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Purveyors Of Hate Speech Should Not Expect Rest — Lai Mohammed

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The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed says no amount of attacks, sponsored or otherwise, will stop the implementation of approved recommendations on reform of broadcasting code.

The minister stated this on Sunday at a meeting with Online Publishers in Lagos.

“Let me be straight: No amount of attacks, sponsored or otherwise, will stop the implementation of the approved
recommendations.

“Only non-patriots and anarchists will kick against measures aimed at putting an end to fake news and hate speech, especially in our broadcast industry.

“Only those who are guilty should be afraid of the efforts to sanitize the broadcast industry. Responsible broadcasters have nothing to fear.

“This is not a move to stifle free speech or gag anyone. But purveyors of fake news and hate speech should not expect to sleep easy,” he said.

The Minister had on October 10 announced President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval of the review of National Broadcasting Code and extant broadcasting laws to reflect stiffer penalties for violators of broadcasting regulations.

Mohammed, who inaugurated the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) Reform Implementation Committee, added that the President also endorsed the implementation of reforms to end monopoly in the sector.

The minister, however, noted that since the inauguration of the committee, there have been attacks, many of them sponsored, from some quarters.

“As I speak, plans are ongoing to launch more coordinated attacks, with a view to truncating the implementation of the approved recommendations,” he said.

He stressed that no responsible government would sit by and allow fake news and hate speech to rule the airwaves.

The minister stressed that fake news and hate speech have the capacity to exploit the national fault lines and trigger a national conflagration.

He reiterated that the federal government would continue to evolve ways to tackle the menace.

The minister recalled that he launched the National Campaign Against Fake News in July 2018 in Abuja.

“While the national campaign has succeeded in putting the issue of fake news and hate speech on the front burner of national discourse, the menace has yet to go away.

“Let me be clear: we didn’t think the issue will suddenly disappear, but we also didn’t think it will get worse, which is what it is now.

“In fact, it remains a clear and imminent danger to the polity. It is in this light that we are once again asking you to join us in pushing this campaign,” he said.

The minister enjoined the Online Publishers, to lead the campaign against fake news and hate speech, which he tagged as “the Siamese twins of evil”.

“Gentleman, we expect you to remain in the vanguard of the efforts to tackle fake news and hate speech.

“We expect you to educate our people on the efforts being made, especially by the government, in this regard.

“This administration has no intention of muzzling the media or stifling free speech.

“Our campaign is against fake news and hate speech. And we will not rest until our media space has been rid of fake news and hate speech,” he said.

The President had underscored the need to inject sanity into the nation’s broadcast industry, following the unprofessional and unethical conduct of some broadcast stations, especially before and during the last general elections.

Highlights of the terms of reference of the reform implementation committee inaugurated by the minister included upward review of fines from N500,000 to N5 million for breaches relating to hate speeches, inciting comments and indecency

“Wilful repeat of infractions on three occasions after levying fine on a station to attract suspension of license

“Upgrade of breach of political comments relating to hate speeches and divisive comments to ”Class A” offence in the Broadcasting Code.”

The committee is also saddled with the responsibility of amending the NBC Act to enable NBC license WebTv and radio stations, among others.

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“Igbo People Are Happy With Buhari, Will Continue To Support Him” — Arthur Eze

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Billionaire oil magnate, Arthur Eze says Igbo people are happy with President Muhammadu Buhari and will continue to support his administration.

The notable philanthropist stated this on Wednesday at the inauguration of Zone 13 Nigeria Police Headquarters at Ukpo, in Dunukofia Local Government Area of Anambra State.

A visibly-elated Eze expressed delight that his hometown was chosen as the site for the police zonal headquarters, thanking the president and the police authorities.

“He is currently rehabilitating the Enugu-Onitsha highway, constructing the 2nd Niger Bridge and has approved this new police zone 13 for our people,” said Mr Eze, an indigene of Ukpo.

“We cannot thank him enough, and as a leader from the zone, I must say that we the Igbo people are happy with President Buhari and will continue to support his people-oriented programmes,’’ Eze said.

He later handed over the key of the complex to a representative of the Inspector-General of Police, saying that policemen deployed to the zone would have a fruitful working experience.

The newly-established Zone 13 is expected to cover three South-Eastern states – Ebonyi, Enugu and Anambra.

While Ebonyi was previously under Zone 6 headquartered in Calabar, Enugu and Anambra were under Zone 9 with headquarters in Umuahia.

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BREAKING: Ekweremadu To Run For Governorship In Enugu Under APC

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Former Deputy Senate President and Senator representing Enugu West Senatorial district, Mr Ike Ekweremadu has reportedly concluded plans to dump his political party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) ahead of 2023 Enugu governorship tussle.

THE NIGERIA DAILY quoted a source close to the former deputy Senate President to have said that Ekweremadu has renewed his high-level negotiations with the top echelon of the APC from the South East.

The source told THE NIGERIA DAILY that Ekweremadu’s defection to the APC has nothing to do with disagreement with his own party, the PDP, but solely on his desire to pursue his governorship ambition in 2023.

It will be recalled that Ekweremadu is one of the longest-serving senators in the national assembly having represented his senatorial zone for 16 years and still counting.

During his re-election in 2019, Ekweremadu has promised his constituents he would not be seeking another term in the Senate come 2023.

He was first elected to the senate in 2003. In 2015 he attempted to run for Governor but the then Governor, Sullivan Chime denied him the ticket insisting it was the turn of another zone. This prompted Ekweremadu to renegotiate his way back to the Senate.

THE NIGERIA DAILY reports that Enugu PDP has insisted on following the zoning arrangements of 1999. Enugu East produced Governor between 1999-2007, followed by Enugu West (2007-2015) and now Enugu North (2015-date ) The tenure of Enugu North is expected to elapse by 2023.

But Ekweremadu’s close aide told THE NIGERIA DAILY that since all zones have benefited from the zoning arrangements, it doesn’t matter which zone produces the next governor.

Meanwhile, Enugu East which has former governors Chimaraoke Nnamani and Jim Nwobodo have made it clear that they are leaving no stone unturned in producing the next governor and the incumbent governor, Rt. Hon Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi is strongly in support of Enugu East, this Newspaper still learnt.

With Ekweremadu leaving no stone unturned on his interest to occupy the Lion Building (Enugu State Government House) and without the support of the incumbent governor, his alternate vehicle to achieve his long time dream is through the APC.

This online Newspaper confirmed that Ekweremadu has activated all his governorship structures and is on the verge of concluding all necessary measures before he finally announces his defection to the APC.

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Edo Guber Poll: You Are No Match For Wike, PDP Replies Ganduje

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The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Monday, described the chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, national campaign council for the Edo governorship election, and governor of Kano state, Abdullahi Ganduje, as a “barefaced treasury looter who has no moral rectitude to speak on corruption.”

The party stated this while reacting to comments credited to the Kano governor over the manner the APC would take Edo, specifically saying that his counterpart and governor of Rivers state, Nyesom Wike would be “isolated” until the conduct of the poll in Edo on September 19 this year.

In a statement issued by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP described as a huge irony that Governor Ganduje, “who has become a butt of national shame after being seen on viral video stuffing his robe with gratification in foreign currency,” would accuse the PDP of corruption intentions in the Edo state governorship election.

The statement read: “It is a paradox that an individual who has earned himself the disgraceful public sobriquet of “gandollar”, after being caught collecting gratification, would attempt to accuse others of having intention of looting the treasury of a state.

“The PDP points out that it is only in a party like the APC, under a Buhari Presidency, that such a tarnished individual can be selected to speak in public, let alone lead a governorship election campaign.

“Apparently, Governor Ganduje and other APC leaders are so used to looting public treasuries that such is his first mental direction after his inauguration to lead the Edo governorship campaign.

“Governor Ganduje has further confirmed the real intention of the APC, which is to use their morally embattled candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu for their desperate effort to regain access to Edo state treasury, after Governor Godwin Obaseki liberated the state from the stranglehold of APC treasury-looting godfathers.

“Our party invites Governor Ganduje to note that there is no free dollars for him and other APC leaders to loot in Edo state. Under the PDP, the resources of Edo state, and indeed other PDP states, belong to the people and not to any political cabal and their godfathers.

“Of course, this is why the people of Edo state are solidly behind Governor Obaseki for firmly resisting APC looters.”

“Moreover, Governor Ganduje, with his infamous “gandollar” video, is no match to the Chairman of the PDP National Campaign Council for the Edo election, Governor Nyesom Wike.

“Whereas Governor Wike is a highly respected, upright, honest, transparent, people-based and development-driven leader, who is firmly in touch with the people of Edo state and enjoys their confidence and trust, Governor Ganduje, on the other hand, represent a leadership that is fraught with dishonesty, corruption, non-performance and public shame.”

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