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Igala nation rejects alleged inclusion in Map of Biafra

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Igala nation rejects alleged inclusion in Map of Biafra

The Igala nation in Kogi State under the aegis of the Igala sociocultural Group have rejected in totality their alleged inclusion in the map of Republic of Biafra, a country being agitated for by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and others.
The group reiterated its stand that Igala ethnic nationality is not part of the Biafra agitation adding that it holds the unity, oneness and indivisibility of Nigeria sacrosanct.

The spokesperson of the group, Hon. Barry Moses Idakwo argued that the Igala nation in its glorious days ruled over those agitating for Biafra saying it is too big to be annexed by the IPOB.
Hence he said the agitation which is attempting to coerce some parts of Igala nation without its consent is not only provocative but very insulting to the Igala race.

“The agitators for Biafra have marginalisation as the main plan for their grievances. It is therefore unthinkable to annex the Igala kingdom without consulting us. This is against the spirit of fairness, sovereignty, equity, peaceful cohabitation and democracy to falsely claim that Igala kingdom which was never defeated in any war as part of Biafra”, he lamented.

“The Igala nation which found itself in the 1914 amalgamation of the Northern and Southern protectorates of the Niger River Basin was a renowned kingdom in the 15th and 16th centuries.
“Its vast political, economic and social influences cut across most States in the current Federal Republic of Nigeria. In our days of glory, the Igala kingdom ruled most parts of the geopolitical area being described in the agitation for the State of Biafra and beyond.”
The group lamented that it was an attempt to balkanise the ancient Igala nation, stressing that Nigeria is a democratic country where any Nigerian should be allowed to live peacefully and secured as prescribed by laws without any fear of intimidation.

“In the plot to  reduce the geographical size of the kingdom, different attempts were made to balkanize the Igala kingdom and at a point, one division of it , particularly the Idah division, was carved into Onitsha province as a district.
“It may be this illusionary understanding that have led the agitators of the said publication to wrongfully and erroneously imagine that Igala kingdom is a clan.”
According to the group, many kings in the current States of Enugu, Anambra, Delta recognize the place of the traditional leadership of the Igala kingdom in their affairs.
“Describing the Igala Kingdom as a clan is definitely a product of ignorance of history and mischief.”

It used the opportunity to express its disappointment with the federal Government over the minimal presence of federal infrastructure in Kogi East.
The group asked the government to in the spirit of fairness and equity, to immediately swear in Professor Stephen Ikani Ocheni as a substantive Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria having passed through screening at the National Assembly.

“We urge our Igbo brothers to engage the Nigeria nation more purposefully for quality governance rather than agitations for separatist state”, Hon. Idakwo implored.

It stated that Igala believe that every Nigerian citizen has the constitutional right to freely live where ever such an individual or group so chooses within the ambit of the laws of the land in the interest of peace and security.
It called on the federal Government to continue urgently the construction of Bagana-Guto bridge to ease access to the Federal Capital Territory by their brothers  of the South-East and South-South to encourage economic activities, unity and proximity to the centre of governance.
It also advocated for the establishment of a full fledged Naval Base at Idah, and an army barrack in Olamaboro Local Government Area in view of security concerns occasioned by the Biafra agitation..

It also called for issues surrounding the boundary adjustment between Ibaji and Anambra States to be concluded expeditiously to bring about peaceful coexistence in the affected areas.  

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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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