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NGE Tasks 36 New Members, 15 Fellows On Objective Reporting …As FG Assures Prosecution Of Electoral Offenders

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The Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) has inducted 36 new members and 15 members as Fellows of the Guild.
The induction followed a Gala Night organised, last Saturday, for the Guild by Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma, to conclude the 18th All Nigeria Editors Conference (ANEC) 2022 in Owerri.
In his address, Uzodinma called for stronger ties between the media and the political class to usher more development.
The governor said democracy had proven to be the best form of governance anywhere in the world.
“It is also given that for democracy to triumph, the political class and government cannot do much without the media.
“All I ask of you is the understanding of the essence of democracy in any jurisdiction.
“I ask of you to understand the need to protect our land, national interests, be focused and objective, and for us to create a convivial environment for every stakeholder to contribute to national development,” he said.
Uzodinma also urged the media and editors to change and correct the wrong perception and narratives being created about Africa by foreign media.
He expressed consternation that Nigeria’s democracy was still described as “nascent’’ even after many years of uninterrupted democracy.
“I want to plead with you to take courage; it may not look like what you are expecting, but there is hope for Nigeria.
“We must stop spending money and energy lamenting on the nation’s problems, but rather proffer solutions,’’ he stressed.
The governor, who described himself as “the most blackmailed politician in Nigeria’’ also called for objective thinking and reportage as well as constructive criticism of his administration.
In his remarks, President of the Guild, Mr Mustapha Isah, commended the lofty projects executed by the governor, particularly the 33-km Owerri-Orlu Road; 28-km Owerri-Okigwe Road, and the state-of-the-art House of Assembly complex.
Isah urged the governor to remain focused and disregard the antics of detractors.
The president also advised the governor to spread the money of the state in providing for the elderly people.
Speaking on their observations after a tour of projects executed by Uzodinma, a Fellow of the Guild, Barrister Ajayi Gbadebo, urged the governor to sustain his tempo of development.
Gbadebo, who lauded the road infrastructure, particularly around Imo State Polytechnic, Omuma, appealed to the governor to ensure that water runs at the teaching hospital in Orlu.
The Executive Director of DAAR Communications Plc., Mr Imoni Amarere, shared Gbadebo’s views.
He urged the governor to sustain efforts in developing the rural areas.
The inducted Fellows of the Guild included former NAN Editor-in-Chief, Mr Alli Hakeem and Dr Reuben Abati, former Special Adviser (Media and Publicity), to former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Some others are former Managing Editor of New Nigerian Newspapers, Eze Victor Awogu and Lagos State qCommissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotoso.
Earlier during the executive session of the 18th All Nigeria Editors Conference (ANEC) 2022, last Friday, the Editors had stressed the need for Media Independence and Security to achieve fair, factual and objective Journalism.
In his contribution at the executive session, the Editor-in-Chief of The Guardian Newspapers, Martin Oloja, identified the need for financial independence for free, fair and objective journalism.
Oloja stated that because of the loss of financial independence, the media cannot function effectively in monitoring the activities of politicians, especially if they rely on them for sponsorship.
He said this had severely limited the social responsibility role of the press and reduced accountability on the part of the political class.
“The biggest advertisers are those, who we are expected to hold accountable and because proprietors are interested in the survival of their medium, this role is often cast aside,” he said.
Oloja noted that the expectation of the media’s public has not changed, adding that objectivity, fairness and factual reports remained the watchword.
Similarly, the Managing Director of the Sun Newspapers, Mr Onuoha Uke, noted that the media has the responsibility of setting the agenda as the general election approached.
Uke explained that Editors should be given room to play their roles as key stakeholders in the struggle for good governance by ensuring independence of the press is not compromised.
He called for security, free access to election venues and collation centres to ensure transparency and accurate reportage of the entire electoral process.
“The media has played major roles in democracy and has been in the forefront in demanding good governance right from before Nigeria gained independence.
“Journalists have set the pace and been in charge of moulding public opinion and response to topical issues and the present is an auspicious time for setting agenda to fulfill our responsibility of ensuring democracy survives,” Uke noted.
Also contributing, the Publisher of Real News Magazine, Mrs Maureen Chigbo, emphasised the need for proper information to get across to the public for informed decisions.
Chigbo stressed the need for the media to go all out to verify every fact before publishing particularly before, during and after the elections.
She equally urged the public to check the facts and rely on verified media houses and practitioners for accurate reports and take note of pointers to false news.
Chigbo stated that such news reports are often inconsistent, repetitive and poorly scripted and warned against reposting of such reports by the public.
“Information is power and it is my hope that the public has access to true information, because of this, the media should ensure balance and objectivity in their reports and stick to the ethics of the profession to help build a progressive society,” Chigbo concluded.
While delivering a paper on “2023 General Election And Security: What Editors Need to Know”, the National Security Adviser to the President, Babagana Monguno, reassured the readiness of the Federal Government to deal decisively with electoral offenders and ensure they don’t go unpunished.
Monguno, who was represented by the Head of Strategic Communications, Office of the National Security Adviser, Mr Zakari Usman, said, “It is important to note that one of the major threats to security is electoral violence which berths national security.
“We are continuously addressing the security risk from fake news and hate speech and through collaborative efforts.
“The government is working with social media companies to ensure the safety of the 2023 general election,” he said.
Monguno listed eight categories of electoral violence to include party on party electoral violence; party on voter electoral violence; party on state electoral violence and; voter on voter electoral violence.
Others are voter on state electoral violence; state on voter electoral violence; state on party electoral violence and state on state electoral violence.
Monguno, however, said that ensuring security during elections was not the sole responsibility of enforcement agencies alone.
While stating that security and the media hardly agree on what constitutes national security, he urged the media to report their news without amplifying the agenda of detractors sponsoring political insecurity.
“Critical stakeholders in the electoral process including the press must discharge their duties effectively and efficiently in ensuring security during elections,” Monguno added.
The NSA urged the media to be collaborators with the government on issues of national interest by balancing their reports and promoting national unity and cohesion in their reportage.
Monguno, who further urged the media to put in place fact checking system to contend with fake news by citizen journalists, expressed concern over inciting statements by state and non-state actors.
He, therefore, advised the media to take proactive measures to address the proliferation of fake news.
In a presentation at the executive session, Imo State Governor, Senator Governor Hope Uzodinma, commended the fair and objective reporting style of journalists in the country, saying it has contributed to his administration’s successes.
Uzodinma thanked the Editors for their role in the buildup to the elections that saw his emergence as governor, and urged them not to relent in the discharge of their professional responsibilities.
He called on Editors to find time to tour the state so as to observe firsthand the achievements of his administration so as to better appreciate the role of the media in people -oriented governance.
Uzodinma listed the achievements to include the revamping of the state’s water scheme, sanitisation of the State’s Civil Service, road construction and rehabilitation as well as an aggressive fight against criminality.
He said that his 3R mantra of Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Recovery led to the successful renovation of health centres, resuscitation of the Ada Palm plantation through Public Private Partnership.
He added that he also restored accreditation to the state’s university while dredging the Orashi river and other waterways and training youths on digital skills.
“It is important that you editors use this opportunity to see how far we have gone in delivering good governance. The unique circumstances that fueled my governorship ambition were divinely inspired.
“My ambition was almost truncated by a high level conspiracy but your objective reportage of events really helped the situation,” he noted.
Uzodinma said that his administration provided official vehicles for permanent secretaries and High Court Judges in the state to smoothen the process of service delivery.
According to him, Imo was ready for business as it was once again, secure.
“Imo has regained her lost glory as the hospitality capital of the South-East. We are ready for business.
“Journalists have been kind, fair and objective in telling our story. Together we can do many things “, Uzodinma assured.
The event was attended by Chairman of the conference, Prof. Stella Okunna, and President of the Nigerian Guild of Editors, Mustapha Isah, as well as Editors from the Print, Electronic and Online Media from across Nigeria.
The theme of the ANEC 2022 Conference is, “2023 : Political Landscape, Credible Elections And The Role of Editors.”

By: Nelson Chukwudi

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We Get Petrol At N200 Per Litre From Depots, IPMAN Cries Out

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The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has decried the ‘unsustainable’ price that the private depot owners sell the premium motor spirit, otherwise known as petrol in the country.
Speaking, yesterday, on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, the Deputy National President of IPMAN, Zarama Mustapha, revealed that the private depots get petrol at the approved price of N148/litre from the sole importer of the commodity, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, however, sell it for as high as N195 to N210 to independent marketers, which is not sustainable.
“Though marketers get petrol at the approved price of N148/litre from NNPC depots, the company does not have enough storage facilities to cater to the needs of marketers, hence, the latter resorts to private depot owners. It is more of the issue of private depots collecting the products at the approved price and not selling to the independent marketers at a price approved by the mainstream, downstream regulatory authority.
“You cannot get a product at N195 to N200 and expect to sell it at N175,” he noted.
The IPMAN official said depot owners give excuses such as the cost of transporting the product from the mother vessel to their depots and escalation of the dollar as reasons for the price hike.
Mustapha lamented that most Lagos depots are in a chaotic situation and marketers spend three days to load refined petrol that they are not supposed to spend more than three hours to lift.
He urged the NNPC to engage depot owners to sell the product to marketers at the recommended price, saying the common man is at the receiving end.
For weeks, vehicle owners have had a tough time getting petrol from filling stations, especially in Lagos and Abuja.
Whilst many outlets are closed, the few open ones sell the indispensable commodity for as high as N250 per litre from the uniform price of N169/litre.
The supply shortage has led to long, gruelling snake-like queues at the few open filling stations as motorists and business owners jostle to buy fuel while others resort to the black market.
The situation has also worsened traffic on major roads as vehicle owners block at least one lane to join queues to filling stations.

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Make Nigerian Youths Innovative, Buhari Tells Corporate Leaders

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President Muhammadu Buhari has tasked leaders of corporate organisations to build the capacity of Nigerian youths to be innovative and embrace technology to make positive contributions to their organisations and the nation.
The president, represented by the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami, said this at the Institute of Directors (IoD) 2022 Annual Director’s Conference (ADC), yesterday, in Lagos.
The ADC had as its theme: “Corporate Governance and Digital Transformation: Leading Purposefully for Growth and Sustainability.”
Buhari, noting that the challenges associated with corporate governance were multifaceted, stressed the need for heads of organisations to harness technology to achieve effective governance.
He reiterated the commitment of his administration to providing the necessary legal support and framework to support the entrenchment of good corporate governance practices across various sectors of the economy.
Buhari also pledged his commitment to supporting the IoD by giving the institute’s chartered bill the necessary consideration to enable it to achieve its mandate.
Deputy Secretary General, United Nations, Ms Amina Mohammed, said the world was hit by a series of global crises which have affected the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
Mohammed said technology and digitalisation would set the era of digital transformation in areas of health, education, agriculture and finance.

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Nigeria Does Not Belong To North, Arewa Youths Tell Northern Elders

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The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) has said that Nigeria does not belong to the North ahead of the 2023 general election.
Apparently reacting to the recent interview granted by a member of the Northern Elders Forum, Alh Sani Zango Daura, in which he called on the North to support a Northern candidate.
The AYCF, in a statement issued by its National President, Yerima Shettima, noted that supporting a southerner was clearly a demonstration of justice.
He noted that this was because Nigeria does not belong to the North alone, or Muslims and Christians of the North, insisting that “even on moral grounds, the most responsible political action by the North was the decision on powershift in 2023, because the Presidency cannot be hereditary and Nigeria is not a Banana Republic”.
Shettima further said, however, that the elder was expressing his personal opinion and not the stand of the North in general, saying that a “ little balancing was needed in position of our father Zangon Daura, more so when he admitted that the elders are mere escorts for the younger generation today”.
The AYCF noted that when 13 Northern governors led by Kaduna State Governor, Mal Nasirel-Rufai endorsed a Southern candidate for the 2023 presidency, they repeatedly cited political justice.
“Though we are not card-carrying members of the APC, we shared the view that the decision was in line with being fair to the South in 2023.
“We are aware, as well as our father ZangonDaura, that the North is respected for honouring its promises to the South and this one absolutely undeniable character of all Northerners.
“We are not known to break promises and that explains why our son, President MuhammaduBuhari never objected to the idea of a Southern presidential candidate in the ruling party. In the North, like our father ZangonDaura knows, promises are sacred and in fact a culture”.
It would be recalled that in a viral audio of AlhajiZangonDaura while addressing a group of youths, suggested that they should throw their weight behind a fellow Northerner for the presidency in 2023, citing historic and religious instances, something the AYCF said it believed was “overtaken by events, current realities, and the spirit of justice and fairness in the Nigerian project”.

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