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2019 election: UNDP challenges Nigerian media on Conflict Sensitive Reportage

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2019 election: UNDP challenges Nigerian media on Conflict Sensitive Reportage

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has challenged the media in Nigeria to be conscious of the crucial role they need to play in enabling citizens make informed choices as well as fostering peace to discourage conflict during the forthcoming general election
The UNDP acting Resident Representative, Betty Wabunoha gave the charge at the opening of a three days workshop on Conflict Sensitive Reportage Workshop organised for journalists and media practitioners ahead of the 2019 general elections in Nigeria at Crest Hotel, Rayfield Jos.

Speaking through the program officer for conflict prevention and peace building UNDP, Wabunoha said elections make fundamental contribution to Democratic governance, “However, elections are not in themselves a demonstration on how democratic a country is.
“This is determined by many factors including on one hand how freely citizens citizens can campaign and vote for their candidates and, on another, how the results of the voting truly reflect the Peoples choice.”
She said different stakeholders and institutions play different roles in ensuring that this happens; from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that manages the election to the media that facilitates the flow of information before, during and after the polls.
According to her, “Credible and inclusive elections are based on several basic Democratic principles whixh are also affirmed in the United in the United Nations Universal declaration of human rights and the international covenant on civil and political rights.
According to her, voters and candidates rely heavily on access to the media to both impart and recieve information saying that an open and diverse media that that can provide balanced and impartial coverage and equitable access for competing candidates and parties are desirable.
“In any electoral process, the media, also known as the fourth estate plays a crucial role in enabling citizens make informed choices as well as fostering peace especially in areas of election related disputes.”
She said the gathering of media representatives from Benue, Kogi Kwara, Nassarawa, Niger, Plateau States and the FCT is to equip them with requisite skills to report in a conflict sensitive manner in a multicultural society.
Wabunoha said the media should not only play the role of a watchdog that increases the transparency and accountability of the process but helps to strengthen the Democratic process and contribute to a more credible and inclusive election if responsibly and appropriately used.
“In conflict sensitive election environments, the media holds the key to prevention elections related conflicts from occurring and/or escalating. This is only possible through carefully calculated reporting of events around elections.”
The Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong who was represented by the director general research and documentation Professor John Wade said the importance of conflict sensitive reportage in a period of elections on our value system and attitudnal reawakening is very crucial.
According to him, ” Conflict sensitive reporting constitutes the traditional role of Journalism as far as the agenda setting role of the media is concerned. “Elections are often prone to violence and so in reporting elections, the media and journalists are expected to present their reports in a such a manner as not to fan the embers of conflict.”
He said the media owe the public the respobsibility of self censoring Reportage to avoid vitriolic sentiments.
“This is most critical as during elections, tensions are often high among contending political parties, hence the public can only make well -informed decisions, based on the accuracy and quality of the stories disseminated by the media.”

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Osakwe asks Buhari to embrace Dialogue over South-West Crisis

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Osakwe asks Buhari to embrace Dialogue over South-West Crisis

The Federal Government must embrace dialogue as a means to end ongoing crisis in the South-West Nigeria, former Presidential candidate of the Democratic Peoples Party (DPP), in the 2019 general elections, Ambassador Felix Johnsom Osakwe has said.

While expressing concerns over the state of affairs in a statement made available to newsmen yesterday, he urged President Muhammedu Buhari to seek for amicable ways to resolve the crisis rather than using any aggressive confrontation that could make things worse.

He stressed that since the country has been effected by COVID -19 pandemic, security challenges and economic downturn at this time, there was a need for the federal government and President Muhammadu Buhari to take responsibility to ensuring that the stabiltiy of the country was not compromised.

He noted that as an Ambassador for Peace with the Universal Peace Federation, he was worried about the deteriorating situation and the Federal government’s confrontational stance about the matter especially with regards to the Pro-Yoruba activist and agitator, Sunday Igboho.

” I am strongly of the opinion that what Mr. President needs to do now is to embrace peaceful dialogue and be the father of the entire nation. He should push for peace and call the agitating parties to a parley and get them to resolve the issues. There is already a lot of tension in the air and considering how tenuous 2020 was for us all, it is only appropriate that as we get on about building back better and rebuilding our economy, we don’t tear down what small wins we have recorded by inciting and perpetuating more conflicts, either explicitly or by complicity,” he said.

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AESID hails Ebonyi CP, warns against intimidation of judges by state govt

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AESID hails Ebonyi CP, warns against intimidation of judges by state govt

The Association of Ebonyi State Indigenes in the Diaspora (AESID) has warned the state government to stop intimidating Judges in the cause of their duties, even as it commended the new Commissioner of Police for being professional.

The Ebonyi indigenes said the agents of state government were trying to manipulate the judiciary into causing trouble in the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.

In a statement released by its President, Amb. Paschal Oluchukwu, on Sunday in Abuja, the association said the goal is to continue to cause division in the PDP by having the Nwebonyi group parade as a factional State Exco of the PDP through Suit No: HAB/161/2020 with Roy Umahi as the lead counsel to the Plaintiffs.

“We condemn, whole and entire the desperate attempts to use the Judiciary to achieve the threat of being in APC and sponsoring crises and divisions in the PDP.”

While commending the Ebonyi Judiciary for remaining firm as the last hope of the common man, the statement charges it to remain steadfast and unwavering.

“Already, we have read in the media through the former Assistant Financial Secretary of the Nwebonyi group who recently dumped the camp, Linus Ogazi how Governor Umahi divided the Excos in order to create a parallel faction of the party.

“AESID is also aware of the threats and intimidations that the young man has been receiving since he made the disclosures and wishes to call on Security agencies to call the Governor, his brothers and the Speaker of the State’s House of Assembly who have been dishing out threats to him to order. They should be held responsible for whatever happens to Mr. Ogazi.”

On the activities of the new Commissioner of Police, CP Aliyu Garba, the group thanked the police for their professional role in ensuring that those who staged a protest recently at the state High Court were dispelled peacefully.

“We, however wish to counsel the new CP to remain as professional and apolitical as his erstwhile colleague, CP Philip Maku who has been transferred from the state.

“AESID also calls on security agencies and INEC to obey the order of Justice I. E. Ekwo of the Abuja Federal High Court in Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/1609/2020 restraining David Umahi’s faction of the PDP in Ebonyi State led by the gadfly, Nwebonyi and his cohorts from parading themselves as officers of the Party. They should therefore provide security and accord protection to the Udeogu-led Exco to legitimately takeover the State Secretariat of the Party for the interest of justice, peace and unity of the opposition party.

“AESID lastly commends the Udeogu-led Excos and indeed, the teeming members of PDP for their calmness, steadfastness and resoluteness amidst attacks and wanton provocations by Governor Umahi and his surrogates. For in the end, it shall indeed, be proven to all that Ebonyi is PDP and PDP is Ebonyi State and Umahi is only a solo naked dance in his new political voyage!”

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APC disowns notice on postponement of Membership registration exercise

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APC disowns notice on postponement of  Membership registration exercise

The All progressives Congress (APC) has disclaimed “Notice” in circulation and ascribed to the APC CECPC National Secretary, Sen. John J. Akpan Udoedeghe Ph.D.

The party describes the notice as fake and highly mischievous.

This was contained in a statement that was issued in Abuja, Saturday by its National Secretary
Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) Sen. John J. Akpan Udoedeghe.

The Statement reads, “The APC membership registration, revalidation and update exercise remains on course and commences as scheduled in the attached timetable.

“As earlier announced, the CECPC has approved the constitution of State Membership Registration Committees for the Party’s nationwide membership registration, revalidation and update exercise. This will be followed by a train-the-trainer workshop.”

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