NBC’s Revocation Of Broadcast Stations Licences Is Hasty- NUJ

The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has described the National Broadcasting Commission’s (NBC) revocation of 52 broadcast station licences as hasty.

A statement by the NUJ on Friday faulted the move, saying it is ill-timed.

“The decision today by the industry regulator, the National Broadcasting Commission – NBC, to revoke the licenses of 52 broadcast stations nationwide over indebtedness to the Commission was ill-advised,” NUJ chief, National President, Chris Isiguzo, said in a statement.

“The affected stations, according to NBC are said to owe arrears of licence fees amounting to N2.6 billion since 2015.

“Although the Director General of NBC, Malam Balarabe Shehu Ilelah claimed that this development had no political motives, we insist that the action was ill-timed and reckless.

“It should be noted that this wholesale revocation of licences at this critical time of insecurity in the Country appears to be a decision taken without careful prior deliberation, consultation, or counsel.”

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The NUJ believes in the face of economic hardship, the”large scale clampdown of broadcast stations in disregard to security issues and the attendant consequence. We cannot afford the unpleasant outcome of such a media blackout at this time.”

“We call on NBC to exercise more restraint on this issue in consideration of national security and allow for more dialogue and consultation to find a better way of dealing with the situation,” the union added.

Earlier in the day, NBC sanctioned the stations, citing their inability to renew their licences.

The broadcast regulator gave the affected media outlets “24 hours to shut down their operations” and also directed its offices across the country to “collaborate with security agencies to ensure immediate compliance”.

“In view of this development, the continued operation of the debtor stations is illegal and constitutes a threat to national security,” NBC added, noting that the second tranche of defaulters will soon be released.

Katsina New Media Chapel Elects Interim Executive Committee

Rukayya Aliyu Jibia, Chairman, Katsina New Correspondents’ Chapel

 

The Katsina New Correspondents’ Chapel of the State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has elected a new interim Executive Committee for the union.

At the conclusion of the election on Wednesday, Hajiya Rukayyah Aliyu Jibia of Tambari Television emerged as Chairman with Alhaji Agaju Madugba of The Sun newspapers as Vice Chairman.

The new Secretary of the Chapel is Mr. Dunamis Ogalah Ibrahim of Vanguard newspapers while Abdurrahman Umar of Channels Television emerged as Treasurer among other positions.

In her post-election acceptance speech, Hajiya Rukayyah Aliyu Jibia said she was humbled by the decision of the Chapel to elect her to the exalted position.

She further described leadership as a burden that should be handled through a collective approach by all members of the union adding that “I am optimistic that together we will succeed in moving the Chapel to greater heights.

“As in electoral processes all over the world, we are aware that some people may feel aggrieved for various reasons but I assure you that we have already initiated moves to address such issues where they exist.”

Earlier on Tuesday, the Returning Officer of the election and Katsina Channels Television Correspondent, Abdurrahman Umar, while announcing the result on the Chapel’s WhatsApp platform, explained that five (5) out of fourteen (14) members voted for Alhaji Agaju Madugba of The Sun Newspaper as Interim Secretary of the chapel whereas nine (9) out of 14 members voted Mr. Dunamis Ogala Ibrahim of Vanguard Newspaper as the interim Secretary of the Chapel.

This, he said, shows that Mr. Agaju Madugba is now declared the Interim Vice Chairman and Mr. Dunamis Ogala Ibrahim is now declared the Interim Secretary of the chapel having satisfied all the requirements of the law as stipulated in the constitution.

During the election that lasted for one hour and 52 minutes, correspondents from various media organisations, mostly print and broadcast, took part in the exercise.

Their medium include; Liberty Television, Tambarin Hausa TV, Channels Television, Farinwata Television, Trust Television, Jakadiya RTV, Premium Times, The Sun, Punch, Pilot Newspaper, Champion Newspaper as well as Katsina post.

For the new interim Vice Chairman, Alhaji Agaju Madugba, the election is perhaps the most credible electronic electoral process in this part of the world. He asked President Muhammadu Buhari, the electoral umpire, and the two major political parties, to meet in the chapel for consultation ahead of the 2023 polls.

Meanwhile, the new interim secretary of the chapel, Mr Dunamis Ogala Ibrahim, thanked chapel members for giving him the opportunity to serve as the secretary of the great chapel and assured and assured that he will not disappoint them.

“To my amiable Chairperson and Vice Chairman, I am confident that with you two at the helms of affairs, a new dawn that we will all cherish is being birthed for Journalists in Katsina State.

“I assure you of my utmost cooperation and loyalty. Looking forward to a fulfilling working experience with you all. Thanks for the opportunity once again and God bless you all,” he added.

Channels Television observed that voting commenced on Tuesday at about 2:23 pm and ended at 4:15 pm with 14 out of 17 members participating in the exercise.

Enugu LG Election: NUJ Condemns Attack On Journalists, Seeks Compensation For Victims

 

The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Enugu State Council has condemned the attack by gunmen on some journalists on local government election duty in the state.

Chairman of the union, Comrade Sam Udekwe, in a statement on Wednesday, while expressing his concerns, also called on the government to ensure adequate compensation for the victims.

His comments come days after a team of four reporters from the Enugu State Broadcasting Service (ESBS) and one from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) had run into the gunmen at Obeagu, Enugu South Local Government Area.

The masked armed men came with Sienna and Toyota Highlander vehicles and shot sporadically, scaring away voters, election officials, observers and journalists.

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As the gunmen turned their attention to the oncoming ESBS branded bus on election duty, most of the journalists in the bus scampered for safety.

However, one of the reporters, Chigozie Alex-Nwafor and the bus driver, Ebuka Ogbozor, were held back in the bus only to be released after receiving machete cuts.

The NUJ chairman described the unprovoked attack as morally reprehensible and an incident that must be condemned by every Nigerian.

“I find it inexplicable that journalists have suddenly become endangered species even while discharging their constitutional duties.

“This type of act against innocent citizens must not be allowed to take roots in the society,” he said.

Udekwe appealed to security agencies in the state to be alive to their responsibilities of protecting lives and security.

He also called on the Enugu State Independent Electoral Commission and the media organisations whose reporters were injured to pay commensurate compensations to all the victims.

“Journalists should also have it at the back of their minds that they must be alive to report. Therefore, our safety should always be our utmost concern each time we are in the field,” Udekwe said.

NUJ Asks Security Agencies To Locate ‘Missing’ Journalist

 

The Nigeria Union of Journalists ( NUJ ) in Abuja has asked security agencies to help in locating a missing journalist, Mr. Tordue Salem.

Mr. Salem is a journalist with Vanguard Newspapers and covers the House of Representatives.

A statement released by the Chairman of NUJ (FCT chapter) Emmanuel Ogbeche and Secretary Ochiaka Ugwu on Sunday said the journalist has not been seen, heard from, or reached since Wednesday, October 13.

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Mr. Salem who is a native of Tiv Benue State was reportedly sighted on Wednesday evening after which he seemed to have disappeared.

The NUJ asked the police and DSS to help unravel the mystery surrounding Mr. Salem’s whereabouts.

“For all us journalists in Abuja, we have been on edge these past few days over the mysterious disappearance of our colleague and friend, Mr. Tordue Salem,” the statement, signed by the Union’s Chairman, Emmanuel Ogbeche and Secretary, Ochiaka Ugwu, said.

“It is worrying that an adult will simply vanish into thin air without a trace. This is unacceptable and we urge the police and DSS to rise up to the occasion and provide answers to this troubling situation”.

The NUJ officials also called on journalists to remain hopeful, prayerful and offer any leads that could prove useful in resolving the impasse.

Bullet Hits Journalist In Kogi As Looters Scamper For Safety

Gunmen Attack Kogi Communities, Kill Policeman And Three Others
A map of Kogi State in Nigeria’s north-central.

 

A journalist with the Sun newspaper, Emmanuel Adeyemi has been hit by a stray bullet in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital.

He was hit while on his way to the Nigerian Union of journalists, (NUJ) secretariat on Monday morning, as gunshots were fired to disperse a crowd of looters at the warehouse in the Zone 8 area.

A similar incident had occurred Sunday night with residents bombarding the ADP Warehouse, carting away several bags of fertilizer, water pumps, bags of rice seedlings.

According to the government, however, they had intended to distribute the items to the people on Monday, before the crowd overwhelmed them and broke into the warehouse.

Security agencies were seen at some strategic locations ensuring that the situation didn’t go out of hand.

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer Mr. William Aya, said that the gunshots were from hoodlums who were scaring people away to enable them have free access to their looting activities themselves.

He said the shootings were not from the Police, adding that the perpetrators were being trailed and would be brought to book shortly.

Meanwhile, the victims have been taken to one of the private hospitals in Lokoja for treatment.

In a phone interview with Channels Television, the State Commissioner for Information, Mr Kinsley Fanwo, described the situation as unfortunate saying that the mercenaries were sneaked into the town by hoodlums who are bent on causing mayhem.

He, however, promised that government is doing everything possible to track them down.

Social Media Regulation: FG Not Attempting To Gag The Media – Lai Mohammed

 

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has said that the recent move by the Federal Government to regulate the social media space from fake news and hate speech is not aimed at gagging the media.

Mr Mohammed made this known when he received the National Executives of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) led by its President, Christopher Isiguzo on a courtesy visit in Abuja.

He said that if the NUJ and other media professional bodies, they should reach out and engages the government, instead of rushing to the media to condemn the move to protect the integrity of the media.

“As a professional body for journalists, the NUJ has its code of ethics for journalists, and this guides their operation. To the best of my knowledge, the trained, professional journalists cannot afford to engage in fake news, because this will kill public trust in the media. They also cannot afford to engage in hate speech, because of its implication for national peace and unity. After all, there has to be a country before you can even practice your profession.

“When we announced the plan to regulate the social media, we said clearly that the regulation is not an attempt to gag the media or muzzle free speech; we said journalists have nothing to fear.”

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Mr Mohammed urged media practitioners to lead in sanitizing the social media space because they will be the first victim when the people lose confidence in the media due to the reckless actions of non-journalists and purveyors of fake news and hate speech.

“We will not unilaterally impose measures aimed at injecting sanity into the social media space. We will work with stakeholders, including the NUJ, Guild of Editors, Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria, the Civil Society, Online Publishers, Bloggers, etc.

“Already, we have dispatched letters to these stakeholders. A government that has the intention of gagging the media won’t engage stakeholders in dialogue on the way forward.”

He explained that the Federal Government has taken the initiative to adopt the use of technology, legislation and regulatory bodies, but it is up to the stakeholders to decide the best option.

“But we have also taken the initiative to meet, very soon, with the platform owners, like Facebook, Whatsapp, Google, Twitter and Instagram, among others, to engage them on the way forward.

“But I must say that rushing to reject the plan without bothering to understand what it entails is not helpful, and constitutes panic reaction.”

Mr Mohammed stated that the Federal Government will still go ahead with the plan to stop purveyors of fake news and hate speeches. Adding that, no responsible government will allow such acts to reign freely.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ondo NUJ Suspends Members Over Alleged Breach Of Peace

The Ondo state chapter of the Nigerian Union of Journalists has suspended three of its members indefinitely.

The suspended members: David Akinadewo of Owena Press Chapel, Sina Adeyeye of State Information Chapel and Sunday Tonibor of the Ondo State Radiovision Corporation chapel were alleged to have breached the peace of the council.

A letter signed by the NUJ’s chairman, Mr. James Sowole said the affected members were involved in an action capable of causing breach of peace.

The letter read in part, “For participating in an action capable of causing breach of peace and disaffection in the union, three members of the union are hereby suspended indefinitely and with immediate effect.

“The suspended members today committed infractions to the Union’s constitution by illegally constituted themselves as Chairman, Secretary and member of the Council Interim Management Committee.

“The illegal action of the people has been reported to security agents for appropriate action. The Union hereby enjoins our members to remain calm and not to sign illegal documents being taken round to back their illegal action.”

CACOL Backs Presidency On Resolve To Arraign Reinstated Judges

The Centre for Anti-corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, has backed the decision of the Presidency to arraign suspected corrupt Judges who were recently recalled to return to duty by the National Judicial Council, NJC describing the Council’s step as ‘immoral and retrogressive’.

The Judges had been suspended following the raid on their residences in a sting operation by the Department Of State Security, DSS, in October last year. The six suspended judges who were under investigation for alleged corruption reinstated by NJC reinstated are Justices John Okoro, Uwani Abba Aji, Hydiazira Nganjiwa, Adeniyi Ademola, Justice Musa Kurya and Agbadu Fishim.

Mr. Debo Adeniran, the Executive Chairman of CACOL, said “shamelessness is being brazenly taken to unbelievable heights right before our eyes, and if we remain silent, then the credibility and integrity of the Nigerian Judiciary will remain a body of ridicule within the comity of nations. The fact that the Judges are under investigations alone should be enough for the NJC to wait before it took the decision to reinstate the Judges. Sadly, this move portend that our Judiciary pampers corruption”

“How many litigants will feel comfortable to be judged by a Judge with grievous charges of corruption such as the ones against the suspended Judges? We doubt, if there would be any, unless those who are equally corrupt and require the services of a corrupt Judge to escape justice. Any court where such Judges sit could as well be considered to a market place where judgments could be gotten on basis of the highest bidder and the ‘hardness’ of the currencies. And we should not be taken aback if this counter-productive step by the NJC is allowed to stand when we begin to see suspected corruption criminals seeking to be tried by these ‘permanently stained’ judges.”

“The NJC’s has only reinforced the position that our Judiciary is equally drenched in corruption just like the other arms of the government. And this is a tragedy because the Judiciary is supposed to be the last bastion of hope for the mass of the people. The ‘group practice’ or ‘solidarity’ being espoused by the Bar and Bench makes the case of the Judiciary more dangerous and scary, because it is easy discernible that the NJC’s and even the NBA’s position is more like the Judiciary as a body, is trying shield one of its own from justice ostensibly because they are all involved in the game.

The position of the NBA and the NJC that a period of eight months is too long for Judges to be under investigation is utterly untenable because a crime can always be investigated and prosecuted at anytime. That culpability is not established does not stop a case from being re-opened for further investigations and possible re-prosecution if fresh facts or evidences are unveiled.”

Concluding, the anti-corruption Crusader said, “Judiciary is the last hope of the common people; in a situation where the Judiciary can longer serve the purpose of its creation, it becomes useless, and self-help is becomes the only hope which is a recipe for anarchy. We therefore back the Presidency on the move to arraign the suspended Judges while calling on the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC to expedite actions on its investigations so that the suspected corrupt men of Bench are prosecuted and brought to book if found culpable.”

Osun NUJ Honours Deputy Governor, Others

The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Osun Council, as part of its activities to mark the 2017 press week honoured the Deputy Governor of Osun State, Titi Laoye-Tomori, with Golden Mother Award, alongside four others.

Those who were also honoured were the CEO of Fort Knox Group Limited, Abuja, Prince Dotun Babayemi, who was honoured with Evergreen Award for Humanitarian Services, Mr Adeyinka Afonja, the CEO of Ace Supermarkets with Entrepreneurial of the Year Award, and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mallam Yusuf Ali, with Man of the Year Award.

The Chairman of the council, Abiodun Olalere during the Dinner and Award Night said the awardees were honoured for distinguishing themselves in their various professions and contributing to the development of humanity.

He explained that the union is committed to the cause of humanity as the fourth estate of the realm, and in encouraging others who are doing the same, which according to him necessitated the need to honour those individuals.

The union also gave out professional awards in eight different categories, which include: Best Reporter of the Year (Print), Best Reporter of the Year (Broadcast), Best Information Officer of the Year, Best Newscaster of the Year, Best Photo Journalist of the Year, Best Investigative Reporter of the Year, Media Organisation of the Year, and Chairman’s Award.

The Best Investigative Reporter of the Year was sponsored by a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Future Minds, which specialises in health campaign and advocacy.

Meanwhile, the press week, which kicked off with a Jumat service on May 19 and a Church service the following Sunday was rounded off by “Asun Night” on Friday.

Nasarawa Police Seek Media Support In Fighting Crime

Police Question Man Over Ogoni Food PoisoningThe Nasarawa State Police Commissioner, Abubakar Sadiq Bello, said he will continue to work with journalists in the state to fight crime.

He revealed this when he hosted the newly elected Nasarawa State officials of the Nigerian Union of Journalist (NUJ).

He noted that the community policing which is the underlying point of the Nigeria police can only be achieved through partnership with relevant stakeholders.

The commissioner pledged that the command will synergise with men of the pen profession in the state in order to reduce crime to the barest minimum.

He underscored the role of journalists in crime prevention and applauded them for complementing the efforts of the police in ensuring that the people sleep with two eyes closed.

The chairman of the Nasarawa state council of NUJ, Dogo Shammah, disclosed that journalist in the state are skilled in investigative journalism and urged the police boss to utilise such abilities.

“As watchdogs of the society, we will help you where we can. Just as the police is trained on investigations, journalists are also trained in investigative journalism. We would always continue to do that so that we bring out the information that will ease your personnel in carrying out their responsibilities,” he said.

Social Media Now A Vehicle Of Commotion, Anarchy – Al-Makura

The Nasarawa State Governor, Tanko Al-Makura, says that social media has become a vehicle of commotion, anarchy and instigation hold sway.

He charged journalists in the country on professionalism in order to curb excesses of social media reports.

He made this known when he received members of the Nasarawa State chapter of Nigeria Union Of Journalist (NUJ) at the Government House in Lafia, the state capital.

The governor opined that activities of the social media over the years have triggered confusions, lawlessness and provocation.

“What is happening is that the social media is fast becoming another challenge to the mainstream journalism and to some extent when you disseminate your information with the best of ethics and professionalism such delivery is endangered by the hitch hiking of information dissemination by all kinds of people within the web.

“So I think for this, the reason you have to add value to the system and at the same time you should not be aloof with happens in the social media, you could also contribute to the social media to ensure that the message gets to the right destination and the true and rightful message.

“You as mainstream journalists must find a way of domesticating and taming the excesses of the social media. This is when the society would benefit from the explosion and sophistication in the media circle”.

Budget Padding Is A ‘Misrepresentation Of Facts’ – Deputy Speaker

Yusuf Lasun, Reps, Budget Padding, 2016 Budget, House of RepresentativesThe Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Lasun Yusuf, has described as misrepresentation of facts, the widespread allegations of padding of the 2016 budget.

He said that contrary to rumours being peddled around the country, there was no section of the appropriation bill that was padded.

The lawmaker explained that the legislature had in exercise of the power conferred on it by the constitution, reallocated figure in the budget estimates as presented by President Muhammadu Buhari.

He made the disclosure while delivering a lecture at the 17th edition of the media parliament of Kwara State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).

Mr Yusuf spoke on the ‘Challenges of Law-making and the Delivery of Dividend of Democracy in Nigeria’ during the gathering at the Abubakar Olusola Saraki Pen House in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.

He explained that it was the exclusive preserve of the legislative arm to rework annual fiscal document tabled before it by the executive, stating that such document remains “an estimate and not real budget”.

The former Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation, Mr Abdulmumin Jibrin, who had blown the lid that some principal officers of the lower chamber of the National Assembly partook in the budget padding scam, was suspended from office.

His allegation had ignited public outrage against the National Assembly while the House maintained that the budget was not padded as alleged.

Abdulmumin Jibrin, House, Budget padding
Mr Abdulmumin Jibrin

Budget Padding Debacle

The Deputy Speaker, however, told the gathering in Ilorin that the allegations against the leadership of the House by the suspended lawmaker were of no effect and could not be substantiated, insisting that the House acted within its powers.

He stated that the House was empowered to reallocate and reconcile figures in the budget estimates that were believed not to be properly done.

Honourable Yusuf decried that many Nigerians were ignorant of the works of the legislative arm and were fond of passing verdict without verifiable facts on some allegations levelled against the lawmakers.

He explained further that it was the primary responsibility of the law-making body to scrutinise budget estimates submitted by the executive arm, adding that members could use the avenue to address pressing needs of their people.

“While the executive makes proposals on projects, programmes and expenditure for every year, the legislature finally approves figures that are spent.

“In the process, the legislature often interfaces with the executive to have certain projects and programmes form part of (the) budget.

“This is necessary as I have said earlier because the closeness of the legislator to the constituents must have emerged from that environment.

“It is critical that certain pressing areas requiring government attention are suggested and included in the estimates.

“Unfortunately, the poor understanding of the fine details of legislative practice anchored on the express provision of the constitution erroneously informed the so-called budget padding debacle which was a distraction to the polity.

“For instance, the case of 50-year-old Ojutu Bridge in my constituency that has great potentials in turning around the lives of my constituents,” Yusuf said.