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Arotile gets full military honours at burial

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Arotile gets full military honours at burial

****cleric advises goverment to stop neglecting patriots


The remains of late Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile, the service’s first female combat helicopter pilot was laid to rest at the National Military Cemetery in Abuja on Thursday.



She was buried with full military honours by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF).
Ms Arotile, died on July 14, as a result of head injuries sustained from a road traffic accident at NAF Base Kaduna.
A Squadron Pilot at the 405 Helicopter Combat Training Group (405 HCTG) Enugu, she was attached to the Air Component of Operation GAMA AIKI in Minna, having recently completed her Promotion Examinations.
She was in Kaduna awaiting deployment for her next assignment when she died.
Speaking at the funeral ceremony, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Sadique Abubakar, said Ms Arotile would be greatly missed by the NAF.

The military high command, led by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, thereafter paid tributes.

Governor Yahaya Bello and his wife, Rasheedat, Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen, as well as chairmen of the Senate and House of Representatives committees on Air Force, Senator Bala Ibn Na’lla, and Shehu Koku, were among the dignitaries that graced the event.
Speaking at the funeral ceremony, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Sadique Abubakar, said Ms Arotile would be greatly missed by the NAF.

Mr Abubakar said that even at this moment the NAF was still in shock and grief because it has lost a heroine whom the Service has so much confidence in. He noted that the NAF’s expectations were cut short as a result of her sudden demise.

The air chief who eulogised Ms Arotile, noted that her short stay in the Service was highly impactful, as she was a committed, confident officer in her service in the North West and North Central missions. He noted that Ms Arotile’s demise had affected the NAF and the nation whose sovereignty she protected.
Mr Abubakar thanked the late Ms Arotile for adding value to national security, saying the NAF and the country would always remember her contributions to nation building.
The authorities in Nigeria were also challenged at the event to halt the practice of neglecting young men and women who served the country with dedication.

Group Captain (Rev.) Dogo Gani gave the charge while officiating at the funeral of the nation’s first female combat helicopter pilot, Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile, at the National Military Cemetery, Abuja.
Urging the bereaved family, in his sermon, to be strong and take solace in the fallen heroine’s impactful life to her relatives and the biggest economy on the African continent, the cleric regretted that successive administrations had not valued youths who patriotically served the nation.
His words: “Successive Nigerian administrations have not placed high premium on young men and women who have been found to serve the country at the peak of patriotism, dedication and commitment.”
“Nigerian leadership has always used and dumped such patriots, a tradition those in authorities, should stop,” he added.

He said the death of Ms Arotile was a difficult thing to comprehend. He said Ms Arotile, a young woman of passion, and courage who took up the challenges of fighting evil, “is now gone.” Mr Gani commended the CAS for taking up the boldness in putting resources together to realise Arotile’s dreams.

He called on political, religious leaders to raise young men and women like Ms Arotile to defend the country.

Speaking on behalf of the Arotile family, Damilola Adegboye, sister to the deceased, noted that she had dreamt to fly a plane as a child.

She said her sister was passionate about her job and family. Mrs Adegboye thanked Mr Abubakar and the entire nation for their prayers, condolences and love shown to the family since the demise of Ms Arotile.

Present at the ceremony were the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gabriel Olonisakin, and the Minister of Defence, Bashir Magashi, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Sabi’u Zakari. Others were the Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen, the Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, among other dignitaries.

The family was presented with the national colours by the air chief. Also, there were the laying of wreath and the firing of volley by the Burial Party.

A twenty-one gun salute was accorded the slain officer before her remains, were eventually lowered at 11.05am amid tears from colleagues and relations.

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Appointment

#ENDSARS: Group challenges NASS, President Buhari to immediately reform electoral system

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#ENDSARS: Group challenges NASS, President Buhari to immediately reform electoral system

***warns presidency against further attacks on protesters

A group, Peoples Life Improvement Foundation (PLIF) which has declared support for the #ENDSARS protests, has blamed the bad leadership bedevilling Nigeria on fraudulent electoral system which does not allow people’s votes to count leading to the protests.

As possible resolution to most of the agitations by the youths in their protests, the group challenged the National Assembly and the presidency to immediately sign in to law the ammended electorate act to bring about good Governance.

This was contained in a statement that was signed and issued by the National Publicity secretary of the group
Ngoama Waekite Wem.

“We have summed up the totality of Prolonged bad governance in Nigeria which has ruined the country and have come to the conclusion that our electoral system is the sole reason why the country is in this miserable and undone state.
Wem insisted that it is bad leadership that has led to all of the present tension.
He said protesters have the right for a peaceful demonstration
“And the root cause of it is where the people are not given the freedom to excercise the power of their individual Immortal Voters card to selecting their leaders.
“Therefore, we are calling for the Electoral Act Amendment which is the begining to the end of these problems and will allow real people to choose and vote their next leaders with no one writing the  results of our elections again.
“Let our county’s electoral process be electronically done. Let there be Biometric Accrediation of Voters, Electronic Voting, Counting of Votes and Results transmission.
The group also advocated for the establishment of a 4th Tier of Government called the Ward/Community Government along side the FG, State Govt and LGA.
The publicity secretary also demanded for every Ward/Community to have their independent Administrative and Financial Autonomy.
“Let every Ward/Community have their budget to treat their perculiar issues. This will foster Freedom, Peace and Prosperity as every individual communities will be self developing simultaneously.”
He said fourth tier of government will be more responsive to the rural people, where the people can monitor and seek explanations on issues all the times.
“A tier of government that can improve the rural economy. This will further create more jobs in our communities and reduce the migration of our teeming youths into the urban centres.”
He said by that format criminality in the urban areas will be reduced.
Wem declared the full solidarity of the group with the #ENDSARS protesters.
“It is in this regard that we support the protest and proudly say that the protest had not recorded any incident of looting that has characterized protests like this even in some civilized countries.
“We stand shoulder to shoulder with the patriots who are dissatisfied with the government having maintained constant vigilance has come out in the most civilized manner to alert the world calling for justice, fairness, political stability, security and peace.
“We salute all our members across the country who joined other citizens to discharge this honorable duty on behalf of the people.”

“It is clear that the Nigerian youths are not only protesting against police brutality and extra-judicial killings! alone, but, in reality, a variety of longstanding political and economic problems that had pushed the Nigerians state towards instability, insecurity, poverty, destitution, decayed infrastructure etc.”
He observed that the youths are demanding for a political reform that will give all Nigerians equal opportunities, where the rights of all individuals will be protected and respected.
The secretary therefore challenged the President to leave a legacy of a listening government and write his name in the sand of time.
“In this regard PLIF stands with Nigerians to push forward these demands of the protesting patriots enumerated below;

“We also wish to state in categorical terms that any harsh response from the authorities will only make the situation worse!
“This has happened at other times and we should work hard to avoid what happened in the Dara province in Syria in 2 011.”
The PLIF is an international non-profit and non-governmental Organization setup for the deepening of democracy and improvement of the lives of Nigerians.

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EndSARS: Activist tasks youths on structured leadership

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EndSARS: Activist tasks youths on structured leadership

**demands for meeting with govts

A Social Analyst and promoter of good governance with Hope Initiative, an Abuja based non governmental organisation, Bashir Abdullahi, has said the Nigerian youths needed not just a structured leadership but also a well-articulated compilation of demands for a roundtable meeting with authorities after the #EndSARS protests.

These, he said,”must be comprehensive to address all areas where leadership and governance have failed over the years.”

He commended Nigerian youths for coming out to speak with one voice against the fault lines of Nigeria through #EndSARS protests.

He said the success of the protests was an indication that Nigerian youths were very angry with the current situation in the country, which according to him was ‘a product of many years of vision-less leadership and bad governance.”

Addressing a media conference, Tuesday, in Abuja, Abdullahi said,”I suggest we please prepare to go to the table with the authorities to discuss but before then, we need a structured leadership and a well-articulated compilation of our demands which must be comprehensive and addressing all areas where leadership and governance have failed over the years.”

He noted that,”The #EndSARS protest has sent a clear signal that the youths of Nigeria have found their voice and the message is that we need comprehensive reforms in all sectors of our country, be it security, education, healthcare, governance, economy or youth engagement.”

“To assume that it is all about police brutality is a simplistic interpretation of a complex situation,” he said,adding that:”For decades, Nigerians have been complaining about police brutality, the Nigerian state has turned a blind eye, despite panels upon panels set up and recommendations upon recommendations made.”

He recalled with regret that “the SARS problem and other forms of police brutality have lingered for too long”, adding that,”The Nigerian police are reputed to be the most corrupt in the world.”

“Each time there is a public outcry, the authorities take cosmetic measures.
All presidents since 1999 have set up one panel or the other on police reform. The reports are gathering dust on Aso Rock shelves. Meanwhile, the police have been gleefully stockpiling dead bodies, cocksure that there would be no consequences,” he said, regretting that,”SARS went on robbing and killing with impunity.”

While noting that,”Poverty, unemployment and inequality are the biggest triggers of uprising in any society”,Abdullahi tasked the government to draw lesson from the protests with a view to fulfilling its mandate to the citizenry.

According to him,”Some young person’s taking to “yahoo”, drug dealing, and armed robbery are products of a system that does not reckon with the implications of unemployment and poverty.”

“An idle hand, it is said, is tempting the devil. No human being will sit at home and die of hunger. Self-preservation is a basic human instinct. If it is to steal, beg or borrow, the human being will strive to survive,” added.

However, the social analyst said:”I am not in any way justifying crime”, adding:”However, a wise society will make a connection between unemployment, poverty and crime, and act decisively to address the problems at the root.”

Expressing happiness over the success of the protests, he charged Nigerian youths to seize the opportunity in emplacing what he called
“tactical measures in moving forward.”

“As a young Nigerian, I am very proud of the gallantry displayed by the youths in this movement. The accomplishments are already unprecedented but now require tactical measures in moving forward.

“In all, we need to have an articulated game plan. We must have an end game in mind.

“At what stage do we sheathe the sword and seize this golden opportunity to begin to hold leaders at all levels accountable as a movement? No government official, whether elected or appointed, should sleep at ease again,” he said.

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#ENDSARS: NYO has capacity to mobilise youth groups for immediate dialogue

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#ENDSARS: How NYO can mobilise youth groups for immediate dialogue

Federal Government should immediately create an opportunity for an interface with leaders of the #ENDSARS movement through the Leadership of the Nigerian Youth Organisation (NYO), Grand patron of Nigerian Youths and Vigilante Group of Nigeria, Engineer Femi Soetan has advised.

The Youth and Security Patron in a statement emphasized that in order to forestall imminent degeneration of the crisis into full scale internecine conflict; the Nigeria Youth Organisation (NYO) with branches in the thirty- six states of the Federation has the capacity to mobilize all stakeholders to a strategic Peace dialogue

According to Engr. Femi the strategic plan for mediation and advocacy can be achieved through the leadership of the NYO President, Ambassador Abdullahi Wali as fast as possible by cross- fertilising ideas with groups.

Such prominent groups he said includes
Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN), National Union of Road Transport Workers ( NURTW), Actors Guild of Nigeria, National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Actors Council of Nigeria and Peace Corps of Nigerian.
Others he said include Association of Comedians, Human Right lawyers, Human Rights Activists, All bodies of Artisans, Tricycle Unions, Okada Riders Unions, Vigilante Group of Nigeria( VGN), End Sars Activists, Juliet Binitie: Faculty Institution for international transformation and Other Trade Unions.

“A Round Table Discussion/ Rallying Point of Dialogue shall be established for Advocacy, Mediation and Reconciliation between the leaders and the led in the efforts to broker peace and tranquility in the current troubled waters of the country”
He concluded in the statement that “the peace and unity of Nigeria should be above every consideration by the protesters while advocating that the genuine demands of the Youths should be given accelerated consideration by the government”.

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