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NITDA Trains Journalist on Journalism and Fact Checking Technics in Jigawa

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By Ahmed Rufa’i, Dutse

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has trained 50 journalists representing national dailies and reporters of local media on “Digital Journalism and Fact Checking” in Jigawa state.

Speaking while declaring the training open the NITDA Head of Corporate Affairs and External Relations Hadiza Umar said the training was aimed at enhancing the capacity of practising journalists on modern journalism and how to take advantage of digital technology to strengthen the public confidence on their editorial contents.
Umar stated further that the essence is to enlighten the journalists on the importance of application of Code of Ethics of journalism profession in their day-to-day activities as a guiding principle of journalism practice.

According to her “Our mission is to update practicing journalists on the concept of modern practices in line with the global trend in digital journalism to conform with the present times, challenges, as well as to refrain from fake news or any unhealthy development which could be inimical to the code of ethics in journalism”.

On his part the publicity secretary of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), Lagos Chapter, Samuel Adeyemi warned the participants to beware of people that use them to promote pecuniary ideology and agenda.

The Project Manager of Penlight Centre, Dahiru M Lawal, spoke on online media fact-checking, media monitoring and search engine optimization, where he introduced Journalists and social media influencers to basic knowledge of facts reporting, content monitoring on social media and techniques of using digital tools for effective verification of information.

Also speaking the chairman Jigawa state Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, Comrade Muh’d Zangina Kura commended National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) for training its members on digital Journalism and Digital Facts checking.

The chairman said, the training will enhance the professional skill of the practicing journalists in the state to meet with the contemporary challenges posed by digital technology

According to him journalists are confronted with dimensional challenges from the social media which serves as vehicles for the spread of fake news in the society.

“Such training will certainly enhance the capacity of our members to counter the menace of fake news in the society by authenticating the source of any information for proper public enlightenment”

“Today everyone has access to social media and can bombard public with all sort of fake and distorted news which only trained and professionals can understand that they are false information” the chairman said.

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Olatunji’s release: IPI, NGE, NUJ vow to take action against CDS, CDI

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**ask Tinubu to Protect Free press, Nigeria’s democracy against military misconduct

As Mr.Segun Olatunji, Editor of FirstNews regained freedom after he was reportedly whisked away from his home situated at Iyana Odo, Abule Egba area of Lagos State, after 14 days, the Nigerian media community has indicated that it is not yet uhuru for his tormentors..
The International Press Institute (IPI), the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), and the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) on Thursday said they shall consult further in the next few days on the actions to take against the CDS, the CDI, and the military regarding this matter.
They asked the Tinubu Led Federal Government to protect the Nigerian democracy against military misconduct.
Addressing a press conference at FCT Council of NUJ, Utako, Abuja, to update members of the public about the abduction of the Editor, FirstNews, Mr. Segun Olatunji they also demand protection of free press from the government.
Olatunji, who was abducted by 10 fully armed military men and believed to have been taken into custody by the Defence Intelligence Agency regained his freedom after he was detained for 14 days.

Several appeals were made by the Nigerian National Committee of the International Press Institute (IPI Nigeria), Nigeria Guild of Editors and other organisations to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to activate the powers of his office as Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces to direct the Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Musa, to produce Segun Olatunji.

The secretary of the Nigerian Guild of Editors, Iyobosa Uwugiaren who addressed the press conference said the joint press conference was called to update members of the public on the ordeal of the Editor of FirstNews, Segun Olatunji, who armed people we earlier thought were non-state actors abducted from his home in Lagos on March 15.
He said, “In a statement issued by the management of FirstNews, Mr. Olatunji’s abduction was linked to a recent story published by the media organization titled, “Revealed: Defence Chief running office like family business Public Interest Lawyers.”

“Narrating the ugly incident, Mr. Olatunji’s wife, who witnessed the abduction of her husband, said the armed men stormed their residence a few minutes after 6 pm that day.
“She said on their arrival, the abductors immediately confiscated her husband’s telephone before shoving him into a van. She said she asked the abductors what her husband’s offence was and where they were taking him. The stern-looking men rebuffed her enquiries.

“For days, the Publisher of FirstNews, Mr. Daniel Iworiso-Markson, as well as Mr. Olatunji’s colleagues and family members, tried in vain to locate him. But those who abducted him ensured he was incommunicado. “They also ensured that no one knew his whereabouts, a development that further traumatised his family, employers and colleagues.

“For days, the leaderships of the IPI, the NGE and the NUJ frantically searched for Mr. Olatunji. We interacted with the presidency, the Nigeria Police Force (Lagos and Abuja), the Nigerian Army, the Defence Intelligence Agency, the Ministry of Interior, the Defence Headquarters, the Office of the National Security Adviser, the Ministry of Information and National Orientation, and the State Security Services (SSS). “Other security agencies were also contacted. But all the efforts failed until last night. The military claimed the journalist was not in their custody. They lied to us and top government officials whose interventions we sought.

“However, on Monday, IPI Nigeria was able to determine (without doubt) that the journalist was being detained and tortured by the Defence Intelligence Agency in Abuja.
“The IPI then informed the Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Musa and the Chief of Defence Intelligence, Major General Emmanuel Undiandeye, of its finding and asked them to release our colleague immediately.
“We also provided that information to top government officials who also reached out to Generals Musa and Undiandeye. Again, they lied that the journalist was not in their custody. Yet our sources were telling us we needed to act fast to save our colleague from being killed.

“That was what culminated in the IPI Nigeria’s press statement of Wednesday, which clearly accused the DIA of abducting and detaining Mr. Olatunji.
“Once that statement circulated in the media, the anti-democratic officers became jittery. They became even more confused after they became aware that the NGE, the NUJ, and the IPI had scheduled a follow-up press conference for this morning. “Knowing the game was up. they admitted their crime last night. They confessed to the Honourable Minister of Information and National Orientation, Alhaji Mohammed Idris, that our colleague was in their custody and that they would release him immediately.

“At this point, we want to put on record the important role played by the Minister of Information and other top officials of government towards the resolution of this matter.
“These reckless and anti-media officers, who apparently have no respect for civilian authorities, lied to and disobeyed officials of the federal government who intervened.

“We are sure that many right-thinking members of society, including the international community, are both amazed and shocked by the lawlessness and fear-provoking action of the DIA – an agency under the command of Major General Undiandeye, who reports directly to the Chief of Defence Staff, General Musa.

“The DIA’s action makes us wonder about its real intention. Our suspicion is that they planned to secretly eliminate Mr. Olatunji so that members of the public could attribute his disappearance to unknown gunmen. But we are glad they failed.

“For us, this vicious, uncivilized, unlawful and criminal action of the DIA is unacceptable. The action is alien to Nigeria’s democratic space. It is now clear that there are some officers in our military who are still finding it difficult to subject themselves to civil authority 24 years after our country returned to representative governance.

“We do not think this kind of attitude should be condoned by President Bola Tinubu, particularly, and Nigerians, in general. If officers in a military institution like DIA could hack a journalist’s telephone, mishandle his wife, abduct him, detain him secretly for 12 days and disobey senior officials of the federal government, then our democracy cannot be said to be safe.

“Although our colleague has now been released, we are calling on President Tinubu to ensure that these officers are punished for their bad behaviour. By all standards, the actions of the DIA, General Musa and Major General Undiandeye are against the provisions of Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution and other international instruments to which Nigeria is a signatory – which forbid the detention of any citizen or resident beyond 48 hours, except with a valid court order.

“More so, the DIA’s action is a direct attack on press freedom. One of the core missions of the free press is to serve as a watchdog on power. The press, as we all know, is the connection between the people and the government. If the press is not allowed to carry out its social and constitutional responsibilities but instead obligated to power, it simply serves as an extension of power.
“Without freedom of the press, our democracy is endangered. In the case of corruption, a free press is critical to exposing abuses of power. For sure, the media is not above the law, but in a democracy, the only way to determine wrong or right is through the legal process,

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NUJ FCT grieves over demise of Ace Sport writer, Albert Akota

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Late Albert Akota
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The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) FCT Council has expressed shock over the death of ace sport writter and Chairman of Peoples Daily Chapel of NUJ FCT Council Alber Akota describing it as a great loss to the union and journalism profession.

In a statement released Sunday in Abuja, jointly signed by Comrades Osaretin Osadebamwen and Ochiaka Ugwu, Chairman and Secretary of Council respectively, it noted that council received the news of the death of the ace sportswriter with rude shock.

It stated that the late Akota was not only a strong member of the council, who never missed any council’s activities, but a committed comrade who was always desirous to lend a helping hand to colleagues whenever the need arises.

According to the statement, “The former Sport Editor would be remembered for his invaluable contributions to the growth of the journalism profession, and NUJ as umbrella body of all practicing journalists.

“It is a sad and grieving moment for the NUJ family and Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) in particular. It is more worrying that he died when his services were most needed by the council and his medium, Peoples Daily.

“Akota was a dedicated newsman, an exemplary, unpretentious and hard-working Journalist, who discharged his duties with diligence, devotion and integrity.

“Akota was modest, calm and gentle during his lifetime and would be greatly missed by his colleagues and fans.

“Make no mistake about it, the council had lost an industrious and active member to the cold hands of death. It was more painful that he died when his services were mostly needed”.

It would be recalled that Akota died at the early hours of Saturday March 16 after a protracted illness and was survived by his wife and three children.

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NGE President charges Gov. Ododo to consolidate on Bello’s legacies

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***says Kogi is working in terms of infrastructure, Health

By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja.

President of the Nigeria Guild of Editors (NGE), Mr Eze Anaba has charged Governor Ahmed Usman Ododo of Kogi State to consolidate and improve on the level of infrastructural development attained under the last administration of governor Yahaya Bello.

Anaba made the call on Saturday in Okene while on tour of on-going projects by the present administration of Governor Ododo and the Legacy Projects of the immediate past administration of former Governor Yahaya Bello in the state.

Anaba noted that the immediate past administration left a legacy worthy of emulation adding that the good work of former Governor Bello should be sustained by the present administration.

“Government is a continuum. And I would advise the current governor, to follow the footsteps of his predecessor.

“It’s only in that way that the citizenry will benefit. Kogi State will continue to grow and people will reckon that democracy has taken root in Kogi State and the people are benefiting.

“At the end of the day, governance is about the people. So, from what I’ve seen, from what my colleagues saw, I think Kogi is working in terms of infrastructure and in terms of medical care that I saw.

Speaking on the Reference Hospital, Okene, Anaba said, “From a layman’s perspective, I’m not a doctor, but from what the doctors have told me and from what I saw, it’s been hugely impressive.

“The MRI machine, the other laboratory equipments, very, very impressive. And I have to commend the Kogi State government for making this available. And I also suggest that people should put this to test.

“And if these things work, they will save Nigeria a huge sum of money. Recently, the CBN governor told the whole world that medical tourism alone is costing this country fortunes.

“So, if people test and try this, I’m sure it will save this country a lot of money and put our economy in good stead. You also know that healthy citizens make a great country. And I’m sure that if these things continue, with what we have seen here, Nigerians will be happier for it”, he said.

On his general assessment of the legacy and on-going projects, the NGE President said, “I think Kogi is working in terms of infrastructure

“Democracy is about the people and the facilities we have seen, the road construction we saw and the traffic time they have saved people of Kogi State and Nigeria in general…

“That alone will help the country boost our economy and help the citizens. People waste and lose lives in traffic. If the road network is strong like we saw, I am sure Nigeria will be better for it.

“I am highly commending the state government for what me and my team have seen so far* he said. (Ends)

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