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NUJ President wants more protection for journalists





Mr Christopher Iziguzo, President, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), on Thursday appealed to the Nigeria Police to protect Journalists as they carry out their legitimate duties across the country.

Iziguzo, in a remark at a Forum for the Adoption of Framework on Police Media-Relationship and Safety of Journalists in Abuja, said that the safety of journalists was crucial to national growth in view of their role as watchdogs of the society.

The event was put together by NUJ in collaboration with Media Foundation for West Africa and other partners.

Iziguzo said that Nigeria should not toy with its newsmen because they were the light, conscience and watchdog of the society.

He emphasised the need for journalists and Police to work together, and regretted that the role of the newsmen as the oxygen of democracy was under severe threat.

“The Police and journalists should be partners in progress; we journalists don’t have guns; we are not criminals or  terrorists.

“I call on the Police to protect journalists; they should see us as partners in progress for positive change. I want to call on you to accept us as friends and partners.

“When you see us out there, accept us as friends of the state and nation builders. We are very much ready at all times to ensure we engage in issues that will take the nation to the next positive level,” Iziguzo said.

Similarly, Mr Sulemana Braimah, the Executive Secretary, Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), in his speech, said that the relationship between the media and the Police was a crucial one.

“A journalist will often need information, protection and authentication of information from the Police and the Police sometimes rely on information of incidences in the country from the journalists.

“The Police also rely on journalists to get pieces of evidence to back their investigations.

“But, unfortunately, this relationship sometimes tends to be sour and is a sad thing to say that across West Africa, the Police usually tend to be the aggressors.

“Sometimes, it is not because the Police don’t like the journalists, but some journalists don’t know how to handle themselves, particularly when they are in public places.

“We have seen where journalists go to war front in Syria, Yemen and bring footage, I believe they follow certain procedures; so, sometimes it is not that Police officers are rude or overzealous; may be journalists don’t toe the line they are supposed to,” Briamah said.

In his remark, the Acting Executive Secretary, Nigerian Press Council (NPC), Mr Victor Egharevba, said that the safety of journalists was very important, adding that the death of a journalist during the protest by Islamic Movement in Nigeria, was a sad story.

Egharevba, represented by Director of Research and Statistics at NPC, Mrs. Stella Jubri,l stressed that the media and Police needed each other to succeed.

Prof. Kwame Karikari, a professor of journalism from Ghana, said that the media and Police render very important services to the pubic, yet they were the most hated and criticised by the public.

According to him, the job of a journalist and Police requires high level of professionalism, adding that Police fight crimes and journalists expose crimes.

“Both institutions promote and defend democracy; there is need for them to work together for the overall development of the country.

“The media do make mistakes as well as the police, however, there should be a civilised way of addressing mistakes committed by journalists and Police officers,” Karikari said.

The Nigeria News Agency , reports that participants were drawn from the Nigeria Police, Media and other relevant stakeholders.

NAN reports that Iziguzo later called for a motion to adopt the framework in principle with Mr Amos Duniya of the Forefront Magazine moving the motion for the adoption of the Framework on Police Media-Relationship and Safety of Journalists.

It was seconded by CSP Ngozi Nwokomo, Officer in Charge of Public Complaints Bureau at the Force Headquartres, Abuja.

Edited by Gregg Mmaduakolam and Ephraims Sheyin


Aviation unions will continue to resist planned concession of major airports – ANAP scribe



The Association of Nigerian Aviation Professionals (ANAP) on Sunday said that  aviation unions would continue to kick against planned concession of some major airports across the country by the Federal Government.


ANAP also raised the alarm over the existence of numerous airstrips in the country, warning that safety and security could not be guaranteed in some of them.


Mr Abdulrazaq Saidu, the General Secretary, ANAP, told newsmen on Sunday in Lagos that the insecurity in the country had made the concession plan unfavourable and dangerous.


The Nigeria News Agency reports that the newly reappointed Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika,  had been pushing for the concession of the Abuja, Lagos, Kano and Port Harcourt Airports


The government had appointed Transaction Advisers to mid-wife the process aimed at ensuring that the airports operate optimally and were at par with their contemporaries across the globe.


However, Saidu noted that if government scaled through with the proposal, several direct staff of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) would lose their jobs.


He said thousands of indirect workers would also be affected, stressing that concession would  negate the policy of the government to create more jobs for qualified Nigerians.


Saidu said : “We are saying capital no to the planned concession of our airports.


“This is simple. We have security challenges in the country and we can’t leave our security in the hands of individuals or private organisations that we don’t trust or know their backgrounds.


“Recently, somebody beat the security agencies to gain access to one of  the aircraft parked at the  Lagos Airport.


” If the government concessions the major gateways, it will be a haven for drug peddlers, money launderers and importation of unapproved ammunitions. We will be sitting on a keg of gunpowder.”


He also drew the government’s attention to the operating mode of some airstrips in the country, without the presence of FAAN Aviation Security (AVSEC).


” External aggression can come from such airstrips,” Saidu said.


The union scribe, however, expressed his support to   government’s  plans to birth a new national carrier for Nigeria after the liquidation of the former, the  Nigeria Airways Limited,  in 2004.


He urged the government to make the operations of the airline transparent to stakeholders in the industry to ensure its sustenance.


He warned that the composition of a new national carrier in the mode of Nigeria Airways would fail, noting that it must be driven by core investors and individuals in order to succeed.


Edited by Peter Dada

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USAID boss applauds Bwari community’s conflict resolution strategy



Mr Mark Green, Chief Administrator, USAID, has applauded the strategy put in place by Igu Community of Bwari Area Council in the FCT, toward resolving conflicts between farmers and herders.

Green gave the applause when he led his team on a social visit to the District Head of the community on Sunday.

While commending the leadership of the community for ensuring peace and stability in the area, Green said that the move was worth emulating which was, indeed, the reason for his visit.

“We have heard stories of the hospitality of this community. Our mission, basically, is to learn from you how you are able to resolve small disputes successfully.

“Because of your leadership, people here live in harmony. I want to learn from your success as this will help us take the lessons to other people in other places,” Green said.

He explained that after he was inaugurated district head five years ago, he constituted a committee which comprised of members from both parties, who initiated strategies to resolve the issues at hand.

“The cattle herders settled here with us a long time ago and have become part of us.

“What I did was to involve the chiefs under me, the Ardo of the Fulani, the chairman and spokesman to the Miyetti Allah association into the committee.

“This committee tends to solve every issue between farmers and herders amicably.

” For instance, when a farmer makes a complaint that his crops have been tempered with, the committee visits the farm to see the level of damage done.

“If there is a suspect or the farmer has seen the owner of the cattle, he is summoned and, after dialogue, asked to pay some compensation to the victim.

“We have earlier warned against anyone taking the law into his hands, so anyone found wanting is always brought to book,” he said.

Solomon added that the Police was sometimes brought in, depending on the nature of the case.

He also added that the committee usually seek advice and prayers from the religious leaders in the community whenever there were such issues, so that peace could be sustained in the area.

He advised other communities in the country and beyond, who were faced with similar challenges, to put the fear of God in their hearts and do away with religious sentiments.

The district head also urged them to set up committees to encourage dialogue toward settling knotty issues amicably.

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FG to deliver 1m houses per year – Minister



The Federal Government on Saturday promised to address housing deficit by delivering one million houses per year to close the 17 million shortfall by the year 2033.

The Minister of State, Works and Housing, Mr Abubakar Aliyu disclosed this in Abuja on Saturday during an inspection of the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) mass housing project in Zuba, Federal Capital Territory.

Aliyu said the government has decided to improve on current construction of 100,000 houses per years in order to meet the basic needs of the people.

“The production now is low; we are constructing 100,000 houses per year and we hope to improve it by constructing one million houses per year in order to close the gap of 17 million to 20 million housing deficits by the year 2033.

“That is the target of government, we are committed to doing that and to ensure that the programmes, policies are accomplished

“We will provide enabling environment to attract investors into the sector to help solve the problem of housing deficit in the country and to achieve the government goal by 2033,’’ he said.

Aliyu also assured that the problems associated with acquisition of lands would be addressed.

Speaking on the Zuba project, the minister said it was designed specifically to address the huge housing deficit for the medium and low income earners.

He said the project which was to be completed by August was delayed because of the rainy season.

The minister assured that the government would deliver the project as soon as possible.

“We will ensure that the project is completed soon, because it is one of our primary focuses.

“That is why it is our first point of call after inauguration,’’ he said.

Mr Umar Gonto, Acting Managing Director, FHA reiterated government commitment to ensuring that the common Nigerians have access to affordable housing

He said that the project was among many others spread across the country by the federal government,.

Gonto said that the houses were designed for low-income earners both in the public and private sector and the self employed, once they meet up with the criteria.

Mr Ibrahim Shuaibu, the Project Manager who took the minister round the site said the 764 housing units is at 75 per cent completion stage.

The Nigeria News Agency reports the housing project is located near the Zuba model market, the Zuba spare parts market and the FCT College of Education.


Edited by Rotimi Ijikanmi

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FG launches ”Not for Sale” campaign to address menace of human smugglers – Buhari




By Ismaila Chafe

Abuja, Aug. 24, 2019 President Muhammadu Buhari says the nation’s anti-trafficking agency has rolled out the “Not for Sale” campaign to protect against the deceptions of human smugglers across the country.

The president stated this in an opinion article he published in the Washington Post newspaper to mark the UN declared International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the United Nations has declared Aug. 23 as International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition.

President Buhari maintained that the ”Not for Sale” was also aimed at helping those who ”might be vulnerable to false promises see through the ruse and say no.”

The Nigerian leader, who described modern slavery not simply a campaign of hatred, but a means of making cheap money, advocated for the review of anti-slavery laws to make economically unprofitable.

He said: ”One distinction from then and now is important: the costs. From records, adjusted for today’s prices, the cost of a human-being-as-property was valued on average at $40,000.

”Today, it is just $90, sometimes even lower. We must remember that slavery is not simply a campaign of hatred; it is the pursuit of profit.

”One way to extinguish it in its current forms, therefore, is to make it economically unfeasible.

”This means making sure that any anti-slavery laws have bite, come with strong penalties and are enforced.”

According to him, it is also vital to have a robust tip-off and reporting system.

”Where this once meant detecting ships, today the signs are less conspicuous. The public must be shown how to see what is hidden in plain sight, particularly signs of suspicious behaviour.

”This might seem broad. But vagueness should not give rise to reluctance to report anything that could be smuggling or forced servitude.

”If something doesn’t look right, report it, for you could be securing another human’s freedom,” he added.

The president noted that the appearance of modern slavery might have changed, but the institution had not.

He explained that, in Africa, its modern forms include debt bondage, the enslavement of war captives, commercial sexual exploitation and forced domestic servitude.

”Holding people held against their will, controlling their movements and forcing them to work for the sole profit of others — wherever they are — is slavery today and always.

”Slavery, once again, has become entwined in the global economy — and it is largely unseen. For instance, most of us might know in principle that the mining of cobalt crucial to our smartphones might have used forced labour,” he said.

President Buhari said though there are no radical solutions to modern slavery, however, stressed the need for political will on the parts of world leaders to address the menace.

”But on this, we can learn from the past, the shadows in which modern slavery proliferates today.

”It is not enough to mark this 400th anniversary. We must use it as a platform to eliminate slavery in all its present-day forms.

”We should reflect in memory to find a better future, one that should ensure freedom for all.”


Edited by Sadiya Hamza

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Buhari congratulates Jibril Aminu at 80




By Ismaila Chafe

Abuja, Aug. 24, 2019 President Muhammadu Buhari has joined the academia, other statesmen and political leaders in celebrating Prof. Jibril Aminu, who turns 80 on Aug. 25, 2019.

President Buhari, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, in Abuja on Saturday, lauded Aminu’s pedigree of excellence, stewardship and dedication to the growth of the nation and humanity.

The President felicitated with the medical doctor, consultant and scholar for scoring many firsts in his chosen career, and promoting a culture of multi-disciplinary impact through commitment and focus.

He also commended him for serving the nation variously as a minister, diplomat, administrator and senator.

President Buhari affirmed that ”Aminu’s exceptionality stems from his forthrightness, strong sense of fairness, love for learning and unwavering support for issues that affect the livelihood of the ordinary people.”

While highlighting the Professor’s many counsels to leaders and interventions as a lawmaker from 2003 to 2011, the president applauded his versatility and contributions to national development.

He acknowledged that Aminu had served the country as a Minister of Education and Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, believing that the scholar played a significant role in representing and projecting Nigeria at the global stage, which generations would remember.

President Buhari rejoiced with family members, friends, academic and political associates of the physician, praying that the almighty God would grant him longer life and good health.


(Edited by Emmanuel Yashim)

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