A man who served seven Nigerian leaders and rose to the rank of a Director of Information at the State House has passed on.
Mr Justin Abuah, born on January 29, 1959, died on Sunday, August 14, in Abuja after a brief illness.
Fondly called O.J. by all who knew and came in close contact with him, the late Abuah had a long and rich career at the Presidency, where he served seven past Nigerian leaders since 1986 when he joined the State House media office from the News Agency of Nigeria.
His many colleagues, friends and admirers will fondly remember him as the man behind several presidential statements and speeches and he demonstrated a rare sense of calmness and candour in service.
A native of Asaba in Oshimili South Local Government Area of Delta State, O.J. is survived by his wife, Loretta and three children (Chinedum, Chike and Amaechi).
President Muhammadu Buhari has sent a condolence message to the bereaved family.
A statement by the President’s spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, said burial arrangements would be announced later by the family.
The former Managing Director, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Akin Osuntokun, says that what can make the National Conference successful is the good will of all Nigerians and a decent discussion of the topics in focus.
Giving his opinion on the proposed national conference’s modalities, Mr Osuntokun supported the call for the adoption of fiscal federalism but suggested that the “present revenue allocation formula should be preserved for about 10-20 years before the fiscal federalism is made operational.
He expressed optimism that every zone or unit would have attained a position of sustainability by the end of the period.
Speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, on Tuesday, Mr Osuntokun maintained that “the centre is having too much power”.
He bemoaned the political practice in Nigeria, which is characterised by selfish interest, saying that people take oppositions victory too personal.
“Nigeria is still in a position where politics is on the low. Somebody views your victory as a loss for him,” he said, comparing the nation’s political situation in 1960-1960 till now.
The former NAN boss said that in 1960, Nigeria had a better structure compared to the nature of things in the country now.
President Goodluck Jonathan has approved fresh appointments to fill existing vacancies.
The new appointments are in furtherance of efforts to continually strengthen his administration, as contained in a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati.
General Martin Agwai (rtd.) who was until now the Deputy Chairman and Acting Chairman of SURE-P has been named the Chairman of the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme, SURE-P, with Mrs. Tanwa Olusi as his deputy.
The current Nigerian Ambassador to Switzerland, Mrs. Fidelia Njeze is now Special Adviser to the President on New Partnership for Africa’s Development, NEPAD, while Senator Suleiman Ajadi was named Special Adviser on National Assembly Matters.
The former Special Adviser to President Jonathan on Media and Publicity, Mr. Ima Niboro, has been named as the Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN; with Mr. Sola Omole as the Director-General of the Nigerian Television Authority, NTA and Alhaji Ladan Salihu as the Director-General of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, FRCN.
General Agwai replaced Dr. Christopher Kolade, who resigned voluntarily as the Chairman of SURE-P in 2013. Both Ajadi and Njeze replaced Senator Joy Emordi and Dr. Tunji Olagunju who were both sacked.
“All the appointments are with immediate effect,” the statement read.
A public affairs analyst and former Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Akin Osuntokun, on Tuesday said before the government could consider granting amnesty for the members of Boko Haram, the group must have a structure.
Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr. Osuntokun said the situation was not that of the government versus the Boko Haram sect but a case that should involve all Nigerians.
He said: “I personally would have wished that General Buhari (Muhammadu Buhari) would have lent his status to helping in mediating in some kind of peace but he flatly rejected.”
Asked why he believed General Buhari was in a better stead to mediate with the extremist sect, Mr. Osuntokun said it was because the former head of state possessed credibility and integrity that the sect leadership could trust.
The Nigerian Union of Journalist (NUJ) has asked the national assembly to consider the review of the structure of ownership and control of public media houses in the on-going constitution amendment to give the organisations more editorial independence and make them more accountable to Nigerians.
Speaking at a dialogue of editors on the review of the 1999 Constitution, the president of the NUJ, Mr Muhammed Garba, stated that the review of the acts establishing these media houses have become imperative as there is a need to give them more editorial independence as well as make them more accountable to the Nigerian public and not the government.
The affected media organisations that will be affected with the review will be the Nigeria Television Authority, (NTA), Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) and the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
Others are the Voice of Nigeria (VON) and the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) ACT
According to Mr Garba, parts of the Act that need change is the powers that allow the President to hire and fire in the various public media houses ,this he says will give the organisations more neutrality in the job of discriminating information.
He also demanded a review of the laws on the establishment of media organisation in Nigeria, as he also sought for laws that will make provision for a better welfare for media practitioners.