A typical policeman in Nigeria will loudly hail a criminal or ritualist who throws wads of Naira or Dollars at him, and even carry his wife’s bag or hold an umbrella over her head to shield her from the sun.
The typical illiterate cop believes every University student is a child of a rich politician, with far better opportunities and prospects than him. So he immediately transfers his bitterness and feelings of inadequacy and limitations to the poor student whom he terrorises and brutalises.
Many innocent students and young people have been summarily murdered by Nigerian policemen under these circumstances.
The typical illiterate police will see any young person in possession of everything he wishes for but has no access to himself (top grade mobile phone, ipad, laptop etc) and immediately his bitterness translates into suspicion.
His lack of exposure or knowledge of youth culture is what makes him see a young person in street fashion and label him a criminal.
The roadside policeman sees himself through the eyes of others and not through the work he signed up to do.
He sees members of the public either as a threat to his psyche or as a meal ticket. Never as on ordinary law abiding citizen. There has been several cases of victims of crime or mere witnesses ending up as suspects to be locked up for days or in some cases months because the hapless officers are too lazy to conduct deep investigations.
There is no real understanding of his role or indeed how to carry it out. Which is why the tag line “the police is your friend” is such an irony.
No policeman as far as I have learnt is anyone’s friend. Especially not the Nigerian policeman. And definitely not if you are black in the UK or in the US!
Increase the police salaries even 100% but without a change of organisational mindset, it will be the same coppers in the same uniform with a few more Nairas in their pocket. But the attitude and behaviours will remain unchanged.
Not without a massive organisational restructuring, restrategising and reformulation of the entire force. Recruitment and training strategies need to be completely overhauled and potential recruits subjected to serious and stringent psychological assessments which will continue throughout their period of employment.
Entry requirements need to be raised and compulsory verbal reasoning tests must be taken.
And the routine arming of Nigerian police must be abolished, Only mild/medium incapacitators such as pepper spray and stun guns must be issued to all policemen. A SWAT like team that can attend at moments notice can be established to respond to serious incidents.
Police officers must cease to be utilised as errand boys for the rich or glorified body guards for politicians and their wives. And it must become a serious disciplinary offence for any officer to receive or be given any gifts monetary or otherwise from any member of the public
And most importantly, the leadership must be thoroughly and widely cleansed, properly trained in real leadership strategies and public service awareness.
Until the Nigerian Police Force is re-established as a modern organisation of well paid trained and skilled professionals, they will continue to be a body of hungry and bitter trigger happy thugs.
By Olajumoke Ariyo
Change and Improvement Strategist
Barely 24 hours after the Inspector General of the Nigeria Police Force announced the disbanding of the dreaded SARS arm of organisation, graphic images have surfaced from the ongoing peaceful demonstrations taking place in Lagos.