Nigeria: Press highlights appeal to military, police not to intervene in ongoing protests, others

The appeal by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to the military and police not to intervene in the ongoing civil protests in order to avoid killings and the backing of the protests by President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday are some of the leading stories in Nigerian newspapers on Tuesday.
ThisDay reports that the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has asked the military and police not to intervene in the ongoing civil protests in order to avoid killings.
In a statement yesterday by its President, Rev. Samson Ayokunle, CAN commended the youths who are advocating reform of the police either through #EndSARS protests or prayer walks nationwide for embracing a peaceful approach.
It said: “We condemn in strong terms every attempt being made to stop or disrupt the peaceful protest, which is lawfully allowed and guaranteed by 1999 Constitution (as amended).
“We are monitoring the #EndSARS protests nationwide and we are praying that their unprecedented efforts to have a decent society will not be in vain.
“We call on the military and police to resist the temptation to intervene in a civil protest in order to avoid harvest of deaths. We have had enough of mass burials without fighting a war in the recent past.”
The CAN urged the federal and state governments to keep their promise of restoring confidence.
The Guardian says amid twists and turns, President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, backed the ongoing protests to end police brutality. He said the youths have the inalienable right to peaceful protests and should be protected.
The president’s position came as Miyetti Allah, an umbrella body of Fulani cattle breeders in Nigeria, accused former Lagos State governor and national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Ahmed Bola Tinubu, of funding the protesters plotting to unseat the president.
But Tinubu had dismissed the allegation that he was among those sponsoring #EndSARS protesters across the country.
The national leader of ruling APC, instead, urged Nigerians to disregard the news.
In a statement issued by his media aide, Mr. Tunde Rahman, Tinubu said he could not have been sponsoring a protest that was affecting the economy of Lagos State.
Just as the drama was still unfolding, the Northern Coalition backed down from its EndinsecurityNow protests, asking other northern protesters to follow suit. It cited the raid of the Benin Central Prisons and release of inmates as reasons. ENDSARS protesters had raided the Benin prisons yesterday morning and freed about 2,000 inmates leading to the death of at least nine protesters as police allegedly fired on them.
The Punch reports that beginning from this week, the Federal Government will start paying grants to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises that are successful to partake in the N75bn COVID-19 support schemes.
On September 10, 2020, the Federal Government inaugurated two schemes to financially support about 1.7 million MSMEs across the country with N75bn.
The schemes are the National MSME Survival Fund and the Guaranteed Off-take Stimulus Schemes under the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan.
The Special Assistant to the President on MSMEs, Office of the Vice President, who doubles as Project Coordinator, Survival Funds Scheme, Tola Adekunle, told journalists in Abuja on Monday that payments to some beneficiaries of schemes would start this week.
He said, “Presently we are doing it in batches of 12 states to be able to monitor the scheme and as we speak now 12 states are ready. We are hoping that by the end of this week, we will be able to pay 12 states.
The newspaper says that a Nigerian venture plans to raise N480bn ($1.2bn) over the next three years to buy electricity meters and help power distributors plug a revenue gap in Africa’s most populous nation.
Less than a 10th of Nigeria’s four 1million households have their electricity consumption metered, and half of those are faulty, according PricewaterhouseCoopers. As a result, distribution companies have to estimate bills, resulting in disputes that delay payments.
According to Bloomberg News, Meter Assets Finance and Management Co. hopes to end that by raising funds to purchase and supply meters to consumers, Onion Omonforma, the chief executive officer of New Hampshire Capital, said by phone from Lagos.
New Hampshire Capital, FBNQuest and Kairos Investments Africa are helping to package and structure the venture, known as MAPCo, for investors to either buy equity or inject debt into the company.
The Sun reports that the nationwide EndSARS protests, temporarily paralysed activities at the Lagos Ports yesterday, as port users embarked on peaceful protest in solidarity with other Nigerians over the continuous harassment and extortion by law enforcement agents.
The protest was staged at Apapa Wharf Gate and Tin Can Island first and second Gates. The protesters included trucks drivers and trucks owners, motor boys, and other port users who demanded that the entire law enforcement agents; Police, Army,
LASTMA, Customs, port authority security should all be disbanded from the port access roads. The protesters expressed anger at the continuous harassment and extortion by various law enforcement agents.
The protesters lamented that from Mile 2 axis through Fatgbems petrol station enroute Coconut, trucks spend a minimum of N170, 000 per truck, while from Coconut to Tin Can first Gate, they spend another N70, 000, totaling N240,000.
 They called on Government to disband the various task force on the road leading to Nigeria’s premier ports. Speaking with Daily Sun, the Vice President of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Kayode Farinto, said that the EndSARS protest is impeding movement of people into and outside the ports, saying that the protests has extended into the ports.

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