POLITICS IN THE WEEK – October 17, 2020

As the #EndSARS protest continue to fly high with all strength and vibrant determination charges injected into its system by protesters, it has been the major talk in the recent days, with some labeling it a symbol of revolution and the #EnSARS and #EndPoliceBrutality as just an emblem. Also, In the past week (11/Oct – 17/Oct/2020), major political events played on stage including the prolonged ASUU strike now showing positive signs of an end, likewise, the Ondo Poll Governorship Election which is also of highlight. Here is a summary of major political events in the week.

IGP DISBAND OF FSARS AND REPLACEMENT WITH SWAT

After days of persistent protests by youths nationwide against the activities of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad, FSARS, Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, on Sunday, October 11, 2020, disbanded the unit. Announcing the dissolution, the Police boss assured Nigerians of a determination to accelerate reforms of the Police system. Two days later, on Tuesday, October 13, 2020, the IGP set up a new police outfit – Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT), to replace in some functions, the just disbanded FSARS. However, the new unit’s announcement met a substantial backlash from protesters as they call out for a total overhaul of the Police force with hashtags like “EndSWAT” and “ReformTheNigerianPolice”.

ONDO POLLS: AJAYI SHOULD RESIGN IF HE HAS HONOUR – AKEREDOLU

Following his victory in the October 10 Governorship Election, Akeredolu called on the deputy governor, who also contested in the just concluded election, to vacate the post. Akeredolu made this known after he received his Certificates of Return from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). He said even if Ajayi refuses to resign, its only few days left for him in office as a new administration will soon be sworn-in. Governor Rotimi Akeredolu also added that if Ajayi can show an action of apology, he is ready to throw him open arms.

LABOUR UNION BEGINS INDEFINTE STRIKE IN KWARA STATE

Workers in Kwara State public service commenced an industrial action on Tuesday, October 13 to press on their demand for the implementation of the #30,000 minimum wage by the government as labour leaders denied receiving any court injunction. Also, the state government of the state on Monday said it had secured an injunction from the National Industrial Court preventing the workers from going on strike. Meanwhile, civil servants in the state stayed off work to comply with the directive of the organized labour union in the state with the gates of some government offices, ministries, courtrooms and schools locked and the area deserted.

FG AND ASUU MEETS AS FG IS SET TO RELEASE 30bn EARNED ALLOWANCES TO ASUU

Thursday, October 15 meeting was convened following a previous meeting held with the Senate President on Tuesday on how to iron out the outstanding issues. Mr Ngige led the Federal Government’s team while the President of ASUU, Biodun Ogunyemi, led the representatives of the lecturer’s union. Agreement reached was the release of 30bn by the FG on or before November 6, 2020 which is for the payment of the Earned Allowances due from 2019, totaling 40bn. The University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) is also set to pass through 3 stages before being adopted for the payment of the University staff. The conciliatory meeting is to reconvene by October 21 by 3:00pm. The ASUU strike, with this, could be called off anytime soon.

INEC FIXES FEB 18 FOR 2023 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

The chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Mahmood Yakubu has announced the date for the 2023 presidential election. He made this known at the inauguration of the House of Representatives committee on 1999 Constitution review. He (Mahmood) said that Feb 18 would be the date for 2023 presidential election which is 815 days from now (as at October 15, 2020).

SENATE REJECTS LAURETTA ONOCHIE’S NOMINATION AS INEC COMMISSIONER

President Buhari nominated Onochie on Tuesday, October 13, 2020, as national commissioner for INEC alongside three others, Mohammed Sani (Katsina), Kunle Ajayi (Ekiti), and Seidu Ahmed (Jigawa State). Earlier after the announcement, a report claimed that the Senate had asked the presidency to reconsider the nomination of Onochie, an aide to President Buhari on Social Media. Another report contradicts that the Senate is yet to take any further action on the list presented by President Buhari since the first announcement at the plenary on Tuesday October 13, 2020, which rendered the Senate’s rejection to the nomination as FALSE.

#EndSARS: OSINBAJO APOLOGISES FOR BUHARI ADMINISTRATION’S ‘SLOW’ IMPLEMENTATION OF PROTESTERS’ DEMANDS

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo apologised on Friday, October 16, 2020, for the delay in the implementation of the demands of #EndSARS protesters. While the disbandment of the SARS unit has been achieved, some other demands of the protesters have not been fully met which include the prosecution of killer cops, the total reform of the police and the release of all protesters in detention. The vice president admitted in his statement that the process of implementation could have moved faster than the way it is. He consoled with the families of Jimoh Isiaq and those who have lost their lives at the hands of the “wayward” police officers. He also acknowledged that the issues being raised are bigger than SARS.

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