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Omo-Agege asks Nigerians to accept police reforms with equanimity

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Omo-Agege asks Nigerians to accept police reforms with equanimity

The deputy president of the senate has admonished Nigerians to see the Federal Government sincerity in President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to a holistic police reform as genuine.
He therefore implored all and sundry to embrace the reforms with calmness in the midst of many challenges.
This was contained in a press Statement he personally issued on Wednesday.
He said, “The Federal Government led by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari and Governments of States impacted by these protests have been engaging constructively with our fellow citizens.
“Lately, many Nigerians, especially our youths, have been protesting unjustifiable brutality and other condemnable human rights violations by the now disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigerian Police Force.

“It is overwhelmingly agreed that our citizens are right to make their voices heard on questions of inhuman and degrading treatments through these peaceful protests.” He said the scene of peaceful Nigerian youths gathering publicly in Abuja today to seek God’s intervention against police brutality in the nation should no doubt touch the conscience of all.

“Ours is a constitutional democracy that guarantees freedom of expression and peaceful assemblies.
“This is the proper approach in a democracy. It is quite reassuring and should always be part of our democratic culture.
He said being an elected representative of a constituency that is impacted by the identified challenges highlighted by the #EndSARS protests, he identifies wholly with citizens who protest peacefully.
According to him, he has spoken in the past and recently against criminal, unethical and violent actions against fellow citizens during errant policing operations.
“It is my hope and prayer that these actions will now stop for good.”

He declared his support all constructive, respectful and responsible engagements to stop human rights violations, as he assure he will always do so.
Oma-Agefe also expressed the believe that comprehensive Police reforms is the only sustainable path for the Police to genuinely earn the trust of Nigerian citizens to execute its constitutional mandate without self-inflicted negative prejudices and suspicions.
“It is commendable that the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) has, as a necessary initial step, responded to overwhelming demands by disbanding the SARS unit of the Police.
“As generally expected, he has also announced measures to reform the Police – #PoliceReforms – with critical and objective inputs from the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and leading human rights activists.
“It is important to encourage this process for the greater good of our nation. I am confident that all Distinguished Senators of the 9th Senate under the leadership of the President of the Senate, His Excellency, Senator Ahmad Lawan, will individually and collectively support and monitor this important process.

“No doubt, the failings of a few have impugned the public image and standing of the Police, and justice must be adequately served in this regard.”
He indicated however that it is generally acknowledged truth that majority of the men/women and officers of the force are patriots.
“For the unsung heroes in the Police who risk so much, including the comfort of their families and even their lives, to protect life and property, they should be rest assured that our citizens sincerely appreciate their sacrifices.
“Be encouraged to serve even better because your fine character, patriotic service and the power of your positive examples are needed to redefine and reposition the Police going forward.”

According to him, democracy demands extraordinary vigilance adding that through peaceful protests, Nigerian citizens have commendably shown their preference for a nation where Police brutality is not an accepted norm.
“This good point having been properly made and courageously accepted by the Government, let us now work together as comrades-in-arms to ensure that we make sustainable gains from the proposed reforms.
“It is time to bring the public protests to an end and shift all positive energies and focus to the important task of collectively reforming our Police.
“That way, we would be able to ensure that the reforms meet public expectations and global best practices.”

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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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