CBN has joined the ‘cult’ resisting the change #EndSARS is asking for

As reported by Channels Television, a federal high court in Abuja has granted the request of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to freeze the accounts of 19 individuals and a public affairs company linked to the #EndSARS protests.

The request, granted by Justice Ahmed Mohammed, was filed by the CBN on October 20, 2020, the same day the #LekkiMassacre happened.

Some of the affected individuals include Bolatito Racheal Oduala – Rinu, Chima David Ibebunjoh, Mary Doose Kpengwa, Saadat Temitope Bibi, Bassey Victor Israel, Wisdom Busaosowo Obi, Nicholas Ikhalea Osazele, Ebere Idibie, Akintomide Lanre Yusuf, Uhuo Ezenwanyi Promise and Mosopefoluwa Odeseye.

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Others are Adegoke Pamilerin Yusif, Umoh Grace Ekanem, Babatunde Victor Segun, Mulu Louis Teghenan, Mary Oshifowora, Winifred Akpevweoghene Jacob, Victor Solomon, Idunu A. Williams, and Gatefield Nigeria Limited.

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The court order addressed to the head offices of Access Bank, Fidelity Bank, First Bank Nigeria, Guaranty Trust Bank, United Bank of Africa, and Zenith Bank, directed the banks to freeze forthwith all transactions on the 20 accounts on the list annexed to the CBN’s application as Exhibit A and all other bank accounts of the defendants/respondents for a period of 180 days pending the outcome of investigation and inquiry currently being conducted by the CBN.

Gatefield Nigeria Limited had earlier sued Access Bank Plc for allegedly blocking an account used to promote media coverage of the #EndSARS protests. And, it is not the first time the government is resisting calls to ensure accountability.

Today marks the 31st day since the #EndSARS protest was taken from social media to the streets, across Nigeria. It is, therefore, eleven days since the government, led by Babajide Sanwo-Olu, spearheaded the killing of peaceful protesters at the Lekki toll gate.

It is also approximately thirteen days since so-called hoodlums, who were quite organised in their activities, started infiltrating the peaceful protests, causing chaos so the protests had no other choice than to go home. And, in case you forgot, fourteen days since President Muhammadu Buhari threatened Nigerian youth to either go home or face the consequences.

This government…will not allow anybody or groups to disrupt the peace of our nation.

President Buhari, October 22, 2020.

Riding on the backs of ‘Change’, Nigerians believed that Buhari was the saviour the country needed. The one who could pick the country out of the ditch it was already entering and place it on a foundation of solid rocks. But, the belief was far-fetched.

Fast forward to when the #EndSARS protests began, and how President Buhari laughed at the document Sanwo-Olu presented to him, one would already realise that attempts to resist change would not come as a simple pen knife in a silver plate. It was going to come in nuclear bombs and acid tank sprays.

This has played out with the killings that took place during the active street protests, the attempts to abridge the story of the #EndSARS movement and now, the CBN.

It was initially reported that some banks went ahead to restrict the accounts of young Nigerians whose accounts were used to fund the protest, but CBN has taken this a top notch.

There are questions as to how they were quick to identify those actively involved in the background processes of the #EndSARS protest and which Nigerians helped identify them, but SARS operatives who have killed more young Nigerians than anyone can remember are walking free, but we will instead ask how #EndSARS has become such a potential terrorist activity that the CBN had to add its voice.

But, there are answers. And, it is the fact that the #EndSARS protests touched the nerves of those whose desire is to continue feeding off Nigeria’s all-round failed systems – knowing that #EndSARS eventually became a means to the request for a New Nigeria, rid of a political class who do not even understand what nationhood is.

CBN has not explained its reasons yet, and when it does, it will come with excuses totally unrelated to the #EndSARS movement – a move quite synonymous with an irresponsible government, schooled in the art of misplacing its priorities.

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