Ban Ki-moon Tasks Govt On Protection Of An Independent Press

ban ki-moonThe Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, has again stressed the need for all governments, politicians Business and citizens to commit to nurturing and protecting an independent, free media.

Ban gave the task in his message on this year’s World Press Freedom Day, with the theme “Access to Information and Fundamental Freedoms – This Is Your Right!”.

He further stressed that without this fundamental right, people would be less free and less empowered.

“With it, we can work together for a world of dignity and opportunity for all,” the UN Secretary-General stressed.

“Watchdog”

A concept note by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said the World Press Freedom Day represented an opportunity to advance the fundamental principles of press freedom and to pay solemn tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

This year’s theme promotes as always, freedom of information as a fundamental freedom and as a human right, protection of press freedom from censorship and surveillance overreach and ensuring safety for journalism online and offline.

According to UNESCO “press freedom and access to information are essential to democracy and to sustainable development.

“Sometimes referred to as a “watchdog” of political and societal institutions, journalism is also much more: it demonstrates freedom of expression for society at large, it puts new questions on the development agenda, and it empowers citizens with information.

“It provides a context in which the diversity of cultural expressions can flourish”.

Bucharest Nightclub Fire Leaves Romania Stunned

Bucharest fireThere has been a tragic disaster in the Romanian capital, Bucharest, where 27 people, mostly teenagers and young people, have been killed after fire broke out at a nightclub in the city.

The blaze took hold at the Colectiv club on Friday night, causing a stampede for the exit.

Emergency response chief, Raed Arafat, said that about 155 people are being treated in hospitals in the Romanian capital.

“The only information we have is that fireworks were used in the club and after that tragedy happened, it is under investigation”, He told reporters.

The fire is believed to have been caused by fireworks that was let off inside the club.

Tunisia To Build Libya Wall To Counter Terror Threat

tunisiaIn order to counter the threat from Jihadist militants, Tunisia has announced plans to build a wall along its border with Libya.

Tunisian Prime Minister, Habib Essid, told reporters that the wall would stretch 160km (100 miles) inland from the coast, and be completed by the end of 2015.

The gunman who killed 38 people in an attack on a beach resort is believed to have received training in Libya.

Tunisia declared a state of emergency following the attack last month where over 30 people were killed.

Mr Essid said that the Tunisian army would build the wall, which would have surveillance centres at certain points along it.

Meanwhile, the Tunisian government has deployed extra security to tourist sites and vowed to close down mosques accused of inciting violence.

Kaduna Police Arrest 31 Robbery Suspects, Recover 8 Vehicles

policeThe Kaduna State Police Command has arrested 31 armed robbery suspects who specialize in snatching of cars, motorcycles and women handbags.

The Commissioner of Police, Kaduna State Command, Umar Shehu,  said an AK47 rifle, four bareta pistols, four single barrel short guns, five single barrel long guns, 39 rounds of live ammunition and 92 live cartridges were recovered from them.

The Commissioner also disclosed that the suspects were arrested in Zaria, Kafanchan and Kaduna, the state capital, by operatives of the Special Intelligence Bureau (SIB), during a stop and search operation and cross fire, following a tip-off from members of the public.

During the operation, a total number of 8 vehicles of various kinds including a Prado jeep, 14 motorcycles were also recovered from the robbers.

Mr Shehu noted ed that the arrests were made within this month of May, 2015.

According to the Commissioner, the suspects usually take their stolen vehicles to Niger Republic, where they sell them to their accomplices, adding that the command is working closely with the Interpol in Niger Republic to track down stolen vehicles and their buyers.

Other arrests made by the command include 16 members of a suspected terrorist group known as ‘Sara- Suka in Rigasa, Igabi Local Government Area of the state, where they have been attacking residents and later killed a middle aged man, injuring two others.

Mr Shehu however reiterated that the command would not relent in its fight against criminals and criminality throughout the state, urging car owners to come to the command with their vehicle papers to claim their vehicles.

One of the robbery suspects, Ibrahim Kabir, who is a 20 year old boy and a 200 level Accountancy student of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, confessed to the crime.

Kabir narrated how he got  involved in the crime and however begged for forgiveness. He also disclosed how they sold the stolen vehicles at giveaway prices.

 

Senegalese President Holds Talks With Jonathan

senegaleseThe Senegalese President, Mr Macky Sall and the President of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, met on Wednesday to discuss issues of concerns to both countries.

The meeting was held in closed-doors after which President Sall of Senegal briefed reporters.

He said that the ”brief solidarity visit” was to pay his solidarity and discuss some issues that concern both national and regional affairs of both nations.

The Senegalese President arrived the Presidential Villa at about 6:00pm local time.

Mr Sall expressed concerns over insecurity in north-east Nigeria and praised the present effort to contain the situation.

“I came to bring my solidarity with the situation in the north of Nigeria and also have quick exchange with him on this national situation and the situation of ECOWAS.

“It is very important to let him know about our solidarity and our concern about what is happening in Nigeria and the whole of West Africa,” he said.

The Senegalese leader noted that other deliberations with the Nigerian President, centred on the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

He immediately returned to his country after the parley with Journalists.

Communities in Nigeria’s north-east have witnessed over five years of terror attacks by members of a terrorist group, the Boko Haram, which the military is tackling in a renewed counter-terrorism effort in the region.