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Bagauda Kalto’s murder; stakeholders advocate special emolument for media

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Donatus Okpe

Donatus Okpe

Bagauda Kalto’s murder; stakeholders advocate special emolument for media

The Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) Kogi State chapter is worried about the plight of media practitioners who actually fought doggedly for the enthronement of democracy but have now become victims of the same system.‎
Many journalists have paid the ultimate price carrying out their mandate in recent times yet the authorities seemed not to be concerned about the welfare of the families they left behind as they wallow in poverty, rejection and deprivation.
Speaking during a 2-day Symposium organized by the union in collaboration with the office of the special adviser to Governor Yahaya Bello on media and strategy on good Governance the erstwhile General manager of the Graphic newspaper Donatus Okpe recalled the gruesome murder of Mr. Baganda Kalto of the News magazine in the 80s.
According to him, “We were together in Durba Hotel when security agents confronted him and they took him away. Later when there was a bomb blast the security said the person who died in that bomb blast was Baugauda Kalto and we refuted it that he could not have been the person because we went to the scene of the incidence and the person we saw was not Bagauda.”
He insisted that all the clothes worn by him in his life time he knew them because they were close to each other.
“All I am saying is we have to rise to the challenge of addressing the problem of poverty in journalism. Because our families are always at the recieving end when there is a turbulent time. We were known to be the fighters for the actualisation of democracy.”
He said Kalto was taken from his room in Durbar Hotel Kaduna and murdered during the Abacha dictatorship and so far, there were no clues yet as to who killed the reporter three decades after.

In his words, “I was a member of the team that visited late Bagauda Kalto’s family in Biliri in Gombe State and I found them in a miserable poverty and I was wandering, I say oh with this kind of background it should have cautioned Bagauda to have exercise restrain but I realised that it was a ptofessional calling for him.
“I also realised that he was a pro-democracy activist and that whatever he did was like a sacrifice for the restoration of democracy. I dont believe that democracy has rewarded some people who fought for democracy.”
He reiteratef the fact that it is those who did not fight for democracy that are the biggest beneficiary.
“Apart from Asiwaju Bola Tinubu who named a press center after Bagauda Kalto I don’t know of any other person that has done something for that family even when the issue was discussed exuastively at the Oputa’s panel and there were indications that injustice was done to Bagauda nobody and I dont know what the beneficiaries of democracy did for that family.
“I expected the Governor of Gombe then Abubakar Habu Hashidu to have done something even when we presented the issue officially to him between 1999 and year 2000. Nothing tangeable was done for that family and it is not yet late.”
Okoe indicated that Bagauda died and left two daughters behind.
Worst of it all he said the family has been neglected to the extent nobody knows their whereabouts at the moment.

The catalogue of Journalists who died in active duty is frightening; Bayo Ohu of The Guardian newspapers, Abayomi Ogundeji of ThisDay newspapers and others in recent times.

Okpe was reacting to a paper on Good Governance: constitution, Media and freedom of information presented by Barrister Usman Sule at the symposium where he canvassed for a special salary structure for the media considering the risky nature of their mandate.

The former ‎General manager admonished the practitioners to be conscious of their dignity by ensuring they work within the ethics as politicians would always come around seeming to be allies but only to use them and dump them.

The paper presenter Barrister Usman Sule indicated that from history no institution had sacrificed more in the fight for good governance in Nigeria than the Nigeria media‎.
‘Invariably they have been the most persecuted and vilified by the authorities in power.’
He said media of any nation is regarded as the fourth estate of the realm hence it’s mandate of serving as the watchdog of Government activities.
“The press is also expected to enlighten the citizenry of those occurrences, proffering solutions to socio-cultural and economic challenges. In so doing the press is shaping the mindset of the populace and in effect the policies of Government.”
The special adviser to the Governor on media and strategy Abdulkareem Abdulmalik asked the media to continue to do the work with diligence as good will is better that the brown envelops.
He said the media fight for every other profession but cannot fight for itself saying that practitioners in Kogi have demonstrated that the job can still be done with dignity as they have carried out their mandates without asking for anything.
He said it was that spirit that motivated him to convince his principal to make the symposium a success.

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FG declares its readiness to deploy 5G network after precautionary measures

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FG declares its readiness to deploy 5G network after precautionary measures

By Aminci Audu

The minister of communications and Digital Economy Isah Ali Pantami has declared that Nigeria is ready for 5th Generation Network (5G) as long as the major challenges are taken care of.

Pantami spoke yesterday, at a one day investigative hearing on the present status of 5G network organised by the joint Senate committee on communication, sScience and Technology, ICT and Cybercrime and Primary Healthcare and Communicable Diseases.

The minister in his presentation allayed the fear among Nigerians over the planned deployment of the network saying the Federal Government has taken all necessary precautions by investigating through research and trial on all issues raised.

He said “The position is that we are almost at the final stage. So now, Nigeria is ready for 5G as long as we address the major challenges.”

“We have not gotten there, wether we will deploy 5G but we are on track conducting research, investigations, engaging stakeholders and definitely if all issues are addressed, the executive will support the deployment of 5G in Nigeria.”

He noted that so far no negative impacts has been established from the research and trial carried both locally and at the international level. 

On the speculation that the 5G network escalated the COVID-19 he said there is no link between 5G and COVID-19.
“And there is no relationship between 5G and any desease. The only issue being raised usually is about radiation.  But people don’t realise that the radiation of 4G is more harmful than that of 5G. 
“The radiation of microwave oven at home is more harmful than that of the 5G. The radiation of even the smart phone itself is even more harmful that that of 5G

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SELF backs Sylva over choice of Saipem on Bonny NLNG Train 7 contract

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SELF backs Sylva over choice of Saipem on Bonny NLNG Train 7 contract

The South-south Emerging Leaders Forum (SELF) has faulted allegations of wrong doing leveled against the Minister of State for Petroleum Chief Timipre Sylva over the choice of Saipem, an Italian firm to handle the Bonny NLNG Train 7 contract.

SELF in a statement argued that the deal also endorsed by the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Local Content Board Engr. Simbi Wabote was in the best interest of the country.

SELF position was in response to an online publication which accused the duo of bribe taking running into millions of naira in the deal.

SELF warned the publisher of the medium , Mr Jackson Ude, to desist from blackmailing leaders of the South-south extraction in a bid to score political goals.

Urging the Publisher of the online medium to show proof his allegation, SELF noted: “We strongly condemn the allegation leveled by Pointblanknews.com and its sponsors, this is highly condemnable and viewed as a sponsored plot to instigate hate against the Minister and derail his concentrations.

“This is ridiculous and belittling of Jackson Ude, the face behind this blackmail for being petty to the ground level for publishing tissues of lies about the persons of Timipre Sylva and Simbi Wabote.

“Nigerians should not believe this and throw it into the dust bin. It’s incumbent on all well-meaning Nigerians to support the positive drive of Minister and collaborate with him, towards the actualization of the onerous task at stake.

“Although Jackson Ude and his medium Pointblanknews.com are criminally known for thriving in the business of blackmail, especially against the officeholders from the Niger Delta region. But this forum will henceforth resist this criminality by deploying all known instrumental of law to fight the faces behind these tissues of lies.

“This Forum is using this medium to warn the likes of Jackson Ude to stay away from Nigeria and the South-south most especially if they are not ready to turn a new leaf because the business of blackmail has long become outdated and unpopular.”

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Great relief as Kidnapped Punch reporter, Nnodim regains freedom

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Great relief as Kidnapped Punch reporter, Nnodim regains freedom


It was a great relief for journalists, family members, friends and well wishers when the news filtered in that the Punch Newspapers reporter, Victor Okechukwu Nnodim who was kidnapped from his residence in Kubwa, Bwari Area Council on Thursday has regained freedom.

He was released almost 48hours hours after his abduction alongside two other neighbours who were also abducted.
It was gathered early hours of Sunday that he has been released and in high spirits.

The media world was jolted by the news of his abduction, as many turned prayer warriors supplicating for his freedom without any harm

His abductors, NationaUpdate learnt later communicated with his elder sister who resides in Lagos demanding for N10 million.

At the time of this report it could not be ascertained if ransom was paid before he regained freedom, but colleagues made efforts to contributed money towards his release, when it became obvious that the kidnappers were bent on collecting ransom.

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