By Orkula Shaagee, Abuja
The Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon. Alhassan Ado Doguwa has called for harmonious working relationship between media organizations and the National Assembly in the effort to develop the country.
Doguwa, who represents Doguwa/Tudun Wada Federal Constituency of Kano State in the House of Representatives made the appeal yesterday during a courtesy call on him by members of the House of Representatives press corps led by their chairman, Mrs. Grace Ike.
The lawmaker, who noted that the media have important role to play in the development of the country, said that the 9th House of Representatives under the leadership of Rt. Hon Femi Gbajabiamila is out to reform the green chamber in order to make it more productive, as well as improve its relationship with other arms of government .
“The 9th Assembly is going to be productive not only in terms of our duties as legislators but it will be reproductive even terms of our relationship with agencies of government and other agencies of democratic institutions we are operating in this country.The press obviously is one.
“You are fourth estate of the realm, you have always form very critical component of our democratic process and believe in each of you know that you have a critical role to play not just disseminating information from one arm of government to another but even in terms of awareness.
“There is this very long standing problem we have about the institution of the National Assembly. This is one very wrong perception that we members or stakeholders in the institution cannot clear it ourselves and we will expect that role to be played by you people (press). You are operating in between the public and various institutions of government and you are here. We also consider you ambassadors of this great institution out there on the street.
“We urge you to always present the National Assembly in the best possible light. Where issues contain misunderstanding, misperception, ignorance and sometimes even blackmail, we expect the press to help us play this role by really putting everything in perspective. Sometimes we talk about issues of even our allowances and the budget we have here in the National Assembly. “When you talk of N 110 billion budget for the National Assembly most Nigerians think this N 110 billion is to be shared among the 360 Members in the House and 109 in the Senate which actually is not the case. The way we operate our finances here is very much known to you and we hope you will make known even to members of the public. That would go a long way to disabuse blackmails and possible mischief among the Nigerian public.
“Democracy can only work when every component of the democratic system work in tandem with the other organs of government or other institutions of democracy. I look at the fourth estate of the realm, the press as an inseparable arm of government. When you have three arms of government, it is like you left out one significant arm of government that is charged with that moral responsibility to cooperate, synergize and work in tandem with the operations and policies of government so that at the end, government will succeed.
“So in my view, you have even a greater role to play because government is the business that is been done for the benefit of the people and when business is being done for the people and if they are not well informed, then we have a problem. The 9th Assembly have a lot to expect from you in terms of disabusing the minds of Nigerians to make sure that the perspective in which the National Assembly is put is always apt and appropriate because we cannot go on the streets and speak for ourselves,” he stated.
Atiku Promises to Address Insecurity, Others Challenges From Day One, if Elected
Johnson Eyiangho, Abuja
Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has promised to address the numerous challenges in the country including insecurity, disunity and economic deprivation from day one, if elected President in 2023.
Atiku urged the huge crowd at the PDP campaign rally in Osun State on Wednesday, to vote the party in the next year general elections, saying that doing so would empower th state with more resources and authority to provide the infrastructure needed for development and industrialisation for the economic benefit of the people.
”I believe by returning PDP to power you will strengthen this authority by voting PDP in the next general elections because a Federal Government controlled by PDP and a state government controlled by PDP in Osun State is to the greater good of Osun people.
”Our only objective is to make sure that the current challenges of insecurity, disunity, economic deprivation, lack of jobs for our young men and women and the future of this country through restructuring can be achieved and this I promise you I am going to start doing them from day one,” he said.
Atiku thanked the people of the state for voting for the candidate of PDP, Ademola Adeleke, in the last governorship election in the state.
”My brothers and sisters of Osun State I have came to thank you and I appeal to you to come out in greater numbers than you did in the last state election and vote for the PDP in the next general election.
’’This is the only way that you can secure your future and the future of your children. We promise you we will not fail you; we are not like APC because we have done it before. We have got the experience, we have got the people who have the capacity to bring about changes,” Atiku said.
His wife, Titi, who hails from the state, appealed to the people, especially the youths not to sell their vote.
”I know there is hunger in the land and it is APC that brought all these predicaments to us but if Atiku is voted, he is going to change the state of this country not just Osun alone.
”The youths are the most unemployed in Nigeria, Atiku has promised women and youths 60 per cent in his cabinet and he is going to fulfill it. Atiku is a man of his words, he matches his words with action,” she said.
Titi added, ”Nigeriand we are more divided than we were before. Atiku wants to bring unity, to bring this country together. Atiku is going to bring back that lost glory.
”Atiku is going to unify us, he is a unifier. Atiku has come to rescue Nigeria. Atiku has come to restructure Nigeria. Atiku has come to give our children good education.
”There will be no Boko Haram, there will be no kidnapping, there will be no abduction.
”All of these are going to stop but it has to start with you people. If you give Atiku your votes come February 25, that is when it will be possible for Atiku to make you great.”
Witnesses challenge Israel’s killing of Palestinian
An eyewitness to the killing of a Palestinian by Israeli forces has told the BBC he believes the man was shot simply for punching a policeman.
Ammar Mefleh was killed at close range in the occupied West Bank last Friday.
He is the 10th Palestinian shot dead by Israeli troops in the space of a week.
Video of the shooting drew a massive reaction online and sparked a diplomatic rebuke by Israel to a top UN official who said he was “horrified” at the killing.
Israeli officials praised the officer involved saying he responded after the Palestinian stabbed a policeman in the face, and his actions prevented a “mass terror attack”.
Palestinian leaders described it as an execution “in cold blood”.
Mr Mefleh, 22, was killed in the Palestinian town of Huwara, which lies on a main road frequently used by Israeli settlers and has been the scene of growing violence in recent months.
This year in the West Bank more than 150 Palestinians have been killed, nearly all by Israeli forces. The dead include unarmed civilians, militant gunmen and armed attackers.
Meanwhile a series of Palestinian attacks targeting Israelis, as well as militant gunfire at troops during arrest raids, have killed more than 30 people including civilians, police and soldiers.
The footage from Friday, shared extensively online, was rare in capturing in detail part of the event that led up to the shooting. The last 13 seconds are caught in a second video from another angle.
In the recording, the Israeli officer is seen holding Mr Mefleh in a headlock as the pair struggle. Two other Palestinians are in the melee at first, but then step back.
After Mr Mefleh struggles out of the headlock, he tries to grab the policeman’s rifle. As they wrestle over the weapon the officer takes a hand off it – first to try to hit the Palestinian, who strikes him back – then to reach for his pistol.
Mr Mefleh for a split second has hold of the rifle but almost instantly throws it down or lets go of it, recoiling as he sees the officer raise his pistol. The policeman shoots him instantly, four times.
Following his killing, a popular Israeli news website reported that the officer had “eliminated the terrorist”. The footage was repeatedly circulated on Palestinian social media with people appalled at the killing.
The UN’s envoy to the region, Tor Wennesland, tweeted that he was “horrified by today’s killing of a Palestinian man, Ammar Mefleh, during a scuffle with an Israeli soldier,” calling for those responsible to be held accountable.
A spokesman for the Israeli foreign ministry, Emmanuel Nahshon, tweeted in response that Mr Wennesland’s reaction was a “total distortion of reality”.
“The incident is a terror attack, in which an Israeli policeman was stabbed in his face and the life of another officer was threatened and consequently he shot his assailant,” Mr Nahshon added.
“This is NOT a ‘scuffle’ – this is a terror attack”.
Latvia Axes Exiled Russian Broadcaster TV Rain
Russia’s last independent television channel, TV Rain, has been shut down in Latvia after less than five months on air.
The channel, which is known as Dozhd in Russian, has been accused of showing content that supports Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
TV Rain has called the allegations “unfair and absurd” in a post on social media.
It has been ordered to stop broadcasting on 8 December.
TV Rain says it will obey the order but will remain on YouTube, which is where most of its audience watches its content. However, it will no longer be able to broadcast on cable television inside Latvia, which has a large Russian speaking population.
The National Electronic Media Council (NEPLP), Latvia’s media regulator, said the decision to revoke the licence was taken “in connection with threats to national security and public order”.
Earlier this month, the regulator fined the channel €10,000 (£8,613; $10,488) for displaying a map in which occupied Crimea was shown as part of Russia’s territory.
It was also censured for calling the Russian army “our army” in a piece about how to provide recruits with supplies. One of the broadcaster’s hosts, Alexei Korostelyov, was fired as a result.
The decision has been criticised by many opposition figures in Russia, who argue that TV Rain is an important source of independent information for Russian speakers about the war.
“There is Putin, who started the war. There is TV Rain, which tells the truth about Putin and about the war. Stripping TV Rain of its licence only helps Putin,” said Kira Yarmysh, press-secretary to jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
The charity Reporters Without Borders called the move a “serious blow to freedom of information”.
The channel, which has long been critical of Vladimir Putin and the Russian government, was blocked in Russia in early March, just days after Moscow invaded Ukraine.
Many employees then fled Russia, and later started work on rebuilding Dozhd abroad. It is one of several independent media outlets to have moved its operations out of Russia or suspended them since the invasion.
The State Security Service (VDD) has been investigating the incident and said it has repeatedly warned about the “various risks emanating from Russia’s so-called independent media relocating their activity to Latvia”.
The VDD said these risks include the possible connections of media representatives to Russian intelligence and security services, as well as the danger posed if Moscow seeks to target Latvia as part of measures to influence public opinion online and elsewhere.
Commenting on its decision to revoke TV Rain’s broadcasting licence, NEPLP added that it “was convinced that the management of TV Rain did not understand the nature and gravity of each individual infringement, nor of any set of infringements”.
Meanwhile, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters that “some always think that there is a place better than home, that there is always more freedom than at home. This is one of the clearest examples that shows that these are the wrong illusions”.
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