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Reps Demand Stringent Measures to Protect Children on Internet

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By Ubong Ukpong, Abuja

The House of Representatives Committee on Justice on Tuesday, demanded that stringent measures must be urgently adopted to ensure the safety and wellbeing of children on the internet.

Chairman of the Committee, Rep Olumide Osoba, conveyed this demand while declaring open a public hearing on the Bill for an Act to Provide for Enactment of Child Online Access Protection Bill 2023 and other Issues of Online Violence against Nigerian Child and other Related Matters.

Osoba said, “The safety and wellbeing of our children in this digital age should be our utmost priority, and I commend your efforts to address the issue of online violence and protect our young ones from its harmful effects.

“The internet has undoubtedly revolutionized our society, connecting people from all walks of life and providing countless opportunities for learning, growth and entertainment.

“However, it also brings with it risk, particularly for the vulnerable minds of the online world who have unfortunately given rise to various forms of violence, including cyber bullying, harassment, and even exploitation.

“As responsible members of this society, it is our duty to ensure that our children are shielded from such harm.”

He said the proposed Bill not only acknowledges the potential danger online violence poses to the youth, but also aims to put effective measures in place to prevent and address such incidents.

“By setting up regulations to restrict access to harmful content, imposing stricter penalties for perpetrators, and promoting digital literacy programs, we can create a safer online environment for our children to explore and thrive in,” he said.

The lawmaker said it was worth noting that the Bill not only focuses on protection but also embraces the importance of fostering responsible digital citizenship.

“By empowering our children with the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate the online world safely we can actively engage them in their own protection.

“This Bill for sight in including educational initiatives demonstrates an understanding that prevention and awareness are equally essential components in countering online violence.

“Moreover, this Bill recognizes the need for collaborative effort between parents, educators, internet service providers and the government.

“By ensuring a holistic approach to the issue, we can collectively work towards an internet culture that promotes empathy, respect, and understanding, rather than one that fosters violence and harm,” he said.

He said by adopting the Bill, “we will not only safeguard our children’s wellbeing but also create a safer and more inclusive online space for all.”

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas, said parents must do everything possible to ensure that their children are protected.

Represented by Hon Usman Bello Kumo, he said, the Bill was straightforward and seeks legislation to ensure all hands are on deck in protecting the child from being harmed.

“The protection of children on the internet cannot be overemphasized because we are in a digital world.

“We must key into global best practices and our children must not be exposed to an extent where some people take advantage of them in abusing them,” he said.

POLITICS

APC Primary: Gov. Aiyedatiwa Best Man for Ondo – Adu

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A new entry into the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr Muyiwa Adu, has thrown is hat in the ring in support of Gov. Lucky Aiyedatiwa of Ondo State.

Adu, a former chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo State, who recently decamped to the APC, said that Aiyedatiwa was the best among gubernatorial aspirants seeking to contest the Nov.

20 governorship election.

Speaking at a public declaration of support for Aiyedatiwa, on Friday in Akure, the former PDP chieftain said that his decision followed wide consultation among his followers.

He urged party members to vote  en masse for Aiyedatiwa on April 20 during the APC primary election in the state.

According to him, the deputy governor who succeeded the late Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu, has a listening hear, which is a major attribute of a leader.

“ I want to tell people publicly that we  are supporting Aiyedatiwa  in the primary.

“I am a patron to about 73 associations in the state and we are all giving our support to the governor.

“As I told you that it’s  God that directed me to politics; therefore, it’s God’s directive and wide consultation that picked Aiyedatiwa for our support.

“We will follow our words with actions and Aiyedatiwa will become  our party’s candidate on  Saturday and come Nov.  16.

we will vote for him,” he stated.

Responding, Aiyedatiwa thanked Adu for having confidence in him, describing him as one of the leaders in the  party with a crowd of supporters.

“ I know that he cannot mislead you. What God told him in the secret is being revealed publicly today.

“All other aspirants have been to him to convince him and seek his support, but he has not picked any of them, but me.

“ I thank you  for this great mobilisation,” the governor said.( NAN)

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NEWS

Tinubu Mourns Ex-Minister, Ogbonnaya Onu

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President Bola Tinubu has extended his deepest condolences to the Onu family over the passing of Chief Ogbonnaya Onu, a former Minister of Science and Technology in the Buhari administration.

Chief Onu passed away on Thursday at the age of 72.

“The President mourns a luminous star in Nigeria’s political firmament.

The first civilian governor of Abia State; former minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, a principal draughtsman in the founding of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and a valiant partner in the victory of the party in the 2015 elections.
 

“Most importantly, the President celebrates the life of an accomplished scholar, first-class engineer; a man of proven integrity; defiant to indiscipline, but ever yielding to the highest standards of rectitude,” a statement by Chief Ajuri Ngelale, Presidential spokesman quoted the President to have said.

The statement said Tinubu affirmed that the late Onu epitomized Nigeria in concord; in wholeness, as the late statesman believed in and defended Nigeria’s unity, advocated peace, and promoted fellowship across the Niger.

The President also condoled with the friends and associates of Chief Onu, Ebonyi and Abia State Governments, and all Nigerians grieving this gaping loss.

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POLITICS

PDP Appoints Chinda as Chairman for Ondo LG Congress, Ahead of Primaries

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has appointed Rep. Kingsley Chinda as the Chairman, Local Government Congress Electoral Committee for Ondo, ahead of Saturday’s governorship primaries.

The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr Debo Ologunagba said this in a statement on Friday in Abuja.

Ologunagba said that the constitution of the committee was approved by the National Working Committee (NEC) of the party.

“The committee members are to serve on the local government Congress Electoral Committee to conduct National Delegates Congress for the purpose of electing one national delegate per local government area in Ondo,” he said.

Ologunagba said that the congress would hold at the Collation Center of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in each of the local government areas of the state.

Ologunagba advised all the governorship aspirants, leaders, critical stakeholders and members in Ondo to take note and be guided accordingly.(NAN)

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