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 call for urgent repair of Benin-Warri highway over Tanker explosion
The House of Representatives has called for an urgent repair of the dilapidated Benin-Warri highway which led to the recent fuel tanker explosion that claimed 20 lives at the Koko Junction in Delta.
The resolutions followed the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance by Rep Thomas Ereyitomi (Delta-PDP) on during plenary in Abuja on Wednesday.
In moving the motion, Ereyitomi noted that the unfortunate loss of more than 20 lives, including children and women on Oct.1, was worrisome.
This was due to a fallen tanker ladened with Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS) that exploded at Koko Junction in the Warri-Benin highway in Delta.
He said apart from the deaths recorded, other people sustained different degrees of injuries while over 16 vehicles and three motorcycles were destroyed by the inferno.
He further stated that the unfortunate incident would further worsen the plight of road users.
He said the road users already had to cope with massive gridlock occasioned by the dilapidated road, spending days on a journey that should ordinarily not exceed 45 minutes.
He said the road was plagued by significant number of accidents which often involved tankers and other heavy duty vehicles which tumbled as drivers maneuvered failed portions of the road.
“With the accident, commuters and motorists will become more exposed to attacks by hoodlums/miscreants who take advantage of such situations to wreck havoc.
“The failed portions of this road have become a death trap for users of the road with little or no remedial efforts from any quarter over a period of time to pose this kind of danger.
Adopting the motion, the house, therefore, observed a minute silence in honour of those who lost their lives in the tragic incident.
The house urged the National Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development to immediately send relief materials to affected victims
The lawmakers also urged FERMA and Federal Ministry of Works and Housing to expedite action on the rehabilitation of the road and other federal roads around the country, to forestall future occurrence.
They also asked that victims’ medical bills be settled for those hospitalised.
The house further mandated its committees on emergency and disaster management, works and legislative compliance to comply with the resolution.
Sokoto Judicial Commission grants Tambuwal, nine others additional time for defence Commission
The Sokoto State Commission of Inquiry has approved the request of former Gov. Aminu Tambuwal and nine others for additional time to prepare their defence.
The commission, at Its resumed hearing on Tuesday in Sokoto summoned Tambuwal and other officials of his administration as witnesses, among other stakeholders.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the witnesses were summoned to explain their involvement in the alleged sale and auctioning of government assets related to the State Ministry of Agriculture.
During the hearing, Dr Suleiman Usman, (SAN), the Counsel for Tambuwal and the nine others, requested for an extension of time to allow them to respond to the memorandum.
Usman pointed out that some of the witnesses had not been properly served, necessitating the request for an additional time.
NAN also reports that the nine other witnesses included Sani Garba-Shuni, Sa’idu Umar, Abdussamad Dasuki, Ali Inname, Aminu Dodon-Daji, Buhari Tambuwal, Umar Wali, Umar Bature, Mai-Akwai Tudu and Aliyu Tureta, among others.
Justice Mu’azu Pindiga, the commission’s Chairman granted the request, giving the witnesses a two-day extension to prepare and respond to the memorandum.
Pindiga scheduled the next hearing for October 5th, for the formal adoption of the memorandum and the commencement of the hearing.
In the meantime, three witnesses had chosen to return the tractors they had acquired through auction within two days.
According to one of the witnesses, the tractor had been given to him as a ‘donation for sesame production’.
NAPTIP celebrates as 62-years-old trafficker goes in for 12 years
The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), has expressed appreciation at Tuesday’s sentencing of a human trafficker, Felicia Osaigbovo to 12 years imprisonment.
A Benin High Court sentenced 62-year-old Felicia to 12 years at the Correctional Centre and a fine of N24 million for her involvement in human trafficking.
NAPTIP arraigned the convict on July 1, 2021 on a 24- count charge of assisting persons engaged in trafficking, contrary to the law.
She was also charged with organising foreign travels for 12 persons to practice prostitution in Belgium, contrary to the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act (2015).
The convict pleaded not guilty to all the counts, but the prosecution called three witnesses, including Belgian police officer, Jimmy Wellem Hendricks to prove its case.
The prosecution tendered 13 exhibits in the cause of trial.
In delivering judgment, the trial court found Felicia guilty on all the 24 counts and sentenced her accordingly.
NAPTIP’s Commander, Benin Zonal Command, Mr Nduka Nwanwenne was full of praises for the agency’s legal team for diligent prosecution.
He also applauded the court for the judgment when he spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Benin.
Nwanwenne noted that the hands of justice must surely manifest, sooner than later, no matter the delay.
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