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Ebonyi Media Ban: NGIJ Urges NUJ, NGE to Investigate Allegation Crisis

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The Nigerian Guild of Investigative Journalists (NGIJ) has weighed-in on the face-off between journalists and Ebonyi State government, urging stakeholders to intervene and resolve the brewing crisis.

In a statement released to the media on Friday by Mr Israel Bolaji, NGIJ Vice President, Information& Strategy, the Guild specifically called on the Nigerian Union of Journalists, Nigerian Guild of Editors and other media stakeholders in the country to investigate allegations of deliberate peddling of falsehood and creation of public panic levelled against Ebonyi State correspondents of The Sun newspaper, Chijioke Agwu, and the Vanguard Newspaper, Peter Okutu, by the State governor, with a view to resolving the imbroglio.

Recall that following the arrest and release of both journalists in separate instances within a week, the State governor, David Umahi had on Wednesday banned the two correspondents, from entering Government house and Government facilities in the State for life during a statewide live broadcast aired on the State’s Television and Radio stations.

The governor who had expressed disappointment with the state NUJ officials also threatened that ‘Ebonyi people are very angry with the press and let me warn that I won’t be able to control them or know when they unleash mayhem on you if you continue to write to create panic in the State.’

The NGIJ counselled that, ‘As much as the indisputable role of Journalists as partners and critical stakeholders in nation-building is sacrosanct, the profession upholds the highest level of ethics and standards and expects every practitioner to be responsible.’

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“As far as we are concerned, journalists must be free to carry out their duty without any fear or hindrance anywhere within the nation. The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as well as many other international Charters, guarantee that.

“The State government needs the media to continue to act as a watchdog and sensitise the public; that must be continuously done with the highest level of integrity, professionalism and fairness.

“However, if established, the persistent publication of falsehood, inaccuracies and misleading information amounts to libel, which is criminal and totally frowned upon by the NGIJ. Such has no place in professional journalism.”

The assertion of the governor about ‘withdrawing the allowance of the leadership of the NUJ in his state for failure to call the boys to order’ is of great ethical concern and must be investigated.

Also, the NGIJ took note with great concern, the “peace meeting” between the Ebonyi Correspondents Chapel and the State Commissioner for Information, where the NUJ pledged “developmental Journalism”. The Guild is of the opinion that the meeting should not have been facilitated without the leadership of national NUJ and the NGE.

“We call on our highly respected veterans and officials of the media bodies to establish the underlying issues, resolve amicably and assure that Ebonyi State, and indeed, the entire nation, remains safe for all journalists to contribute their quota to national development.” The statement concluded.

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Umahi had ordered the arrest of The Sun Correspondent, Chijioke Agwu, over a report he did on lassa fever outbreak in the state. He was later released. Three days later, Mr. Peter Okutu was arrested on the orders of Ohaukwu Local Government Area Chairman, Mr. Clement Odah, over a report he did on the alleged military invasion of Umuogodoakpu-Ngbo community in the council area. He has also been released.

In a state-wide statement that was aired on both state radio and television stations, Umahi, had said the safety of journalists in the state could no longer be guaranteed by him, claiming that the people of Ebonyi State were angry with the journalists and might begin to unleash mayhem on them if they continue to cause panic in the state. According to him, “I want to say that I am very displeased with the president and leadership of the Nigeria Union of Journalists and I am going to seize their allowances for two months, because they have failed to discipline their members.

“Ebonyi State is no longer a dumping ground. The other day, Chijioke Agwu (referring to The Sun correspondent) wrote that lassa fever is killing Ebonyi people in droves and few days back, Mr Peter Okutu of Vanguard did his own.

“Okutu is fond of degrading Ebonyi State, and I don’t know why my officials have allowed him to continue to do that, because he is not from Ebonyi State. I want to ban him for life with Chijioke Agwu. I don’t want to see them anywhere in any government facility. “We are not begging you to give us good report, because the only person that gives good or bad report is God. We are all accountable to him. If you think that Ebonyi State is a dumping ground, try it again.

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“If you think you have the pen, we have koboko. Let’s leave the court alone. Ebonyi people are very angry with the press and let me warn that I won’t be able to control them or know when they unleash mayhem on you, if you continue to write to create panic in the state.”, Umahi had threatened.

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Abdulrahman Obaje
Abdulrahman Obaje
Prince Abdulrahman Obaje is a Media and ICT Consultant, Journalist, online marketer, social media strategist, Mathematician and Computer Scientist based in Abuja, Nigeria. He is the Founder and the Publisher of The Informavores!. You can reach me on +234 805 939 5252 or send i-witness report directly to me on news@informavores.com.ng.

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2023: “Tinubu Championing Modern democracy with power of delegation” – Senator Kalu

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Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu has said that the ability of the Presidential flag bearer of the All Progressive’s Congress (APC) , Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu to delegate responsibilities to competent persons in Authority will be beneficial for the country when eventually elected.

Shedding more light, the former Abia Governor noted that Tinubu’s skill to assign responsibilities is in line with the contemporary requirements of modern democracy, noting that the era of leaders single handedly conceiving and executing policies was over.

Kalu made this assertion while speaking on Political Paradigm, a political programme of Channels Television aired on Monday.

The Chieftain of the ruling APC cited the rapid growth of Lagos State to back his assertion, explaining that Tinubu as Governor had set the stage for development in the state. Kalu maintained the consistent political platform of Lagos put in place by the former Lagos Governor since 1999 has added to the growth and development witnessed in the state over the years.

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He said ; “Tinubu will be one of the greatest Presidents we shall ever have because of the skill of delegation. He has the skill and the modern way of leading people is no longer everything (Powers) to yourself.

“You must assign the job to other people who are competent , you must tell the people to do it and he has proven that as Governor of Lagos and after.

“Why Lagos is growing is because the leadership has been under one route and political party since 1999. So consistency matters a lot. I believe that Tinubu will do a lot of things differently for the benefit of Nigerians especially the business people.

“Lagos is a business center and he knows we can’t Govern effectively without involving the business people,so we have to enter a strong partnership with them.

“When people said Buhari wasn’t going to support Bola Tinubu, we went to the President and told him this is our party it’s not about anybody and you can see the President has come out willingly to identify and campaign for our party .

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Responding to questions on the alleged ill health of the APC Presidential Candidate, Senator Orji Kalu dismissed the claims describing them as mere public insinuations.

Kalu clarified that Bola Tinubu was very stable and healthy, he revealed that the Presidential hopeful works round the clock to attend to campaign activities and retires to bed at “3am” Daily.

Kalu added that it was normal for humans above the age of 40 years to witness few health challenges, which however can be managed to function effectively.

“His (Tinubu’s) health is very stable. No man above 40 is not sick. There is not one, no Nigerian above 40 that is not sick,” Kalu said on the pre-recorded Channels TV Programme.

The APC chieftain also stressed that some political opponents forged incoherent statements attributed to Tinubu at rallies.

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“These are things you people go to forge on the internet. All these things can be forged by political opponents,” he said.

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Abdulrahman Obaje
Abdulrahman Obaje
Prince Abdulrahman Obaje is a Media and ICT Consultant, Journalist, online marketer, social media strategist, Mathematician and Computer Scientist based in Abuja, Nigeria. He is the Founder and the Publisher of The Informavores!. You can reach me on +234 805 939 5252 or send i-witness report directly to me on news@informavores.com.ng.

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Xmas: Ajia Felicitates with Christians, Solicits For Prayers Over National Challenges

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The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP House of Representatives candidate for Ilorin West and Asa Federal Constituency Ibrahim Muhammed Ajia has felicitated with Christians in the country on the occasion of Christmas which is a commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ, urging them to use the festive season to pray fervently for the nation to overcome its present challenges. 
 
Ajia in a Christmas message issued by his Media Team in Ilorin on the Christmas Day, calls on Christians to continue to live in peace, harmony and tolerance with adherents of other religions. 
 
In his greetings, “I felicitate with all Nigerians, especially Christian brothers and sisters on the joyous occasion of this year’s Christmas.
 
“On this occasion commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, let us all recommit ourselves to the virtues and ideals of peace, love and justice as exemplified by the Christ.
 
The House of Reps candidate added that, Christians must never forget the essence and lessons of Christmas by always reflecting on the teachings of the Messiah who paid the ultimate price for the benefit of mankind..
 
He admonished Christians to mould their lives after Jesus Christ, by showing love to people around them and be their brothers’ keepers at all times. 
 
Ajia however reiterated the PDP’s commitment to the people’s welfare and assured them of his readiness to be fair and just to the people of his constituency irrespective of their religious differences. 
 
The Founder of MAI Foundation distributes rice and cash gift to the Christian faithful in his constituency to further demonstrate his readiness to support the needy within his constituency irrespective of their backgrounds. 
 
He therefore reaffirms his commitment to partner with every Community Development Association, Religious leaders and groups in order to maintain peaceful coexistence and bringing rapid growth and sustainable development to Asa and Ilorin West Federal Constituency. 

Author Profile

Abdulrahman Obaje
Abdulrahman Obaje
Prince Abdulrahman Obaje is a Media and ICT Consultant, Journalist, online marketer, social media strategist, Mathematician and Computer Scientist based in Abuja, Nigeria. He is the Founder and the Publisher of The Informavores!. You can reach me on +234 805 939 5252 or send i-witness report directly to me on news@informavores.com.ng.
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2023 Elections: Why CBN Cashless Policy is Raising Dusts

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The Coalition of National Civil Society Organisations (CNCSOS)  has raised alarm over the recent developement concerning the CBN cashless policy.

This is contained in a world press conference by the coalition in Abuja today.

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The group said, “As you all know, the country was jolted when a group of human rights lawyers and some civil society organisations raised the alarm that there was a plot to frame the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele in terrorism financing allegation.”

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“The gravity of what Nigeria was confronted with came to the front burner when members of the group revealed that the Department of State Services (DSS) had even gone to the extent of approaching the court to obtain a warrant to arrest Godwin Emefiele without the consent or knowledge of the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari. adsbygoogle || []).push({}); ”

“The Coalition of National Interest Defenders, which brought the development to the open, went ahead to allege that the plot was to keep Mr. Emefiele for at least 60 days until after the general elections next year. This should ring a bell when we recall that this alleged plot is coming immediately after the redesign of the naira notes and the review of the cash withdrawal limits for both individuals and organisations.”

“We have all hailed the cashless policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria such that even the corrupt politicians who are opposing the cash withdrawal limits acknowledge that it is the way to go but that the timing was wrong. They also sort to get wavers for election spending. Why are they looking for wavers? They want to use our stolen commonwealth to buy our votes.”

“In view of the current revelation, we are afraid that the State Security Service is derailing from its statutory role to becoming a tool in the hands of desperate politicians. This is dangerous for the country and must be discouraged at any cost.”

“Those who wants to receive and spend money without any traces are those who have been kicking against the cashless policy of the CBN. If you have legitimate money, why are you afraid to wire the money through bank transfers? Why are you afraid of cash withdrawal limits? There is no limit to the amount you can transfer through the bank but because they are having our stolen money, they don’t want to make traceable transactions and that is the sin of Godwin Emefiele. That’s why they want him out of the way before the election so that someone who can do their biddings is appointed to reverse the cashless policy implementation.”

“We must note that President Muhammadu Buhari has shown maximum support for the economic stability and reform efforts of the CBN Governor and that was probably why they wanted to remove him from office without the consent of Mr. President.”

“At this juncture, we hail the Nigerian judiciary for refusing to be used for the planned hatchet job. It is unfortunate but it happened.”

“According to reports, the affidavit filed by the State Security Service in support of its application claimed that preliminary investigation had revealed various acts of terrorism financing and fraudulent activities perpetrated by Godwin Emefiele and his involvement in economic crimes of national security dimension but there was no evidence. Hence, the court rejected to issue order for the arrest of the CBN Governor. Even, the identity of the said Godwin Emefiele, as the sole respondent, was not clearly stated in the affidavit according to the court, which made the plot more of a shoddy deal.”

“And, in view of a reasonable suspicion that some politicians may have influenced the State Security Service in the planned arrest of Godwin Emefiele, we join well-meaning Nigerians and groups to the call on President Buhari and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), to immediately put in motion the processes of suspending and thoroughly investigating the circumstances surrounding this national and international embarrassment. The attempt to obtain a backyard order to remove a high ranking officer of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for obvious political reasons should be of serious concern to all Nigerians as we don’t know who will be the next.”

“”By virtue of Section 150(1) and Section 174 (1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, the Attorney-General of the Federation has the powers to institute and undertake criminal proceedings against any person before any court of law in Nigeria. Therefore, nothing stops the Attorney-General of the Federation from exercising his powers in this matter to send a clear signal to the international community that Nigeria is not a banana republic, where anything goes. If public office holders who err are not appropriately sanctioned, it will send a wrong signal to foreign investors and project Nigeria as a country without rule of law.

“”This is paramount as Section 174 (3) expressly stated that “In exercising his powers under this section, the Attorney-General of the Federation shall have regard to the public interest, the interest of justice and the need to prevent abuse of legal process.” What is primarily at stake here is public interest.

“”We hereby urge President Muhammadu Buhari and the CBN Governor never to relent in their efforts to place Nigeria among the best 20 economies in the world in line with the cashless policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

“”We assure Mr. Godwin Emefiele that Nigerians on the streets, who are in pains of starvation and hunger due to the continued looting of public funds meant for their well-being by some politicians, are standing with him and will vehemently resist any attempt to derail the cashless policy of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

“”We also commend the Federal Government on the exemplary leadership with the ban on cash withdrawals from public accounts. The stoppage of cash withdrawal from all public accounts is another legacy in the war against corruption and electoral fraud by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration. The ban on cash withdrawals and subsequent directive to public officers to immediately open domiciliary accounts in foreign and local currencies ahead of the commencement of the cash withdrawal policy will deepen the gains of the cashless policy of the federal government through the CBN.

Author Profile

Abdulrahman Obaje
Abdulrahman Obaje
Prince Abdulrahman Obaje is a Media and ICT Consultant, Journalist, online marketer, social media strategist, Mathematician and Computer Scientist based in Abuja, Nigeria. He is the Founder and the Publisher of The Informavores!. You can reach me on +234 805 939 5252 or send i-witness report directly to me on news@informavores.com.ng.

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