Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Information National Orientation Ethics and Values, Segun Odebunmi, who is also the sponsor of the Nigeria Press Council (NPC) and the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) Amendment Bill, has said that the House has agreed to suspend the bill.
Odebunmi who was a guest on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily on Tuesday explained that the suspension is to allow for proper consultations over the bill.
“We have been on this process for a while and right now, we have suspended it for more consultation to happen on it,” he said.
The lawmaker had earlier faulted claims that the bill was targeted at gagging the media.
He rather maintained that it is aimed at removing identified hindrances to optimum performance.
The suspension comes after the bill was widely criticised by Nigerians, mostly media operators who believe it is aimed at stifling its operations.
Several newspapers in Nigeria on Monday published an advertorial against media regulation bills being considered at the National Assembly.
The advertorial, which appeared on the front pages of dailies such as Punch, Vanguard, The Nation, ThisDay, Guardian, Daily Sun, was sponsored by the Nigeria Union of Journalists, the Nigerian Guild of Editors and the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria.
With a bold headline titled ‘Information Blackout’, the advertorial said the NPC and NBC (Media) Act amendment bills being considered by federal lawmakers was geared against the right of citizens information.
“It’s not just against the media,” the advertorial said. “It is about society’s right to know, your right to be heard.”
While the Federal Government already regulates broadcast media organisations through the NBC, it now seeks to extend regulations to online platforms.
In June, the government suspended the operations of social media giant, Twitter, over what it described as national security concerns.
Subsequently, all social media platforms were asked to register with the NBC, while all broadcast stations were ordered to stop using Twitter.
The National Peace Committee (NPC) is holding a peace accord ceremony ahead of the Ondo State governorship election.
In attendance at the ceremony are Chairman of the Committee, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar; Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Yakubu Mahmoud; Executive Director, YIAGA Africa, Samson Itodo; the APC Governorship Candidate and incumbent governor, Rotimi Akeredolu; PDP Governorship Candidate, Eyitayo Jegede; DIG Of Police, Research and Planning, Oyebade Adeleye.
The election is expected to hold on October 10 and as seen in the case of the Edo election, parties are expected to sign a peace accord to assure the people of a free and fair exercise.
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved N10 billion for the next phase of the Enumeration Area Demarcation exercise in the remaining 546 Local Government Area of the country.
This was disclosed on Monday by acting Chairman of the National Population Commission, Eyitayo Oyetunji during a press conference in Abuja.
“I am however pleased to announce that His Excellency, Mr President has reaffirmed his commitment towards the successful completion of the EAD and indeed towards the conduct of the next census by approving the release of the total sum of N10 billion for the continuation of the EAD in the remaining 546 local governments in the country,” he said.
He said President Buhari approved an additional N4.5 billion in the 2021 budget for the completion of the exercise, as part of the preparations for the next census.
According to Oyetunji, the exercise will outline areas in the local government areas into small geographical units called Enumeration Areas where the NPC will collate an accurate list of infrastructural facilities and households.
“The President has graciously followed this up by a further approval of an additional N4.5 billion to be included in the 2021 budget for the completion of the exercise as part of the preparations for the next census,” added.
The National Peace Committee has congratulated Godwin Obaseki for his re-election as governor of Edo State.
In a statement on Sunday, the NPC Chairman General Abdulsalami Abubakar, (GCFR) also congratulated the people of the Edo, while commending then over the “peaceful conduct” of the election.
He urged the governor to “repay the good people of the state with all the ingredients of good governance, justice (and) equity” as he commences his next tenure.
The NPC chairman also congratulated the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), security agencies and even Obaseki’s closest rival in the election and the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Osagie Ize-Iyamu.
“I want to congratulate the Chairman of INEC, Professor Mahmoud (Yakubu) and his team, the Inspector General of Police, other security agencies, and civil society groups for doing such an excellent job and making great sacrifices. It is our prayer that every election will bring us closer to peace.
“I want to thank the Oba, His Royal Highness, Omonoba who teamed up with our committee to deploy his moral authority in the appeal for peace.
“Finally, our congratulations to the contestants, to Godwin Obaseki, the winner, Pastor (Osagie) Ize-Iyamu and others who sought the office of governor.
“Your Excellency, Governor, it is our prayer that you will repay the good people of Edo state with all the ingredients of good governance, justice (and) equity. Once again, accept our congratulations and may God guide you,” he said.
Two staff of the National Population Commission NPC kidnapped in Dan-Anacha village of Gassol Local Government Area of Taraba have regained their freedom.
The duo identified as Gaddafi Shehu and Isah Zaradeen were kidnapped last Friday 10th January 2020.
Federal Commissioner, National Population Commission, Taraba State, Hon. Sanny Sale made this known at a news conference in Jalingo on Wednesday.
Sanny disclosed that the two staff were abducted at about 3:45pm last Friday while on the Commission’s routine Enumeration Area Demarcation (EAD) exercise in preparation for the national census next year.
The federal commissioner who revealed that the two staff were released on Tuesday after concessions were made described the period of their captivity as barbaric for the staff, family and the commission.
“The moment we were informed of their abduction through a phone call to this office by the kidnappers, we promptly contacted the relevant security agencies who mobilized to ensure their timely and safe release.
“We went into intense negotiation with the kidnappers for the safe release of our colleagues. I personally took charge of the discussions on Monday until they were released,” he said.
Sanny, though could not disclose the amount paid as ransom appreciated all security agencies in the State for their tremendous support in ensuring the release of the two staff of the Commission.
One of the victims, Mister Gadafi Shehu said they were abducted on Friday while carrying out their work in the area.
” Two men riding on a motorcycle accosted us and ordered us at gunpoint to climb the bike and whisked us away to an unknown destination ”
The Police public relations officer in the state David Misal who attended the press conference told journalists that security agencies were working hard to stop the menace of kidnapping and other crimes in the State.
According to him, the police kept track of the location of the calls from the kidnappers and sometimes the location will show Benue and sometimes Nasarawa State, just to divert the attention of security personnel in intelligence gathering.
Misal calls on motorists in the state to avoid night journeys as criminals terrorizing the State were operating mainly at night.
He adds that massive deployment of security operatives around the Dan-Anacha axis is yielding positive results and it will be sustained.
The National Peace Committee (NPC) has called on Nigerians to put the disappointment of the postponement of the general elections behind them and respond to the call to patriotism when the elections eventually hold.
It made a call in a statement jointly signed by its Chairman, former Head of State General Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd), and Convener, Bishop Mathew Kukah.
“We understand your right to feel disappointed by INEC. However, we appeal to you all to see this as a watershed in the life of our fledgling Democracy. The only way we can ensure a steady Democracy is for us to learn the lessons from these sad developments,” the statement read in part.
“Therefore, we appeal to you not to count the cost of the setback, but respond to the call to patriotism. Do not relent, go out and fulfil your duty to your family and country on Election Day. We will soon turn the corner in hope. Rather than despair, rise up to defend our Democracy.”
The postponement of the election by a week had attracted widespread criticism. But with so much blames already traded, the NPC believes the nation must show faith.
It said, “There is enough blame to pass around. The real challenge now is for us as a nation, to reach out to the deepest instincts of faith in God and our country. We must put everything aside and see this as a battle that all of us must win. The challenge is not who to sacrifice, but what sacrifice to make.”
Also, the committee called on politicians to look beyond the struggle for power, show character and grace and work with the Independent National Electoral Commission “to inspire our people to new heights”.
“The challenge before you goes beyond the narrowness of political opportunities. This is not time to trade blames or to incite your supporters. Be temperate in your language so that we do not inadvertently set up our people for violence,” the NPC said.
As for INEC, the National Peace Committee challenged it to work toward reclaiming its integrity.
To do that, the committee urged the electoral body to “patiently continue to focus on attaining internal cohesion and coordination”.
“Do not give room to external enemies to infiltrate and destroy the confidence and trust that your organisation has earned,” it added.
Read the full statement below:
NIGERIANS: RISE UP AND OBEY THE NATION’S CALL STATEMENT BY THE NATIONAL PEACE COMMITTEE
1: We have a common saying in Nigeria: God’s time is the best. However, in real life, certain experiences often tempt us to pause and ask whether this statement need to be edited. This is one of such moments.
However, we must remain hopeful because God is perfect and all knowing. We are humans, He is the God of history and all power belongs to Him alone. He will give to whom He wishes, how and when He wishes. We are merely instruments of His plans. It is against this background that we wish to appeal to our fellow citizens.
2: We recall that two days to the elections, specifically on February 13th, 2019, the President, Alhaji Muhammadu Buhari, other Presidential candidates of the different parties gathered at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, to sign a second Peace Accord. Distinguished members of the international community such as the Commonwealth Secretary General, Rt. Honourable Patricia Scotland, QC, four former African Heads of State (Festus Mogae (Malawi), Ellen Sirleaf Johnson, Professor Amos Sawyer, (Liberia), Jakaya Kikwete (Tanzania) some of our own distinguished citizens, such as General Yakubu Gowon, our former Head of State, distinguished Religious and Traditional rulers, members of the general public from all walks of life witnessed the event with joy and hope.
3: On Friday 15th, February, we all went to bed joyfully and anxiously looking forward to casting our votes for the next President of our country. However, nothing could have prepared anyone for the shock announcement by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, barely six hours to the elections in the morning of February 16th. Although, the Chairman of INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu has already addressed the nation and the leaders of all the Political Parties, very little has happened to assuage the deep feeling of embarrassment, pain, and disappointment across the land. The impact of this decision has permeated every stratum of our lives and has the potential to dampen the confidence of our people in the political process. It has further deepened anxieties within the international community about our country.
4: There is enough blame to pass around. The real challenge now is for us as a nation, to reach out to the deepest instincts of faith in God and our country. We must put everything aside and see this as a battle that all of us must win. The challenge is not who to sacrifice, but what sacrifice to make. We therefore make the following appeal to our people:
5: To all Nigerians:
We understand your right to feel disappointed by INEC. However, we appeal to you all to see this as a watershed in the life of our fledging Democracy. The only way we can ensure a steady Democracy is for us to learn the lessons from these sad developments. Therefore, we appeal to you not to count the cost of the set back, but respond to the call to patriotism. Do not relent, go out and fulfill your duty to your family and country on Election Day. We will soon turn the corner in hope. Rather than despair, rise up to defend our Democracy.
6: To the Political Class:
What we have before us is well beyond the struggle for power. Our predicament calls for character and grace. The Politicians must own this process by showing their readiness to collaborate with INEC and to inspire our people to new heights. The challenge before you goes beyond the narrowness of political opportunities. This is not time to trade blames or to incite your supporters. Be temperate in your language so that we do not inadvertently set up our people for violence. Sadly, for us, politics of the last few years have further polarized our people along dangerous religious, regional, ethnic and party lines. We must aim at trying to avert this precipice and try to heal our nation.
7: To the Independent National Electoral Commission:
After trying to explain your situation, it is now important to focus on how best to reclaim your credibility and integrity. Patiently continue to focus on attaining internal cohesion and coordination. Do not give room to external enemies to infiltrate and destroy the confidence and trust that your organisation has earned. Avoid panic measures, continue to communicate effectively with Nigerians and build up your confidence. Listen to the politicians but do not be distracted. Perhaps, just perhaps, your being accused by both sides might be your vindication. You might still be vindicated in the end. Focus on the big picture.
8: To our international Visitors and Observers:
We appreciate the sacrifices that you have made to come to Nigeria to monitor our elections. We see your engagement with us not as an act of interference but as the extension of the hand of friendship and encouragement. With your co-operation and encouragement, we will deepen our political culture and turn Democracy into a tool for development and progress for our people. We know it is a long road and we are prepared to walk it to the end. We understand the emotional and financial strain that this has placed on you. We appeal to the relevant Agencies in our government to kindly facilitate the visa processes of our guests at no cost and with the least inconveniences.
9: A Prayer for Nigeria:
We thank God for the gift of this great country. We know that our selfishness and greed have delayed our march to greatness. We commit our country to you at this very delicate and difficult time. Take control of all the relevant agencies in this election and let your will be done. We know that you are a perfect God and that in the end, may your will be done. We commit the future into your hands. Save us from further violence and bloodshed. Forgive our many sins. We believe that your time is the best for us.
General Abdusalami A. Abubakar, GCFR, Chairman, NPC
Bishop Matthew Hassan KUKAH Convener, NPC
Contact Fr. Atta Barkindo Head of Secretariat National Peace Committee, NPC 09031149816 [email protected]
President Muhammadu Buhari has inaugurated the chairman and members of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) and also members of the National Population Commission (NPC).
The President on Wednesday appointed Muhammed Isah, as the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Bureau, (CCB).
Mr Isah hails from Jigawa State representing the North West zone.
The CCB consists of six members who are Murtala Aliyu Kankia from Katsina (North West), Emmanuel Enu Attah from Cross River (South-South), Ubolo Okpanachi from Kogi (North Central), Ken Madaki Alkali from Nasarawa (North Central), Prof. S.F. Ogundare from Oyo (South West) and Saad Abubakar from Gombe (North East), respectively.
While the NPC has 23 members with an existing chairman.
The NPC members are Nwanne Johnny Nwabuisi (Abia), Dr Clifford Zirra (Adamawa), Mr Chidi Christopher Ezeoke(Anambra), Barrister Isa Audu Buratai (Borno), Navy Captain Charles Iyam Ogwa (rtd) (Cross River), Sir Richard Odibo(Delta), Okereke Darlington Onuabuchi (Ebonyi) and Mr A.D. Olusegun Aiyajina (Edo).
Others are Ejike Ezeh (Enugu), Hon. Abubakar Mohammed Danburam (Gombe), Prof. Uba S.F. Nnabue (Imo), Dr. Abdulmalik Mohammed Durunguwa (Kaduna), Sulaiman Ismaila Lawal (Kano), Prof. Jimoh Habibat Isah (Kogi), Dr. Sa’adu Ayinla Alanamu (Kwara), Nasir Isa kwarra (Nasarawa).
Also on the list are Barrister Aliyu Datti (Niger), Yeye (Mrs) Seyi Adererinokun Olusanya (Ogun), Prince Oladiran Garvey Iyantan (Ondo), Senator Mudashiru Oyetunde Hussain (Osun), Mrs Cecilia Arsun Dapoet ()Plateau, Dr. Ipalibo Macdonald Harry (Rivers), Sale S. Saany (Taraba)
The inauguration was held before the commencement of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting.
A man, Sanusi Rahamon, has been arrested in Osun State by the police for allegedly impersonating the Nigeria Peace Corps (NPC) and swindling unemployed youths.
He promises to give them jobs when Peace Corps becomes a statutory security agency and make them part with their money.
The spokesperson for the Osun State Police Command that made the arrest, Folashade Odoro, said Sanusi was arrested in Osogbo, Capital of Osun State, on Monday along with eight other persons and detained at the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID).
Odoro said copies of certificate and identity cards of the NPC were among the items recovered from the suspect at the point of arrest.
The police spokesperson also said the suspect told police detectives that he got the Peace Corps certificates and ID cards from Abuja.
She told Channels Television’s correspondent, Bosede Sodiq, that those arrested along with Sanusi were some of his victims who were oblivious of his pranks but desperate to be employed into the NPC.
Odoro said the preliminary investigation by police detectives revealed that Sanusi had a registered private security guard and that he had trained many youths in the state with the assurance that they would be the first set of applicants that would get letters of employment as soon as the NPC is made a conventional security outfit.
Odoro said investigation on the matter is ongoing and that the suspect would face the full wrath of the law afterwards.
She, however, cautioned unemployed youths to be wary of fraudulent individuals in their desperation to get jobs.
“This suspect obviously has been in this act for a very long time. Imagine all the identity cards found on him. He really must have swindled so many people. Osun State Police Command will not allow such people to go free. They must be made to face the fill wrath of the Law.
“Many innocent people have fallen victim to this kind of people. I can only ask youths to be very careful. Inasmuch as they are seeking jobs, they need to test all job opportunities they find so they do not land themselves in the net of people whose intent is to deceive others,” she cautioned.
“We are determined here in Osun to wipe out nefarious activities that will tarnish the image of the command and we will ensure that full investigation is carried out on this case to serve as deterrent to others who are still at large,” the Osun State police command’s spokesperson added.
The National Population Commission (NPC) has begun the advocacy visit to traditional rulers in Kwara State on the need to sensitise the people on next year’s census.
The Federal Commissioner of NPC for Kwara State, Mr Abubakar Ndakene, disclosed this while leading a team from the commission on an advocacy visit to the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu Gambari.
The traditional ruler commended the early preparations of the commission and expressed his readiness to support them.
The team then moved over to Isin Local government where they were received by the Olusin of Isanlu Isin, Oba Solomon Oloyede.
There, Mr Ndakene solicited for the support of traditional rulers in enlightening the populace on the importance of the exercise.
He noted that the exercise should not be mistaken for a census as the commission only wants to update its database by registering the new births in the area.
While urging the people to provide factual figure and cooperate with the enumerators, Ndakene observed that the figures to be collated would be useful during the actual census exercise.
The Chairman of Isin Local government, Maruf Thanni, who was also at the gathering, thanked the commission for choosing the area for the exercise and assured of their readiness to cooperate fully with them.
The National Population Commission has chosen February 22 to March 13, 2016 for the phase two of enumeration area demarcation.
29 states across Nigeria have been chosen for the exercise and Isin Local Government has been selected in Kwara State.
The exercise is meant for demarcates to move around the communities numbering houses and dividing them into enumeration areas using satellite image maps.