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END SARS Protest: Nigerians And Corporate Bodies Count Their loses As Sanwo-Olu, Relaxes the 24-Hour Curfew In Lagos State

By Stephen Ubanna

In spite of the fact that  the  END of  SARS protests across the country had caused Nigerians an and the government  over a trillion in loss in businesses and Property , the United Bank of AAfirica, UBA, PLC, A Pan frican Bank, under the close watch of Kennedy Uzoka, had promised to get  the country out of the stressful situation.

An aggrieved Uzoka, had said that  though ‘’the economic environment  remain presently  uncertain  as businesses across  the country  had experienced  unquantifiable loses with  vandalism , theft  and  in some cases arson, due to the  protests, had said that the bank   is determined ‘’to get  Nigerians  back on their feet  to have  their business running smoothly again’’.

 while most other banks  had deactivated their digital channels  to avoid destruction  by the hoodlums throughout the period of the crisis,  the Pan African bank digital Channels across the country  were said to be active  and available  24/7 for Customers transactional needs.

The Bank officials were said to have also  thrown  their door open to  customers who need  assistance  in their business  and many were said to have been helped to avoid their business going under in this trying time.

 Note that the  Lagos ports of Apapa, Tin-can Island port and Port Multi-services Terminal Limited, PTML as well as  the south east ports of PortHarcourt  Area 1, Onne , and Rivers port , both in Rivers state, including the  Delta port, Warri and Calabar port, Cross river state, were  said to have  remained without businesses as  Foreign ocean vessels avoided  the fears  for  fear of hoodlum attacks.

The hoodlums were said to have made attempts to force their way tothe Apapa port but were stopped.  But they were said to have succeeded in finding their way  to.  the Authority dockyard, where the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency , NIMASA, under the close watch of Bashir Jomoh, had stationed its N50 billion trainer vessel which was idling away at the Naval dockyard, Victorina Island , Lagos. They were  said to have destroyed the vehicles  found at the premises.  

Sawanwo-Olu: Governor of Lagos state Relaxes 24-Hour Curfew

This may have sent a signal to  foreign ocean going vessels owners that the country’s ports are were  not safe to  take their  Container and bulk cargo vessels  to discharge their cargoes as the  NPA, and Terminal officials my not be on ground to attend to them.

The situation at the ports  may have  been worse as importers with their  Agents abandoned their goods  due to the 24-hour curfew imposed by the governors in their respective states . Even  if Babajide Sanwo Olu, the Lagos state governor, had not  joined the  other  governors in  the southt west geo-political region, to impose the curfew   in Lagos, the nation’s commercial nerve centre, the Lagos based  agents could not have ventured to take their cargoes out of the port.

 Many of hem  were said o have kept  away from the ports  for fear of playing into the hands of the hoodlums  who had hijacked the END SARS protests in Lagos and other parts of the coyuntry . The attempts by some aggrieved agents at Tin- can Island port  to draw the attention of the hoodlums  at the port environment  by protesting  against the Comptroller General of Customs, CGC, Strike Force,  Lagos Zonal office  and the  Federal Operations Unit, FOU, Zone A, Ikeja, insiting that  Hameed Ali, a retired Army General and Comptroller General  of Nigerian Customs Service, NCS, must scrap the Customs  units bear eloquent testimony of their plot to drive away the  foreign vessels from coming to Nigerian ports.

Given that the importers and their agents were not prepared to do the right thing going by their demands that the CGC, Strike Force and FOU, personnel as well as the Marine Police, a Unit of the Nigerian Police Force, NPF,  must  stop motoring them and speaks volume.

Wike: Governor Of Rivers State, OutLaws IPoD

It was therefore not very surprising that they took advantage of the END SARS protests to gather in their large number at the Tin can Island Customs Processing Centre, CPC, to register their anger.  They were said to have  used abusive languages on Musa Baba Abdullahi, he Area Comptroller , on Tuesday, October 20, 2020 but could not gain entry  to the Command CPC.

Recall that in the first two weeks of the protesters take-  over of the street in Lagos,  Toki Mabongunje,  president Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCC, had said that the country had lost over N700 billion, in businesses, stressing that  the situation may be worse if the  protests persists.

 Aware of the danger posed to the economy by  the Youths rising up to protest against  rising unemployment in the country   which made many of them who had graduated between two to five years to still be dependent on their  parents for money to buy recharge cards and travel within the country,  may have turned this Army of unemployed  to be easily recruited  for protest against the system by desperate Nigerians who want power.

Enock Adejare Adeboye, General Overseer, Redeem Christian Church of God, RCCG, may have seen this in a vision that he had advised Presidnt Muhammadu Buhari,to urgently  fix the broken down infrastructural facilities in the country   and invest on job creation for the Youths in the country .  What the clergy man had told thee Katsina state born Nigerian President was not different from what Olusgun Obasanjo,  and other  Nigerian  former Nigerian political Leaders who had a virtual meeting with  him on Friday, October 23, 2020, had told  him to do’’ to end the Youths restiveness I the country’’..

Femi Adesina, a Senior Special Assistant  to the President on Media and Publicity  may have given an insight to the discussion at the high profile meeting  going by the Statement issued. Adesina had said that ,’’it was the unanimous position of the former  Nigerian Presidents and Heads of State, that he should pay attention on the  policies that would lead to job creation ,and economic growth  as well as attract attract drect Foreign investmenst, FDI .

Uzoka: GMD, UBA plc, Promises To Get Nigerians Back On Their Feet

The former Nigerian political Leaders were said to also  have told the Nigerian President that if this could be done in the shortest possible time,’’it would go a long way in checkmating  Youth  restiveness in the country’’. They were said to have further  urged the Buhari led All Progressive Congress  government  to explore other avenues of discussion with the Youths  and other stakeholders in the country  to ensure that the issues raised by the Youths were properly addressed.

 The former Presidents and Heads of State who still believe in the unity of this most populous black nation in the world h may have taken advantage of the virtual meeting with Buhari to condemn the devisive tendencies  and inciting pronouncements  of separatists , warning that  such ‘’acts  should be stopped forth with’’.

Appealing to the aggrieved Youths to pursue  peaceful means  of making their demands , the elder statesmen had  advised them  ‘’to seek redress   through  ‘’constructive engagement with the government’’.

Many believe that this may be difficult to achive now because the END SARS,, protesters have no leader.  One of the Protester interviewd by Channels Television  recently  had said that that five persons  had initial the protest,  who may form the nucleus of the leadership of the END SARS Movement which had championed the  protests across the country. Funny enough, the five  persons  had gone underground , thus making it difficult to dialogue with the government.

Nyesom Wike, governor of the oil –rich Rivers state who many not  want the Nnamdi Kanu, controlled   Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOD, to use the state  as a base to cause confusion in the country  was said to outlawed the Organisation and declared one Stanley Mgbere wanted. The governor was said to have placed a bounty of N50 million on his head  .

 Mgbere was said to have led the IPoD group that master-minded  the alleged attacks in some Local government areas in the state , particular, Onyingbo Local government . The recent killings in PortHarcourt, two policemen  and the setting ablaze of two police stations at Onyingbo may have exposed the group.

,  this may have  encouraged Wike  to declare a  curfew at Onyingbo and three other Local government Areas in the state on Friday, October 23, 2020, to bring the violent  situation in the state  under control. The situation in the state may be different from Oyo statute, where Joe Enwonwu, the state Commissioner of Police ,  had sent a message to the hoodlums who had  made away with the  Police  rifles  in the stations burnt   to quietly return them  before’’ the full weight of the Law catches up with them’’.

  Sanw-Olu, the governor of Lagos state may have relaxed the curfew in the state to ease the suffering of the people.  He had directed that people could go about their normal business from 8:00 am to 6:pm.

The relaxation of the 24-hour curfew  is coming on the heels  of the recent  shooting of protesters by uniform personnel at the Leki Toll gate  and  destruction of some police stations  and private property in the state including raid on one or two bank branches  and the South African Company, Shoprite Mall, at Surulere in the state.

He may have taken a cue from Dapo, Abiodun, the governor of Ogun state, who has relaxed the 24-hour curfew in the state to watch the level of Compliance.

Stephen Ubanna

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