Buhari Assures Of Media Freedom If Elected

buhariFormer Military Head of State and Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), General Muhammadu Buhari, has assured the Nigerian Media that the industry and its practitioners will not suffer any harassment under his government, should he emerge winner of the March 28 presidential election.

General Buhari, who gave the assurance in Abuja, at a special interactive session with the Nigerian Press Organisation (NPO), however, refused to apologise to the media for the harassment suffered during his term as the military Head of State between 1983 and 1984.

He added that dictatorship goes with military rule, so he cannot change his past but can change the present and the future.

Buhari, who said he is subjecting himself to the rigours of democratic elections for the fourth time, added that if elected, he would continue to promote the consolidation of democracy in Nigeria, by guaranteeing that the media’s freedom is not compromised in any way.

General Buhari further applauded the media for sustaining the nation’s democracy, saying that the constant reminder of those in position of authority of the alleged ills in the society has really helped in bringing some level of sanity.

Africa’s Media Future Depends On Leadership – John Momoh

John_MomohThe future of Africa’s media lies in visionary leadership and collaboration through financing, the Chairman/CEO of Channels Television, Mr John Momoh, said on Wednesday.

Mr John Momoh made the remark at the on-going Association of International Broadcasters Conference in London.

The Chairman of Channels Television in his keynote address on Africa’s media reflected on the industry’s path in the continent and also made recommendations on how the much anticipated digital switch could be maximised.

In his speech, he gave key international media players and potential investors an insight into the opportunities that abound on the continent, particularly in the digital market space.

According to him, the potential cannot be realised without strong leadership.

He listed other areas needing inputs in the media industry as effective communication strategies, sufficient financing and strong technology.

Mr Momoh, who is also the co-organizer of the conference, said the internet and alternative platforms had greatly transformed international media, compelling traditional broadcast forms to rethink its place in the digital era.

Africa has been counting down to making the switch from analogue to digital broadcast, but it takes money and technological efficiency to achieve the needed digitisation, he added.




Ebola Disease: Spread Rumour Causes Tension In Kaduna

Ebola DiseaseThere was tension in Kaduna State in the early hours of Friday about an outbreak of the Ebola disease at Saint Gerald’s Catholic Hospital, located in the state capital.

Following the rumour of the Ebola spread, which also mentioned another hospital located in Kaduna South Local Government Area within the city centre, sources at the hospitals told our correspondent in confidence that many patients, who were on admission, have fled the hospitals for fear of contracting the deadly disease which presently has no cure.

However, the Public Relations Officer of Saint Gerald’s Hospital, Mr John Ali, said that there was no case of the Ebola disease and wondered how people came up with the rumour that the Ebola spread had reached Kaduna.

On his part, the State Commissioner for Health, Dr Thot Dogo, told Channels Television correspondent on telephone that people should discard the rumour as there was no case of the disease in the state.

He described the rumour as unsubstantiated and was only created by some people to cause panic among residents.

In spite of the State Government and the hospital authorities’ statements debunking the rumour, residents have taken to social media to inform their loved ones about the outbreak of the disease and what they should do to stay alive.

Some have recommended measures such as mixing salt in hot water to wash their faces; a claim that has not been backed by health authorities.

The Kaduna State Governor, Mukhtar Yero, had on Thursday warned residents of the state to be cautious of the Ebola virus to avoid the spread of the dreaded Ebola disease across the state.

The Governor, during the launching of tricycle ambulances, cautioned the people of the state to adhere strictly to medical tips aimed at preventing the spread of the disease across the 23 Local Government Areas of the state, stating that the warning became imperative in view of the dangerous nature of the disease, which took the entire nation by surprise.

We Are Disappointed In Fashola – Nat. Good Governance Tour

The Secretariat of the National Good Governance Tour (NGGT) has said that it views with concern and deep regret the statement credited to Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola, who has described the on-going tour as ill-conceived.

In a statement signed by the coordinator, Samuel Ajayi, NGGT said “it must be shocking to all who are familiar with how the tour was conceived, and is being implemented, that it has taken Governor Fashola nearly six months to dissociate the Lagos State Government from the Tour.”

Governor Fashola had claimed that the National Good Governance Tour was designed “in an attempt to appear busy” and that they (Federal Government) “have no project to inspect.

The group also noted that Lagos State was duly represented by the Deputy Governor, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, on the committee set up by the Nigeria’s Governors’ Forum, to ratify the template for the tour whose final framework was approved by all state Governors without exception.

It however reiterated that the tour is a non-partisan undertaking involving the leaderships of the Nigerian Union Journalists (NUJ) and Radio Television and Theatre Workers Union (RATTAWU); leaders of women and youth organisations; non-governmental organisations; representative(s) of the Nigeria Governors Forum Secretariat; and reporters from the nation’s print and electronic media.

The statement also noted that the federal government is not a rival of states neither is it in competition with states. Its role it insists is to formulate policies in partnership with states and help partner with states to provide infrastructure for the development of the country.

According to the NGGT, “We would like to restate that the Tour is not being forced on any state. But where any state chooses not to participate, it can opt out of the tour without blackmailing the Tour Team and in the event of any state opting out, the Tour Team will proceed regardless to inspect Federal projects, which are spread across the country”.

The tour team has so far visited 15 states in the North-central, South-East and the South-South Geo-political Zones and the FCT since September 2012.

NBC Closes Down Wazobia FM Kano

Broadcasting license of the Wazobia FM in Kano State North West Nigeria has been revoked with immediate effect.

According a source working with the station in Kano, at about 4:45PM on Friday they received a circular from the Nigerian broadcasting commission banning all broadcasting operation of the station in Kano.

“Although NBC has not given us any reason for revoking our license but am sure this may not be unconnected with the recent controversy regarding our Hausa programme Sandar Girma which was said to have incited the killing of nine female health workers in the state.”

All effort to get in touch with the representatives of NBC in Kano was not successful, however all broadcasting operations in Wazobia FM has been interrupted.

The newly established station came with a critical analysis of political activities in the politically sensitive Kano state which many politicians especially the ruling class frown at.

Capital Oil Advises Access Bank To Cease Media War

Capital Oil & Gas Industries Limited has described recent media statement credited to Access Bank PLC, over disputed loan facilities, as a breach of the terms of settlement signed by the two parties on February 9, 2013.

Capital Oil in a statement issued on Friday expressed displeasure that Access Bank is still conveying erroneous impression to the public by stating that its legal disputes with the bank and Coscharis Motors Limited are on-going.

It will be recalled that a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on February 18, 2013, voided and set aside an interim report by the police dated November 2, 2012 and the Presidential Committee report which purportedly indicted Capital Oil & Gas Industries Limited/Ifeanyi Ubah and Staff of oil subsidy fraud.

The court also awarded N10million damages in favour of Capital Oil & Gas Industries Limited and Ifeanyi Uba.

In a statement released on Tuesday by the Access Bank’s Secretary/Legal Compliance, Sunday Ekwochi, the bank had claimed that its on-going effort to recover debts allegedly owed it by businessman, Ifeanyi Ubah and his company, Capital Oil and Gas Limited would not be hampered by the judgment.

Wondering what the bank is trying to achieve by provoking an unnecessary media war, Capital Oil expressed the hope that the action is not an indication that Access Bank intends to back out of the terms of the settlement agreement.

The oil company also stated that the Special Fraud Unit of the Nigeria Police Force has cleared its chairman, Ifeanyi Ubah and the company of the indictment by the Presidential Committee on the Verification and Reconciliation of Fuel Subsidy Payments (PC) chaired by Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, the Managing Director of Access Bank.

According to the statement, the clearance by the Police was contained in a letter dated February 12, 2013 written to the Minister of Finance, the Inspector General of Police, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Debt Management Office and PPPRA.

Software guru; McAfee fakes heart attack, likely to face deportation

Software guru John McAfee, fighting deportation to Belize, was rushed to a hospital in Guatemala on Thursday shortly after his asylum request was rejected, but a suspected heart attack turned out to be stress in a fresh twist to the saga.

The 67-year-old US computer software pioneer was taken swiftly from a hospital in a police car out of the sight of media, after earlier arriving in an ambulance lying on a stretcher.

His lawyer said he was being taken back to an immigration department cottage where he has been detained since crossing illegally into Guatemala from neighbouring Belize, where police want to question him in connection with his neighbour’s murder.

“He never had a heart attack, nothing like that,” said Telesforo Guerra, a former attorney general who had earlier said McAfee had two mild heart attacks.

“I’m not a doctor. I’m just telling you what the doctors told me,” he added. “He was suffering from stress, hypertension and tachycardia (an abnormally fast heartbeat).”

McAfee was posting on his blog www.whoismcafee.com in the morning, the time he suffered the stress attack.

“I don’t think a heart attack prevents one from using one’s blog,” Guerra had said at the time.

Guerra’s assistant, Karla Paz, earlier said she found McAfee lying on the ground and unable to move his body or speak.

McAfee was detained by Guatemalan police on Wednesday for illegally sneaking across the border with his 20-year-old girlfriend to escape authorities in Belize. He has said he fears authorities in Belize will kill him if he returns.

Jonathan angered by media reports – Former NUJ President

A former president of the Nigerian Union of Journalist (NUJ), Sani Zorro said the remarks made by President Goodluck Jonathan that the media is politicised is ‘a demonstration of his annoyance’ over some press releases about his administration.

Mr. Zorro who was a guest Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Thursday said there is nothing sacrosanct about the media so criticism from top government officials including the president is very welcome.

University don debunks Jonathan’s claim that Nigeria media is politicised

Against the background of President Goodluck Jonathan’s assertion that the media in Nigeria is politicised, Olubunmi Ajibade, a senior lecturer of the department of mass communication of the University of Lagos said it is the politicians who are trying to buy journalists for their selfish interest.

In a telephone interview with the anchors of Channels Television’s programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Ajibade said journalists are professionals and follow professional ethics.

President Jonathan had said that the media is no longer the voice of ordinary people, but “the voices of their ‘rich owners’.”

The Senior lecturer debunked the president’s claim saying journalists in Nigeria will report what they consider important to their audience – the public.

Jakarta, most active Twitter City-Study

The most active tweeting city in the world has been known and this is according to a study conducted by France-based social media monitor Semiocast.

According to Semiocast, Indonesia had the two most active cities one making number one on the list which is Jakarta while Bandung a second Indonesian city came 6th on the same list. The study was made public on Monday on the website of the social media monitor, semiocast.com

On the survey details, for the month of June about 10.6 billion tweets were posted and more than 2% of those came in from Jakarta.

Jakarta was followed closely by Tokyo while London, Manchester, New York, Bandung, Paris, Los Angeles, Chicago and Riyadh followed each other on the table.

It means with this ranking the mentioned cities according to standings show that users from these locations boost the activity of the social media network in their respective cities.

English remains the most used language on Twitter, followed by Japanese, Semiocast said, pointing out that the US is the most active Twitter country, with US-based users posting 25.8 per cent of all public tweets, followed by Japan-based users who posted 10.6 per cent.

Although, Jakarta came in fifth in terms of accounts creation on the social media network after the United States of America, Brazil, Japan and Britain while India, Mexico, Canada, Spain and the Philippines occupied 6th to 10th positions.

Indonesia boasted 29.4 million Twitter user profiles as at the end of June, lower than Britain’s 32.2 million Twitter user profiles, Semiocast said.

Semiocast said up to 517 million Twitter user profiles had been created before July 1, including more than 140 million in the US alone.

Copyright Infringement: Pirate Bay hugs anti-piracy measures

The Recording Industry of America has asked the number one search engine in the world; Google to automatically disown all links with online piracy site; Pirate Bay.

RIAA requested that Google should do away with the site’s links and website search for it is a website that is infringing the copyright rights the world over and it will also reduce the traffic being generated to the website. And in return Pirate Bay tells RIAA ‘Thank You’ that is a welcome idea.

But, on the part of Pirate Bay it was a welcome idea as the site will benefit so much from the move if Google agree to it, according to Pirate Bay currently gets only 10% of its traffic from the search engine, that most users would just go direct instead. It admitted non-competition with Google but says they can’t index media search engines like them as they are the dominant player in the end.

This wouldn’t be the first time that the site benefitted from measures designed to block users from accessing it. After a British court ruled that ISPs including Virgin Media, O2, Sky and TalkTalk must block access to The Pirate Bay, the site saw an increase of over 12 million visitors. This was in part due to the site educating users as to how to circumvent these barriers.

So far, Google has removed 31,922 links to unlicensed content at the request of the RIAA. However, it has not blocked websites and seems reluctant to do so.

Pirate Bay has been the terror stirring policy makers and media companies in the face as they have attempted various measures to take it down but so far has not yielded favourable results on their part.

Chelsea-bound Hazard replies ‘lazy’ accusations

Lille and Belgian winger; Eden Hazard has lashed out at the press for interpreting his recent remarks concerning pre-match training as the 21-year old tagged ‘lazy’.

After he announced on his twitter account to his followers and fan alike that he would be signing with the recent Champion League winners; Chelsea it went viral as he will be joining Chelsea this summer because it was unexpected of Hazard to pick Chelsea from the pack which included the new English Premiership winners; Manchester City and the Red Devils’ Manchester United.

Hazard was touted by pundits to definitely sign either of the two Manchester clubs but following the player’s decision, there has been some negative press coming from critics, who have slammed his somewhat questionable approach to training.

He responded to the press saying his passion for the game of football exceeds his enjoyment for training even though the latter contributed so much to his present status as world class player.

He said that people interpreted as him not wanting to work hard but he only meant that he does both training ad playing but enjoys the playing as he trains seriously to achieve his present status in the world of football.

“I don’t go out on the pitch thinking I’m going to do it because it comes instinctively. My left foot’s not quite as strong as my right,” Hazard began arguing his case.

Hazard claimed that it is his constant training that has helped him in the field of play to be explosive and not being able to shove off the ball when in contention and he owes to weight training.

Hazard will however need to be stronger as he will be launched into the English Premier League as a top flight player playing for a top flight club where pace and strength is necessary to cap overall skill.