Insecurity: Poor reportage could heighten tension, Peace Corps Boss Cautions Journalists
National Commandant of Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN), Prof. Dickson Akoh, on Tuesday admonished Nigerian Journalists on good and accurate reportage.
According to Akoh, only genuine and verifiable reportage could assist the country, especially, the security agents win the war against terrorism.
Akoh gave this charge when the Online Journalists in Abuja visited his office to honour the PCN as ‘Organization of the Year’.
“The country is passing through a whole lot, security-wise, your report will go a long way in helping the country, as efforts are being intensified to address the security concerns, anything that could heighten or instill fear should not be reported. Am not saying you should not be objective in your report, but issue of security are very sensitive that can cause high degree of disharmony or tension in the land”, Akoh said.
Stressing further, the Peace Corps Boss said, “Yesterday, I saw a scroll bar message and the message was to the effect that gunmen invaded one primary school in Kaduna, in Birnin Gwari to be specific. I was concerned that kidnapping has gone to the extent of primary school. In fact the report said so many students were picked, but when I got home, I discovered that there was no pupil that was picked, it was only three of their teachers and when the gunmen invaded the school, the pupils ran helter-skelter and in the process two went to different directions and another parent saw them, picked them and kept them until when situation calmed down and took them to the traditional ruler.
“However, it was not reported as such, all we heard was gunmen took so many pupils. So I call for objectivity and high sense of reasoning in reporting national issues as it bothers the security of this nation”.
On the Bill for an Act to establish Nigerian Peace Corps, currently before the National Assembly, Akoh charged the online media to continue bringing out the best in the Bill in their reportage, while calling on lawmakers to expedite actions on its passage.
Earlier in his address, Chairman of National Assembly New Media, Comrade Yemi Itodo, applauded the many selfless and voluntary activities of the Corps towards nation-building.
“The nomination of PCN for Organization of The Year recognition is hinged on the many laudable community efforts of the organization and her activities at ensuring peace, unity, safety and security of Nigerian people.
“We cannot forget in a hurry, the role the PCN played during the general lockdown in Nigeria in 2020, by collaborating with different security agencies and essential workers across the federation, at ensuring the security and safety of the people, while striving to get the masses to conform with the Federal Government’s guidelines at curtailing the spread of COVID-19.
“Officers of the PCN, despite being a voluntary organization and without any remunerations from the Federal Government, unlike other essential workers, staked their lives to ensure the lives of other citizens were saved. This is in addition to many community development interventions of the Corps across the country, most of which are not in the media”, Itodo said.
The Journalist used the occasion to call on the National Assembly to quickly pass the Bill before it for onward assent of President Muhammad Buhari, adding that, the Bill would give legal backing for Prof. Akoh-led Peace Corps to enable it assist in curbing insecurity in the schools.
“Nigeria is bleeding and our schools are being overrun by armed bandits who have technically become stupendously rich on account of the helplessness of the innocent school children and haplessness of the Nigerian system. We therefore call on Peace Corps of Nigeria, to come to our aide. We want the organization to step up and stand out in what they are trained to do best.
“Since its inception in 1998, we have kept tabs with the activities of Peace Corps as it relates to orientation of school children, establishment of Peace Corps Club in schools, campaigns against social vices and exam malpractices, intelligence gathering and neighbourhood watch around the school communities.
“We may not be far from the truth to declare that, Peace Corps Officers, though not trained with arms, are mentally and technically equipped to provide the needed synergy the Nigeria’s security personnel deserve to curb insecurity in our school environments.
We therefore, call on members of the National Assembly to speed up legislative actions on the passage of the much anticipated Nigerian Peace Corps Bill which is currently before the two Chambers”, he added.
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Organ Trafficking: Ekweremadu, Wife, Doctor Sentenced To Various Prison Terms
The duo of Ekweremadu, former Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, his wife Beatrice, and Doctor Obinna Obeta has been senenced to various jail terms for bringing a 21-year-old Lagos street trader to London to exploit him for his kidney.
A judge at The Central Criminal Court, [ Old Bailey], announced the sentence friday.
At a sentencing hearing on Friday, Ekweremadu was jailed for nine years and eight months, his wife Beatrice was sentenced to four years and six months imprisonment while Obeta received a 10-year prison term.
The sentencing follows their conviction in March for organ trafficking, The Ekweremadus’sick daughter, Sonia was cleared of any wrongdoing.
The jury said Ekweremadu, his wife and their doctor criminally conspired to bring the 21-year-old Lagos street trader to London to exploit him for his kidney.
The conviction is the first under the UK’s Modern Slavery Act 2015.
The sentencing comes after pleas from multiple prominent personalities and institutions, including former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
Other petitioners included both chambers of the National Assembly, the Chairman/CEO, Nigeria in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Erewa Dabiri, and the International Human Rights Commission (IHRC).
After months of a pre-trial, the trial commenced on January 31, 2023 and lasted about six weeks, culminating in a guilty verdict against Ekweremadu, Beatrice, and Obeta.
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Reps Seek UK Government Clemency for Ekweremadu
The House of Representatives has write to the government of the United Kingdom seeking mercy in sentencing the embattled Ike Ekweremadu and his wife, Beatrice.
This is contained in a resolution reached following a motion moved by Toby Okechukwu, a lawmaker from Enugu State.
A UK court found the duo guilty of conspiracy of organ harvesting of another Nigerian. The Ekweremadu couple will be sentenced in the coming days.
Moving the motion, Okechukwu said diplomatic intervention in this kind of case is normal.
“It is a common practice in international relations for nations, including the UK, to seek relief for their citizens involved in situations such as that of the Ekweremadus,” he said.
Speaking on the motion, Femi Gbajabiamila, the Speaker of the House, said intervention by the House is not a justification for the charges against the Ekweremadus. He urged the UK government to consider Ekweremadu’s years of public service.
Consequently, the House resolved to urge the UK government and the court to temper justice with mercy in sentencing Ekweremadu, his wife and the doctor.
Also, they urged the Federal Government of Nigeria to take all diplomatic steps and other necessary interventions regarding the travails of the Ekweremadu family.
- 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 email@example.com.
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HYPPDEC Donates Food Stuff, Clothing to Locals in Kogi to Tackle Cashless Policy Effect
By Joseph Amedu, Lokoja
The Hydroelectric Power Producing Areas Development Commission (HYPPDEC), on Tuesday, donated 400 bags of rice, 250 gallons of vegetable oil and some packaged women rappers to ten Local Government Areas in Kogi State under the agency to cushion the effect associated with the new cashless policy.
Making the presentation to Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State at the Lugard House, Lokoja on Tuesday, a Board Member of HYPPDEC, Alhaji Isah Ozi Salami, said that the gesture is part of the agency’s intervention in times of natural disaster or any hardship situation on citizens.
Salami expressed the commitment of HYPPDEC in tackling the prevailing economic hardship on Nigerians as a result of the Cashless Policy.
“We owe it as a duty to take adquate care of the people in the 10 Local Government Areas belonging to HYPPDEC communities in Kogi
“Our concern under the present economic hardship is to alleviate the sufferings of the people within HYPPDEC communities in Kogi” Ozi Salami told Governor Bello.
He commended Governor Yahaya Bello for the provision of logistic supports that have facilitated smooth operation of the agency in Kogi.
He also told the Governor that HYPPDEC will soon begin the construction of 50 housing units in Kogi for resettlement of last year’s flood victims in riverine communities.
“I appreciate Governor Bello’s magnanimity in providing land for the housing project. The Governor is expected to perform the foundation laying ceremony of the project” Ozi Salami disclosed.
The Chief of Staff to Governor Bello, Jamiu Asuku who received the food stuff on behalf of his boss, hinted that Kogi will key into HYPPDEC’s intervention initiative in the areas of provision of food and security of lives and property for citizens.
Governor Yahaya Bello appealed to HYPPDEC to focus more on Ibaji Local Government Area in its intervention programme as a result of the bad terrain of the area.
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