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Be ethical in practice of journalism, Ogbeche charges graduating students

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By Janet Samuel

Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, FCT Chapter, Comrade Emmanuel Ogbeche, has urged the graduating students of journalism to always consider pursuing national interest in the course of gathering and disseminating news information.
He gave the advice during a ceremony where students of the International Institute of Journalism, (IIJ) Abuja graduated.
The event held at the FCT NUJ Council Secretariat, Utako, Abuja
Comrade Ogbeche, who was represented by the Secretary of the Council, Ochiaka Ugwu noted that journalists have a great role to play in ensuring National development by adopting and practicing developmental journalism.
“Whenever you come across a news story capable of threatening the corporate existence of the country as an entity, do not publish it, because you have to put the nation’s interest above everything else.
“Believe me, you will only know the beauty and value of your country when you turn around and look at the condition of those people living in a failed state. Thus, we must protect our country.”He said

He maintained that National development can only be realized when the country is at peace, thus journalists can help achieve that by promoting National interest via sensitive reportage.
In his remarks, the Media Law and Ethics lecturer of the institute, Dr. Austin Maho, who doubles as the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of ‘DAYBREAK newspaper, enjoined the graduands to always uphold the ethical codes of journalism profession in the course of discharging their watchdog function for the society.
Earlier, the graduating students, through their Class Representative, Miss Joy Osaji appreciated the lecturers for imparting them with sound knowledge and requisite skills needed for the practice of journalism, during the course of the program.
Highpoint of the event was the presentation of award by the graduating students to the lecturers.

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Senate to tell its own story as it births in-house magazine

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The Senate has officially unveilled its in-house publication, “10th Senate,” to the public as it expressed the believe that its story can’t be better told by the third party

Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Yemi Adaramodu who unveiled the magazine on the floor of the upper Chamber said the new publication”is an embodiment of the Senate’s commitment to open dialogue and effective communication with Nigerian people within and outside. “Within its pages, you will find a tapestry of stories, insights, and ideas that reflect the rich chronicle of our nation. It will serve as a platform for the Senate to share its legislative achievements, initiatives, and aspirations, while also providing a voice to the diverse voices of our citizenry. ”
“As we embark on this journey together, let us embrace the power of knowledge and dialogue. Let us seize this opportunity to strengthen the bond between the Senate and the people, as we work hand in hand towards a brighter future for our beloved nation. ”
Addressing newsmen shortly after plenary, Senator Adaramodu, who incidentally is the Editor-in-Chief of the magazine said the lawmakers are anxious to drive their own narrative in the public, conscious of the space constraints in the traditional media.
He said:” It will be a quarterly magazine to chronicle activities of the Senate which the traditional media may not give attention.
“Today, at the chamber, the Media Committee birthed a magazine to show the other areas that you our partners haven’t been able to showcase.
“We know that in the newsrooms there are deluge of news items fighting for space. You pick the ones that are immediate. That’s why we come up with this quarterly magazine , Tenth Senate.
Our story can’t be better told by the third party, we want to tell it ourselves
“We want the people of Nigeria to know that we are representing them adequately. We don’t want to restrict ourselves to just the hallowed chamber.”
Asked by journalists, if fund for publication of the magazine would be from public fund appropriated for the National Assembly, Adaramodu clarified that individual lawmakers would finance the publication.
“It is to be financed by Senators, we are contributing to run it to shore up our image, we aren’t going to take money either through Appropriation or other sources.”.

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Kogi Governor’s media adviser condemns attack on Akoni TV

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The Special Adviser on Media to Kogi State Governor, Ismaila Isah has expressed sympathy with the Chief Executive Officer of an online television channel in the state, Akoni TV, Deborah Agbonika, over the robbery attack and vandalisation of the Online Television Studio in Lokoja.
Some yet to be identified hoodlums were reported to have gained access to the property of Akoni TV by 200 unit housing estate junction in Lokoja on Sunday night, vandalized the studio and carted away equipments worth millions of Naira.
In a statement made available to newsmen in Lokoja, the Special Adviser to Governor Usman Ododo condemned the act describing it as an affront on journalism in the state.

He urged the management of the online TV channel not to be deterred by the incident as it is only a set back which is incapable of retarding its effort to disseminate factual and timely information to its audience and teeming followers within and outside the state

While calling on security agencies to investigate the attack and ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice, the Media adviser restated that the administration of Governor Ododo would not condone criminal elements and their nefarious activities especially where it tramples on the symbol of freedom of expression any where in the state.

Ismaila assured that the organization would be given needed support to ameliorate immediate challenges faced as a result of the robbery and damage to its facilities.

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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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