Blast Rocks Chinese Port City, Dozens Hurt – Media

A major explosion hit China’s eastern port city of Ningbo on Sunday, sending dozens to hospitals, destroying vehicles, and triggering the collapse of nearby buildings, state media said, citing local authorities.

The morning blast occured in a factory, according to the official Xinhua news agency, but state television said it took place at a demolition site.

Television images showed cars twisted and mangled by the force of the explosion, a plume of grey smoke rising in the sky, and debris scattered for dozens of metres around the site of the incident.

Footage showed rescuers wearing helmets carrying injured people away from the area, while others stood over a person lying on the ground.

According to CCTV, eyewitnesses said there were “a large number of injured people” in the city, one of China’s largest ports, which sits just south of Shanghai.

At least 30 people were taken to the local hospital and rescue efforts were continuing, the report said.

The Communist Party’s People’s Daily said on Twitter that no one lived at site of the explosion but garbage collectors might have been working there.

An enquiry has been launched to determine the cause of the explosion, the local police in Jiangbei district, where the blast happened, said on social media.

Industrial accidents are common in China, where safety standards are often lax.

In 2015, giant blasts killed at least 165 people in the northern port city of Tianjin, causing over $1 billion in damage and sparking widespread anger over a perceived lack of transparency by officials about the accident’s causes and environmental impact.

A government inquiry into the Tianjin accident released in February 2016 recommended 123 people be punished.

The official who was mayor at the time of the accident was sentenced to 12 years in prison for graft in September.

Huang Xingguo, 62, had also headed the disaster response committee.

Trump Attacks Media After Nuke Report

Trump SPENCER PLATT / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

US President Donald Trump tore into the press and questioned whether broadcasters should have their licenses revoked Wednesday, after an unflattering story about his nuclear policy.

“It’s frankly disgusting the way the press is able to write whatever they want to write, and people should want to look into it,” Trump fumed as he met his Canadian counterpart in the Oval Office.

But the president — who has a history of being combative with the media — said he did not want to see formal restrictions.

“No. The press should speak more honestly, I mean, I’ve seen tremendously dishonest press. It’s not even a question of distortion.”

Trump was angered after NBC News reported he had asked to dramatically increase in America’s nuclear stockpile, calling it “made up.”

His secretary of defense backed him publicly.

“Recent reports that the president called for an increase in the US nuclear arsenal are absolutely false,” Pentagon chief Jim Mattis said in a statement.

“This kind of erroneous reporting is irresponsible.”

The US television network reported that Trump told generals and security aides over the summer that he wanted a “nearly tenfold increase” in the US nuclear arsenal.

“With all of the Fake News coming out of NBC and the Networks, at what point is it appropriate to challenge their License? Bad for country!” Trump tweeted.

The US Constitution is understood to guarantee press freedom, but television networks rely on access to broadcast frequencies granted by government agencies.

Citing three officials who were in the room, NBC said Trump’s response came when he was shown a slide showing the steady reduction of nukes since the 1960s.

After the briefing, the secretary of state is alleged to have called Trump a “moron,” although Rex Tillerson’s spokeswoman has denied that allegation.

Trump denied requesting more weapons. “I never discussed increasing it. I want it in perfect shape. That was fake news,” he said.

Such a move would abrogate key international arms control treaties and upend decades of non-proliferation policy, with deep ramifications across the globe.

“Right now, we have so many nuclear weapons I want them in perfect condition, perfect shape. That’s the only thing I have discussed,” Trump said.

As president and candidate, Trump has often mused aloud about America’s nuclear weapons power, saying there is no point in having them if you do not use them.

IPOB Proscription: Shehu Defends FG, Says Group Not Interested In Dialogue

IPOB Proscription: Shehu Defends FG, Says Group Not Interested In Dialogue

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, has supported the proscription of the Indigenous People of Biafra by the Federal Government.

This followed the approval of the application filed by the government at the Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday, seeking to proscribe the group.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, had told State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council meeting that IPOB’s proscription was approved by President Muhammadu Buhari before he travelled for the 72 United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Shehu, who was a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Thursday, said government had closely monitored the activities of the group and its inability to embrace dialogue.

“We looked at this organisation, we analysed it, and it fits the description of a terrorist organisation,” he said. “If it fits the description of a terrorist organisation, then it is a terrorist organisation.”

READ ALSO: Federal High Court Proscribes IPOB

Although the presidential aide admitted that the military by its earlier declaration alerted Nigerians of their own analysis, he, however, revealed the Federal Government was bound to follow up “some processes.”

“That yes, it fits in and as Americans say, ‘If it walks like a duck, it moves like a duck, it looks like a duck, then it is a duck.’

“Therefore, that is it. That is their own description of it. So, the processes we are bound to follow since they are fully aware of the fact that from the point of view of the law, they cannot do what the law does not empower them to do.”

Shehu further explained that IPOB leader, Mr Nnamdi Kanu, had earlier aborted peace moves made by the governors of the five eastern states headed by Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi, as well as senators from the region.

He said, “IPOB itself has clearly indicated that they are not interested in dialogue. You know that in the run-up of these processes, the governors of the states in the region had put up a forum, IPOB said, ‘No, thank you, we are not interested.’

“The Senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria set up a delegation and they said, ‘IPOB we want to speak to you,’ and they said, ‘no, thank you’. Initially yes, it is clear that the leader had himself shut everyone out of the whole process,” he said.

Al-Makura Tasks Media On Professionalism

Al-Makura Commits To Peaceful Coexistence In Nasarawa
Nasarawa State Governor, Tanko Al-Makura

The Nasarawa State Governor, Tanko Al-makura, has asked media outfits in the state to uphold the ethics guiding the profession.

The governor made the appeal when he presented two vehicles to Radio Nigeria, Precious FM, Lafia.

He said the gesture was a way of recognizing the professionalism of the radio station and its respect for the codes and ethics of journalism.

Aside the donation, he averred that he would soon embark on the construction of access road to the radio station in order to ease their hardship.

“As a matter of fact, I am doing this because one, it is a federal outfit and we are all part of the federation and a situation where they are having some challenges, we at the state level should come handy to support them. Two, am giving this vehicle given their timely, professional and efficient discharge of their responsibilities and they have been a station that has stood out amongst all their peers within the zone”

Appreciating the gesture, the General Manager, Musa Abdullahi opined that the action of the governor will renew the vigour of his staff to be focused on programmes that are in tandem with his agenda.

“We thank you for this, I assure you that we will not dissapoint you,” he said.

Aregbesola Stresses Need To Educate Nigerians On Recession

Argebesola Stresses Need To Educate Nigerians On RecessionGovernor of Osun State, Rauf Aregbesola, has tasked radio stations on the urgent need to use their platforms to educate Nigerians on the implications of the economic recession in the country.

Aregbesola specifically said radio broadcasters have great roles to play in doing this as well as promoting the peace of the society by discouraging hate messages and promoting those that enhance communal peace and stability.

The Governor stated this at the official commissioning of Oodua FM, established by a former member of the House of Representatives and an actor, Mr Rotimi Makinde in Ile-Ife over the weekend.

He said the disturbing war carnage scenes beamed into homes daily by foreign channels should be enough lesson for all, that promoting hate messages is inimical to peace.

He then asked journalists to dedicate themselves to peace and do away with divisive issues in discharging their duties.

Aregbesola said radio stations must at this time of hardship do all they can to support the government’s efforts in promoting innovative and technology-based ideas to move the nation forward.

In his words, “my advice for the owner and the entire management of this station is to use the medium wisely to promote peaceful coexistence among the people in Yoruba land and Nigeria as a whole.

“Please do not politicise your activities at this radio station. Let this establishment be for the promotion of the highest values and ethos of Yoruba people.

“Strive to let this station be for the promotion of peace, harmony, love and affection among Nigerians especially Yoruba people.

“Shun any divisive tendency and use this station for educational purpose. Use it to promote our culture and balanced entertainment.

“Also, use this station to promote industry, productivity and efficiency as these, would go a long way in rescuing our society from the current recession we are all in.

The governor furthermore, condemned in its entirety the manner in which some broadcast media houses have been bastardizing the profession on self-serving interests.

He stressed that if not that his government’s programs and policies resonated with the people, one of the osun-based radio stations whose name he chose not to mention, would have thrown the state into confusion through its hate messages.

“The time has come for journalists to be at the forefront of nation building and do away with subjectivity, favoritism and personal emotions,” Aregbesola said.

Defence Chief Advocates Stronger Military And Media Synergy

Defence Chief, Gabriel OlonisakinThe Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, has called for a better synergy between the military and the media in the interest of national security.

General Olonisakin made the appeal on Thursday in Abuja while giving a speech on “constructive reportage as an important ingredient for national security and integration”.

He advocated more cordial relationship between the military and the media, as a panacea to building the bridge between the civilian populace and the military to strengthen national security.

The Defence Chief said that although the military and the media play different roles and may see things differently, all parties must be responsive to the overriding task of nation building and security.

He also touched on the ongoing war against terror in northeast Nigeria, which he said is being won, but requires more commitment from all Nigerians.

The Minister of Defence, Mr Mansur Dan-Ali, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr Danjuma Sheni, also solicited for increased support for the military from the civil populace.

FG Condemns Attack On Journalists, Promises Safety

JournalistsThe Federal Government of Nigeria has condemned attacks on journalists in Africa, emphasising the need for their safety in all nations.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, made the statement on Friday in Abuja at the 2016 Federation of African Journalists Conference.

He said that “President Muhammadu Buhari led administration does not pose any form of threat to the media in Nigeria”.

The Minister assured journalists of the government’s commitment towards ensuring their safety in the course of discharging their duties.

He appealed to media establishments to also ensure the physical safety of their personnel across in Nigeria.

In his remarks, the President of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, Mr Abdulwaheed Odusile, commended the delegates of the Federation of African Journalists for upholding the unity of Africa.

Ondo Celebrates 40 Years Of Existence, 7 Years Of Mimiko

On this edition of #Metrofile on Channels Television, we take a trip to Ondo State to celebrate with the government and people of the state during the dinner to mark the 40th anniversary of its creation and 7yrs of Governor Olusegun Mimiko’s administration.

Amosun Names Adejuwon Soyinka As Media Aide

Amosun-soyinkaThe Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, has approved the appointment of Mr. Adejuwon Soyinka as his Senior Special Assistant (SSA), Media.

Mr. Adejuwon, a multiple award winning journalist, was until his latest appointment, the Deputy General Editor and member of the Editorial Board of the TELL Magazine, Lagos.

The new SSA Media whose experience spans over 16 years in the media industry, holds a Bachelor of Arts (B.A) in History and International Relations and Diploma in Law from the Lagos State University, in 2005 and 2000 respectively.

Mr. Soyinka is said to have bagged also, an Ordinary National Diploma in Journalism and Certificate in Basic News Writing and Reporting from the Nigeria Institute of Journalism in 1999.

He has won several awards including Nigerian Media Merit Awards as Foreign News Reporter in 2013, Human Rights Reporter in 2012, Print Journalist and Human Rights Reporter of the Year 2011.

Other awards in his kitty are the Wole Soyinka Prize for Investigative Reporting (Climate Change Reporting Category) in 2010 and the Diamond Award for Media Excellence (DAME) Capital Market Reporting Award in 2009, among others.

The 38-year-old indigene of Ogun State is a member of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and the Nigeria Guild of Editors (NGE).

El-Rufai Appoints SSG, Others Ahead Of Inauguration

El-rufaiKaduna State Governor-elect, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, ahead of his inauguration on Friday May 29, has on Wednesday announced the appointment of key officials into his cabinet.

In a statement signed by the Governor-elect, Mr Balarabe Abbas Lawal has been appointed the Secretary to the State Government (SSG).

Salisu Suleiman was appointed his Principal Private Secretary, while Mr. Abu Musa Sheyin, will serve as Private Secretary to the Deputy governor-elect, Barnabas Bantex.

El-Rufai also announced the appointment of Bala Yunusa as Deputy Chief Of Staff (Legislative Affairs) and Samuel Aruwan as his Special Assistant, Media.

The statement also says, ‘’all the appointments take effect from Friday, 29 May 2015’’.

The new SSG, Lawal, served as Chief of Staff to El-Rufai when he was minister of the Federal Capital Territory and was also a Director in the Nasir El-Rufai Campaign Organization. He currently chairs the Kaduna State APC Transition Committee.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)  declared the Candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Mr Nasir El-Rufai winner of Kaduna State governorship election.

INEC Distributes Materials To States

Election Update INEC distribute materials The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has started the distribution of sensitive electoral materials to different states in Nigeria ahead of Saturday’s governorship election.

On Thursday, the INEC in Akwa Ibom State, south-south Nigeria, sent materials to electoral officers for the 31 local government areas in the state.

The State Resident Electoral commissioner (REC) in a closed door meeting with an elder  statesman, Mr Don Etiebet, gave the assurances that the commission would provide a level playing field for all parties in the election.

Mr Etiebet is canvassing support for the governorship candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the state.

Meanwhile, the APC in the state had earlier lodged a complaint against the conduct of last month’s Presidential election, saying INEC should ensure that the state REC, Austin Okojie, does not conduct the April 11 governorship and House of Assembly elections in the state.

INEC, in response to allegations against RECs, said that the commission would look at the substance in the petitions before it would take a position.

Amosun Preaches Harmony At Easter

amosunThe Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, joined millions of Christians around the world to observe the Easter season, stressing the need for harmony among Nigerians.

In a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mrs Olufunmilayo Wakama, Governor Amosun stressed the need for harmony in the quest for a new Nigeria, irrespective of ethnic, political and religious affiliations.

He said that “the period is symbolic for us as a nation, having recently elected a new President”.

“As we commemorate the resurrection of Christ, I see a new Nigeria under the leadership of the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari and I urge all well meaning Nigerians to join hands with him to bring about accelerated socio-economic progress,” he said.

The governor urged all Christians and Nigerians to ponder over the supreme sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and take a cue from His selflessness, by eschewing all forms of political, social and religious vices.

Governor Amosun prayed for God’s guidance and blessings for the leadership of Buhari and continuity in Ogun State, as Nigerians go to the polls to choose their representatives in the forthcoming Gubernatorial and State House of Assembly elections.

Amosun also wished everyone a blessed celebration.