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REC Charges Media On Enlightenment

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Lagos State has urged media practitioners not to disappoint Nigerians in helping them make wise choices in the 2019 general elections.
Mr Sam Olumekun, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), INEC in Lagos State, made the appeal on Tuesday at the 2018 Press Week of the Radio Lagos/Eko FM Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Ikeja.
Olumekun, who was the guest speaker at the second day of the week-long event, described the media as important stakeholders in the electoral process.
He spoke on “2019 General Elections: The Media and the Challenges of Objective Reporting”.
The REC, represented by Mr Femi Akinbiyi, the Public Relations Officer of the Commission in Lagos, said the media’s role in the success of elections was very critical.
“May I urge journalists, noble members of the fourth estate of the realm who are very important stakeholders of the electoral process and partners of INEC, to truly function as unbiased professionals.
“You are expected to enlighten, inform and educate Nigerians about the electoral process and also to mobilise the citizenry to actively and conscientiously turn out en masse to vote for credible candidates.
“Your duty is not just restricted to providing debate and marketing platforms for political parties and candidates to publicise their political programmes and ideologies.
“You also have the responsibility to set agenda for discussions on general elections that will enlighten the citizens for the making of informed and wise choices during the general elections,” Olumekun said.
The commissioner, who noted that INEC had mapped out guidelines to proficiently govern its electoral operations, urged journalists to read, adapt and understand the guidelines.
Olumekun said the commission was determined to deliver free, fair and credible elections in 2019.
He urged media practitioners to be conversant with the Electoral Act and adhere strictly to provisions on INEC code of conduct for journalists in all editorial operations.
The REC advised the media to make concerted efforts at upholding and abiding by the code of conduct for objective reportage, so as not to set the nation on fire.
He urged the media regulatory bodies to apply the rules and sanction any media house that functions against the ethics of the profession.
In his address, Dr Qasim Akinreti, the Lagos NUJ Chairman, stressed the need to entrench right to association, rule of law, press freedom and right to reply, to deepen Nigeria’s democracy.
Akinreti said right to association had helped in the forming of political parties and pressure groups.
“Now over 90 political parties have been registered by INEC,’’ he said.
Earlier, Mr Olanrewaju Olatunbosun, the Chairman, Radio Lagos/Eko FM Chapel, NUJ, said that the essence and significance of journalists and journalism could neither be underestimated nor overemphasised in any society.
“In spite of the enormity of hazards that go with the practice of journalism all over the world, Nigerian journalists have distinguished themselves in many ways, even in international competitions,” he said.
Olatunbosun said Nigerian journalists had proved to be up to the task, urging that they be accorded respect.
He, however, listed disregard to rule of law, molestation and poor remuneration, among others, as factors militating against smooth operation of journalists in Nigeria.
In her goodwill message, Mrs Ayo-ola Shotonwa, General Manager, Radio Lagos/Eko FM, urged journalists to be ethical and professional while performing their duties.

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LG Chairman-Elect Blames Insecurity On Parental Failure

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Chairman-elect of Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, Hon. Target Segibo has alleged that the prevalent security challenges in some communities of the local government area could be traceable to parental failure on one hand, and frivolous lifestyle of children and wards involved in crime and criminality in the area on the other hand.
Segibo, who was a pioneer member of the State House of Assembly between 1999-2003, stated this in Yenagoa, the state capital recently while fielding questions from newsmen shortly after receiving his Certificate of Return from the Bayelsa State Independent Electoral Commission (BYSIEC).
He indicated his continued desire to work for the peace and rapid socio-economic development of the local government, noting that having been actively involved in the politics of the area for decades now, he was more grounded in working on modalities towards ensuring enduring peace and unity in troubled communities of the area.
The Chairman-elect who also lauded the state governor, Senator Douye Diri, the state’s leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the electorate for finding him worthy to be elected Chairman of the local government, called on parents/guardiance not to renege on their primary responsibilities of watching over their children and wards, arguing that as the largest local government area in the state, Southern Ijaw should also be noted for peace and development.
“For over 20 years, I’ve been living peacefully with all my neighbours, both at home in Oporoma, headquarters of Southern Ijaw LGA and here, in Yenagoa.
“I’ve grown up children, but I don’t give them more than what they needed as students to go to school and stay okay as a father because I discovered that most of the security challenges we’re facing today in the Southern Ijaw LGA, and other parts of the state, is traceable to parental failure and children’s wanting to lead a frivolous lifestyle”, he said.
“As parents/guardians we should be able to know the kind of friends our children/wards keep. We must not pamper them. We must tell them that they have to do something legal to earn a living. We must question any source of sudden wealth and affluence on the part of our children and wards.
“But I want to assure our people of Southern Ijaw that as their incoming Chairman, when I’m sworn-in, having been actively participating in the politics and other activities of the area, collectively we’ll work to ensure enduring peace, unity and development of the LGA”, he added.

By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa

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Bayelsa Assembly Grills, Confirms Diri’s Commissioner- Nominees 

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The Bayelsa State House of Assembly has screened and confirmed the first batch of Commissioner-nominees for Governor Diri’s second term State Executive Council.
The Tide gathered that the State Chief Executive in a bid to form his cabinet for his second tenure had earlier submitted a list of 14 names to the state legislature for confirmation as commissioners.
However, The Tide reports that only 13 out of the 14 nominees attended the constitutional exercise of the lawmakers.
Though no official reasons have been given, the immediate past Commissioner for Sports, who is also a former member of the state Assembly, Hon. Daniel Igali, was conspicuously absent during the screening exercise.
Inline with the House’s rules and Standing Orders, two other former members of the state Assembly who were also part of the nominees, Dr Gentle Emelah, immediate past Commissioner for Education, and Mrs Ebiwou Koku-Obiyai, were simply asked to take a bow and leave.
Following the exhaustive grilling, however, the immediate past Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General, Mr Biriyai  Dambo, SAN, his Finance counterpart, Mr Maxwell Ebibai, were confirmed.
Also confirmed were the immediate past Works and Infrastructure Commissioner, Moses Teibowei, Mrs Koku Obiyai, Dr Gentle Emelah, Ayibakipreye Brodericks, George Ekpotuatein Flint and Komuko Akari Kharim.
Furthermore, Mr Perepuighe Biewari, Dr Jones Ebieri, Barr. Peter Afagha, Mrs Bidei Elizabeth and Michael Magbisa received the nod to be appointed commissioners by the state lawmakers.
In his advice to the nominees shortly after their screening, Deputy Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Michael Ogbere, enjoined the Commissioner hopefuls to work as a team with those they will meet on ground, admonishing that they remain loyal to the government at all times.
On his part,  Leader of the House, Hon. Monday-Bubou Obolo, said the people of the state expect a lot trom them and that the House will do its best to keep them on their toes through its oversight functions while giving them the needed legislative support where necessary.

By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa

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NEC Meeting: PDP’ll Wax Stronger – Farah Dagogo 

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A former lawmaker representing Degema/Bonny Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Farah Dagogo, has described the outcome of the 98th National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as another demonstration of the resilience of the party to weather any storm that comes its way.
This is contained in a statement released bythe Special Assistant, Media and Publicity to the estwhile federal legislator, Ibrahim Lawal, at the weekend.
In the build up to the NEC meeting,  suggestions and permutations had been rife of the likelihood of the PDP running into another round of crises as the party tries to navigate a path for the North Central Zone to produce a substantive National Chairman to complete the truncated tenure of former Chairman, Dr. Iyiorchia Ayu.
Speaking on the sidelines of the NEC meeting that saw Umar Damagum retain his position as the party’s Acting National Chairman until the next NEC meeting scheduled for August, Dr Dagogo said those who genuinely have the best interest of the party at heart made timely sacrifices to keep the party firm and afloat.
The former member of the National Assembly said but for the political maturity and sagacity employed by the party’s National Leader and former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, alongside other leaders, before and during the NEC meeting, the party would have ‘played into the hands of some individuals, who wanted the party to implode in order to improve their political fortunes’.
He expressed optimism that by the adjourned date of August, Damagum would have seen that  “it is in the best interest of the party for him to vacate the position for a more purposeful and result oriented leadership’’.
“ For me, the outcome of the NEC meeting was a win-win situation. Against all odds, the party came out unscathed and will continue to wax stronger.
“Yes, the Acting Chairman retained his position, but it is obvious to him now and others that it would be in the best interest of the party for him to vacate that position for a more purposeful and result oriented leadership by August.
“The so called tension generated in the build up to the NEC Meeting was actually orchestrated by the inordinate desire of some few individuals who wanted to thwart the sterling call by party faithful for a review of its failing leadership and directionless.
“ The Party however did not play into the hands of those individuals, who wanted the party to implode in order to improve their political fortunes. Thanks in good measure to the political maturity and sagacity employed by the Party’s National Leader and Former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, alongside other leaders, before and during the NEC Meeting. We are where we are now because of their sacrifices and dedication to the party, “ he added.

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