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Journalists Receive Training on Conflict Reportage



search for common ground

A Non-Governmental Organization, ‘Search for Common Ground'(SFCG) recently rounded up a three day training workshop for Journalists in Benue State, where about 30 Journalists were trained on reporting conflicts sensitive situations.

In a Communique issued at the end of the training in Makurdi, and signed by Senior Programs Manager and Head of Office, Search for Common Ground in the Middle Belt, Olutoyin Falade, the workshop challenged journalists to strive to giving fair hearing to all parties involved in farmer-herder conflicts in the state so that none will feel under reported, as well as instill balance and objectivity.

The participants also called for the creation of a North Central Development Commission (NCDC) to address issues of farmer/herder conflicts with a view to rehabilitating and reconstructing ravaged communities, infrastructures and other destructions caused by the crisis.

They employed government at all levels to develop a comprehensive policy frame work and legislation for peace building and post-conflict reconstruction.

The workshop which challenged journalists in Benue to shun personal biases, requested the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ to push for comprehensive legislation on press freedom which include security of journalists and their welfare to encourage their performance.

It stressed however that, Journalists should be sensitive enough to step down some news contents capable of fueling crisis between both parties in conflict situations.

“It is obvious that most of the journalists as victims of conflict directly or indirectly are traumatized and there is need for societal psychological training to help foster forgiveness that builds bridges for common grounds.”

The participants called on government of Benue State to establish pilot ranches that would be hired by herders, even as they urged government to encourage investors to develop ranches in the State for use by herders.

While acknowledging that security agencies have been overstretched in the course of the crisis, the participants called on the federal government to adequately equip security agents as well as take care of their welfare for optimal performance.

DAILY ASSET reports that the objective of the three days training was to ensure that journalists through their media reports, enhance public understanding of farmer-herder conflicts, promoting conflict sensitive content and countering hate-speech, stereotypes, biases and negative narratives that fuel violence.


Reps to Probe NDDC Erosion Protection Contract in Bayelsa




The House of Representatives has resolved to investigate the abandoned erosion protection contract in Kolokuma/Opokuma in Bayelsa, awarded by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

This followed the adoption of a motion by Rep. Abonsizibe Oboku(PDP-Bayelsa) during plenary in Abuja on Wednesday.

Presenting the motion, Oboku said that almost 20 years after, the project had been abandoned, adding that this had resulted into a perennial erosion, affecting a clan comprising 10 communities.

He said that Ayakotoama community had been washed away, adding that a substantial part of Orubiri community had suffered the same fate.

This, he said had led to the loss of lives and property, which he said could have been averted if the contractor and NDDC had lived up to the expectation of the aim and objectives of the said contract.

Adopting the motion, the House mandated the committee on NDDC to investigate the project and report back to the House in four weeks for further legislative action.(NAN)

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C’River Assembly Impeaches Speaker




The Cross River House of Assembly, on Wednesday, impeached the Speaker, Mr Elvert Anyambem, over issues of gross misconduct and high-handedness.

The speaker’s impeachment was carried out during a sitting of the house in which he was presiding.

The impeachment followed a motion moved by the member representing Calabar South 1, Mr Effiong Ekarika, which was seconded by Mr Charles Omang, representing Bekwara constituency.

The motion was thereafter unanimously supported by other members of the house present at the sitting.

Moving his motion, Ekarika stated that Anyambem had grossly indulged in administrative misconduct, high-handedness and financial misappropriation.

Reports says that 17 out of 25 members of the assembly signed the notice for the speaker’s impeachment.

In the notice, Anyambem was said to have indulged in arbitrary expenditure, contrary to Section 9(1) of the state Legislative Funds Management Law, 2021

The notice stated that he misappropriated the sum of N48 million meant for the payment of the assembly’s electricity bills.

He was also accused of misappropriating N404.6m representing two per cent of the monthly revenue collected by the state Internal Revenue Service, and meant for oversight functions of the assembly.

“The speaker misappropriated the sum of N19.4m being deductions from the local government councils which he willfully failed to disclose to members,” the notice read in parts.

Reports says that after the impeachment, the mace was taken away by the members.

Attempts to speak to the impeached speaker proved abortive as he did not take calls or respond to text messages.(NAN)

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FCT Spends $15m on Abuja Light Rail Rehabilitation – Wike




By Laide Akinboade, Abuja
The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, Monday said not less than $15 million was spent to rehabilitate the vandalized Abuja light rail.
Wike also revealed that the railway is ready for commissioning by President Bola Tinubu in less than seven days.

The Minister stated this while speaking to journalists at the sidelines of his final inspection of the project in Abuja.

He also expressed satisfaction with the facilities on ground and declared the Abuja light rail ready for commercial operations.

According to the Minister, thank God Almighty that we are good to go. We are ready and you can see the facilities.
“Just that we identify one or two things that were omitted during the design but we believe that during the full operations, some of these things will be taken into consideration.

“Particularly, I belief that as a standard Metro Line where the passengers will be waiting before they board the trains, there should be air conditioners and then I also thought that some of the stations should have had an elevator for those who are very old and those who may not have the strength to walk or to climb the staircases.
“Apart from that, I think we are happy with the work that has been done and we believe Nigerians will be happy, particularly the residents of FCT.
“The lack of the facilities will not inhibit the operation, they are just what will make the passengers’ ends more comfortable. When operations start these are things they could take care of. It will not stop the operation.
‘Without the access roads to the train station there would be no need for the metro line, how will the people from the various communities access the stations?
“But we thank God we have seen the access road, you can just take your car, park at the station, board the train, go to wherever you want to go and still come and take your vehicles and go back to wherever you live.
“So, we are happy , very happy, and we thank God the promise Mr President made has been kept.
“Mr President said he is going to deliver, and he gave a matching order to the foot soldiers which as ministers  and we have no choice than to make sure that the promise made by Mr President, his renewed hope agenda and Nigerians have come to see it’s a reality.
“Everything was made possible by God and the support and then by the Mr President has given to us in FCT. We are doing well because Mr President has given us every necessary support.
Assuming we are not getting the support from him, this would have been a reality today.
On the cost of the rehabilitation of the vandalized light rail the minister said, “The rehabilitation was not less than 15 million US dollars so not less than N10 billion and all that money has been paid. What we are doing now is additional work that was added.”
in a similar development, the Akwa Ibom State Governor Umo Eno has announced that his administration has expended N120 billion on road infrastructure within his first year in office.
The Commissioner for Information, Ini Ememobong, disclosed this in Uyo on Monday on the government’s achievements in its first year in office.
Ememobong said that the current administration in the state had been quite consistent with infrastructure development.
He said that within the first one year in office, the government had inaugurated the 3.3km Idua Road and carried out emergency intervention work on the collapsed section of the Afia Nsit Road in Eket.
“The governor has asked for a review of the Afia Nsit gully reclamation project to ensure proper channeling of rainwater,” he also said.
The commissioner also listed the 1.3km underground concrete flood control tunnel as another project undertaken by the Eno-led government.
”Remember that the governor recently invited former President, Goodluck Jonathan to inaugurate that project; it shows how serious we take the business of governance.
”We have reconstructed the failed section of the Atiku Abubakar Way, with a walkway, drainage and solar street lights.
”The reconstruction of adjourning 1km Afaha Ube road is also completed,” he said.
Ememobong further said that the state government had completed the 60 metre to Ide-Ikot Amba Bridge and the 800 metre approach road in Obot Akara Local Government Area.
”The government gives priority to infrastructure development. The essence is to ensure even distribution of dividends of democracy to Akwa Ibom people.
“As we speak, there is no local government area in the state that does not have either a completed or an ongoing project.
“The 1.8km, Paul Ekpo Crescent, 1km Emmanuel Ekon Avenue and 800 metre Obot Emem Street all in Uyo metropolis, are ready for inauguration,” Ememobong said.
He noted that the governor had not only performed creditably in the area of road infrastructure but had ensured human capital development.
The commissioner said that the governor recently spent N400 million to empower no fewer than 800 entrepreneurs in the state.
He said the entrepreneurs were rigorously trained on business techniques in order to equip them with the knowledge to begin their own businesses.
“Recently, a skills upscaling workshop was organised by the state government where a foreign-based senior academic advisor facilitated the training of public school principals in the state.
“The governor is also planning an education exchange programne in London for students in rural areas,” he disclosed.
”It is our promise to Akwa Ibom people; the governor will remain steadfast in delivering the dividends of democracy to the people.

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