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#Extortion of FCT motorists: AMAC boss tenders apology to residents

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#Extortion of FCT motorists: AMAC boss tenders apology to residents

Chairman Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) Abdullahi Candido, has tendered unreserved apology to residents of the Council over the highhandedness of its Taskforce charged with the responsibility of enforcing compliance with safe road usage by motorists.
Candido tendered the apology yesterday to residents at a stakeholders Town Hall meeting convened by the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) on Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) Taskforce/Marshall: Security Implications and Challenges. 
The town hall meeting was convened to brainstorm on the concerns by members of the public, particularly motorists, over the high-handedness, extortion and harassment by the taskforce.
AMAC authorities had severally alleged that not all revenue collectors are genuine, however, the NUJ felt there was need to critically examine the character of the Taskforce and sift the wheat from the chaff.
Continuing AMAC chairman pointed out that truely, AMAC task force has over reached its bound with the way it went about its task of ensuring safe road usage by motorists.”Government comes Government goes, what is most important is the policy. Definitely some policies may be harsh not because of the law but because of the actors and implementors.”He said he was a victim of such embarrassment by officials of the task force even as Chairman of the Council, therefore he could connect with the concerns of the residents, stakeholders in the Municipal.He told the gathering that the complaints are not strange to him because he was accosted by the marshal while on the road and embarrassed for no just cause but endured it before revealing his identity to the officials.”I have encountered it myself, I have received series of complaints, I have had reasons to drive to places from where I received complaints to intervene.”The task force has gone to the extreme. The task force did what it was not supposed to do. Sincerely on this note, we are not military dictators, we are civilians , I wish to on behalf of the management of the Abuja Municipal Area Council apologise for the hardhship we have imposed on the people.”Chairman of AMAC said.
He announced that the management of AMAC has disbanded the taskforce and replaced them with the AMAC Marshall who will undergo one month training to provide them with the requisite skills to engage motorists with respect while discharging their duty.According to him: “We are very sorry and sincerely sorry.  Sorry is not enough, we took serious step and measure to ensure the sorry takes effect.”Sometime we see many of these people wearing some form of identity. Some are fake, not all are fake, just like the ENDSARS.”These bad ones we are expunging and disbanding them.”You will never again be confronted with any fake AMAC task force. You will be engaging only with our Marshalls,” Candido stated.

He told Abuja residents to arrest any fake AMAC marshal or task force not on uniform who conducts himself outside civil means to effect compliance to safe road usage.
Chairman of the Council, Comrade Emmanuel Ogbeche had in his remark said the Council as partner in the development of the FCT had to bring to the front burner nagging issues among the residents for an improved FCT.Ogbeche said the move by the Council is in accordance with the agenda setting of the fourth estate of the realm, thus the town hall meeting was meant to bring the political leadership and the citizens together to discuss and find a solution to the challenge for a harmonious AMAC and the federal capital city.He maintained that the town hall meeting was not to witchunt but a meeting for social re-engineering of the measures put in place for compliance by motorists to extant rules governing safe parking, and other guide to safe roads usage by motorists.
Olakunle Awoniyi who narrates his experience on two separate ocassions on the Lugbe Axis, told the Chairman, that he heard a strange sound while driving, and as it is usual gor fear of possible fault on his car, he pulled over to check.He said he was still in his car when men of the AMAC task force pounced on him and arrested him for parking by the road side.

He said they were not ready to listen to him to know the reason he had to stop as it took the intervention of the NUJ before his vehicke was released to him.

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NUJ Oyo, grieves over death of Guardian photojournalist

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The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Oyo State Council, has been been been thrown into morning mood over the untimely death of Najeem Raheem, a photojournalist with the Guardian Newspaper in the state, who died on Monday morning.
A statement jointly signed by the council’s Chairman, Ademola Babalola and Secretary, Sola Oladapo, described Raheem’s death as unfortunate and devastating.

Raheem died after a brief illness.
The deceased it was gathered, recently lost his parents in a single day and was planning for their burial when his death occurred.
The council described late Raheem as a very humble, dutiful, diligent jovial and friendly colleague, who distinguished himself professionally in his chosen career.

It prayed the Almighty Allah to
accept him into Aljanah Firdaous and grant his family fortitude to bear the irreplaceable loss.
Also, the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Oyo State Chapter, has commiserated with the NUJ over Raheem’s death.

The chapter in a statement by its Chairperson, Jadesola Ajibola, also described Raheem’s death as a rude shock.
“It is a painful one. Raheem was an easy going man with a heart of gold. We will forever remember you. May the Almighty God keep his family.’’

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Suspend patronage of Twitter, or face sanctions, NBC threatens TV, Radio stations

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The National Broadcasting Commission has ordered all broadcast stations in the country to suspend the patronage of Twitter with immediate effect.

The NBC’s decision is coming on the heels of the suspension of Twitter operations in Nigeria by the Federal Government over what it perceived to be the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining the corporate existence of Nigeria.

The Commission directed the broadcast stations to “de-install Twitter handles and desist from using Twitter as a source (UGC) of information gathering for News and programmes presentation especially phone-in.”

The acting Director-General of the NBC, Prof. Armstrong Idachaba, issued the directive in a statement on Monday titled: “Suspend Twitter handles.”

He said, “Consequent upon the suspension of Twitter operations in Nigeria by the Federal Government over the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining the corporate existence of Nigeria, the National Broadcasting Commission directs all Broadcasting Stations in Nigeria to suspend the patronage of Twitter immediately.

“In Compliance to the above directive, Broadcasting Stations are hereby advised to de-install Twitter handles and desist from using Twitter as a source (UGC) of information gathering for News and programmes Presentation especially phone-in.

“Section 2(1) r of the NBC Act entrusts the Commission with responsibility to ensure strict adherence to the national laws, rules and regulations. Also, Section 3.11.2 of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code provides that “the broadcaster shall ensure that law enforcement is upheld at all times in a matter depicting that law and order are socially superior to or more desirable than crime and anarchy.

“Attention is also drawn to section 5.6.3 of The Code which requires Broadcasters to be mindful of materials that may cause disaffection, incite to panic or rift in the society in the use of a user generated content (UGC).

“Note that it will be unpatriotic for any broadcaster in Nigeria to continue to patronise the suspended Twitter as a source of its information therefore strict compliance is enjoined.”

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Twitter Suspension is violation of 1999 constitution – Editors

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The Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) has described the Federal Government suspension of Twitter as an infringement on Section 39 of the 1999 Constitution which violates the right of Nigerians to interact freely on this platform.

The NGE therefore urged the federal government to tread with caution and immediately reconsider the suspension of the operation of Twitter in Nigeria and seek other legitimate means of resolving its dispute with the company.

In a statement by Mustapha Isah (President) and Iyobosa Uwugiaren (General Secretary) respectively, the NGE said that the federal government’s action has the unintended consequence of jeopardising the economic interests of many Nigerians who rely on the social media platform for vital information to make informed business decisions daily.
The statement advised the federal government to desist from any action that would project it as a dictator.
‘’In addition, the suspension is a grave breach of Nigeria’s international obligations under article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

‘’The Guild sees the federal government’s action as an overreaction to Twitter’s decision to delete President Muhammadu Buhari’s tweet early this week.

‘’If the federal government finds Twitter’s action against the President objectionable, Nigerians should not be made to suffer the collateral damage of denying them their right to freely discourse on Twitter’’, the Guild added.

The Guild noted that the federal government had in an initial reaction by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, condemned the deletion of President Buhari’s view as an unacceptable tab on the president’s right, saying this ought to have been a sufficient response.

‘’However, the ban at the weekend, of Twitter’s operation in Nigeria, is an overkill that gives wind to the sail of critics who daily accuse the Buhari administration of intolerance of opposing views.

‘’Certainly, the federal government has the responsibility to safeguard the unity, peace and stability of Nigeria and any person or group that threatens this must draw its ire. In expressing its anger, the federal government, however, ought to exercise restraints to avoid giving the impression that it is intolerant of opposing views and expression of opinion by individual and corporate citizens’’, the Guild stated.

Stressing its concern over the growing insecurity in the country, the Guild advised social media leaders, which provide micro-messaging services, to also beam their searchlight on the activities of those who want to use their platforms to cause divisions and spread hatred in the country and the global community as well.

Noting the socio-political and economic benefits of social media platforms, the NGE explained that strong democracies rely on both civic and political participation by citizens, saying that Twitter, has over the years, aided citizens’ participation in the nation’s democratic process.

‘’The Guild is aware of the democratizing influence of social media platforms, including Twitter, in helping to check dictatorship and promote democracy worldwide.

‘’Twitter also builds a market research prospect for businesses to see what customers are chit-chatting about, their feeling and what is important to them about products and services’’, the Guild said,

The Guild therefore called on the federal government to immediately rescind its decision in order not to deny millions of Nigerians who rely on Twitter to provide services and earn a living.

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