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Abia Speaker, Emeruwa Under Fire Over Alleged Humiliation Of Journalist

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Speaker, Abia State House of Assembly, Hon. Emmanuel Emeruwa, has come under fire for allegedly walking out a journalist, Kingsley Chibuike from a press briefing without any explanation.

The press conference held Thursday at the conference hall of the Abia State House of Assembly, had in attendance the Speaker, Deputy Speaker, Hon. Austin Nmeregini, among others.

Reacting to the sad development, former Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Chikwendu Kanu, said such a behaviour should not be condoned.

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The former Speaker who described the role of the media as very crucial for the survival of democracy, said no attempt should be made to obstruct their operations.

He said: “When I was speaker, the chamber was always filled to the brim. When you are a presiding officer, not only that your colleagues are assessing your capacity or capability to manage the House, the press is also involved in assessing whatever is happening at the plenary.

READ ALSO: Southern Govs Plan 90,000MW Power, Want States To Negotiate New Minimum Wage

“The press is a very important segment of the society. Other commoners are always in the chamber to listen to the proceedings of the House.

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” If a journalist is doing his job and he is barred from covering the House, I don’t think it will be condoned.”

In his own reaction, former Secretary to State Government, SSG and a veteran journalist, Elder Ralph Egbu, strongly condemned the action of the Speaker, and wondered why journalists would not boycott the activities of the House in protest.

He blamed media practitioners for their weakness in fighting their own cause, recalling that such a humiliation would not go without a consequence in his active days.

“When people know you are critical they don’t toy with you”.

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Apparently referring to leadership weakness of media practitioners in the state, the elder statesman and former Information Commissioner, regretted that the Speaker might get away with the action.

“When there is a vacuum, people will exploit it. But when people know there is a consequence they will be cautious.

“Boycott that House or start writing deliberately, and they will respect you. But you will not do it. When I was practising, they feared us”.

READ ALSO: Moment Protester Breaks Into UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s Garden, Poops In His Duck Pond

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Reacting also, former Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, described the action of the Speaker as dictatorial and an attempt to gag the press.

The former Commissioner who also described the incident as “a new low” in the state, said the action of the Speaker contrasted the humility of the Labour Party 2023 presidential candidate, Peter Obi, on whose wings the Speaker and other Labour Party members came to power.

“The quest to silence free press and muzzle opposition by all means are the hallmarks of dictators empowered by Emperors and it is a big shame that Emeruwa was elected on the ticket of the Labour Party seen by many as a progressive political party.

READ: Ex-Honduras President Jailed For 45 Years On Drugs Charges

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“I wish to call on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, leaders of the National Assembly and civil society organizations led by the free press to speak up now and stop the emerging autocracy in Abia State.

The former Commissioner called on the Speaker to tender unreserved apology to the media, and to immediately bring back the Enyimba Correspondent.

“I hereby call on Speaker Emeruwa to, as a matter of urgency, immediately apologize and recall Enyimba TV and Radio journalist to the people’s House and inaugurate Aaron Uzodike at the next legislative date.

“Abia State is not an Empire for an Emperor and his ‘hallelujah officials’ but rather a democratic state under the rule of law with full observance of media freedom and independence.”

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He also called on civil society organization to rise against any attempt to intimidate and gag the press.

Reacting also, Rights Activist and the Executive Director, Foundation for Environmental Rights, Advocacy and Development, FENRAD, Comrade Nnanna Nwafor, described the action as a manifestation of dictatorship tendency.

READ ALSO: BREAKING: Governors Meet, As Minimum Wage, LG Autonomy Top Agenda

He said it was a display of the Speaker’s lack of regard for the media, a action, he said, was unacceptable.

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“It’s unfortunate and the Speaker has played the role of dictatorship. It shows the Speaker has no respect for the press.

“It’s an impairment of the freedom of the press and expression. It doesn’t show that the Speaker believes in democratic principles. This is highly unacceptable.”

A prominent layer and Public Affairs Analyst, Mr Mike Ndu, in his own reaction, described the action of the Speaker as undemocratic.

He said that a public officer holder especially the number three citizen should be able to put his temperament under check.

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“It’s quite undemocratic. It’s against the freedom of press. In as much as he has not violated any laws, he has violated the principles of democracy. It’s condemnable.

” As the number three man in the state who is representing a people, he ought not to have behaved that way as a public officer. The House of Assembly is not a private office”.

 

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Metro

JUST IN: Heavy Gunshots Erupt At Benin Airport As Shaibu Arrives

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There were heavy gunshots at Benin Airport today, Thursday 18, 2024 as political thugs took over the place.

It was the occasion of the arrival of the reinstated Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu in Benin, and the All Progressives Congress, APC, governorship candidate, Senator Monday Okpebholo.

The duo were leaving the Airport on arrival when the shooting occurred.

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The gunmen had stationed themselves at the exit gate of the Airport in a Sienna vehicle and opened fire targeted at Shaibu and Okpebholo’s convoys.

READ ALSO: BREAKING: Reps Slash Salaries By 50% Over Nationwide Hunger

Shaibu was said to have arrived at the Airport alongside the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the September 21st election.

The gun fire targeted at Okpebholo and Shaibu resulted a reprisal gunshot by armed security details attached to the APC candidate and Deputy governor Phillip Shaibu.

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Some unidentified persons were seriously injured, one person was feared dead.

READ ALSO: Final Year Student Of Bayelsa Varsity Allegedly Killed Over N150

The shots, audible inside the Airport Arrival Hall and along Airport Road, near the Miracle Centre of the Church of God Mission, caused widespread panic.

Businesses closed, and drivers abandoned their vehicles in a rush to escape.

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It took the intervention of the Mobile Squad of the Nigeria Police to bring the situation under control.

Meanwhile, several officers continued shooting to disperse the said attackers as they fled in a Toyota Sienna bus.

The shooting occurred just one day after a Federal Court ordered the Inspector General of Police to restore the security detail of Philip Shaibu as Deputy Governor of Edo State, following the nullification of his impeachment.

 

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BREAKING: NASU, SSANU Protest Four-month Withheld Salaries

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The Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) and Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU) have commenced a one day nationwide protest over their four-month withheld salaries.

Their protest has led to disruption in administrative work in universities and inter – university Centres.

As early as 7:30am, the union members converged on the popular Unity Fountain, Abuja from where they would march on the Federal Ministries of Education and Labour and Employment.

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General Secretary of NASU, Peters Adeyemi said letters would be presented to both ministries.

READ ALSO: Top 10 Richest People In Asia In 2024

The workers are asking the Federal Government to pay “us what you owe us.”

The unions said meetings with the government over the withheld salaries have not yielded positive results.

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Former Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen Chris Ngige invoked the ‘No work, no pay’ policy when the four university based unions embarked on a prolonged strike in 2022.

READ ALSO: BREAKING: Protest Rocks University Of Ibadan Over Fee Hike

Salaries of members of the university-based unions who participated in the strike were withheld by the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari.

But President Bola Tinubu in October 2023 granted amnesty to the university workers and directed that four months of the withheld salaries be paid to them.

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Details Shortly…

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APC Destroyed Nigerian Economy, All Institutions Built For 16 Years – PDP Governors

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Governor elected on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party, PPD, have accused the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, of running down the nation’s economy and inflicting untold hardship on Nigerians.

The governors, under the umbrella body of PDP Governors, expressed dismay and grave concern over what they called “unprecedented hardship faced by the majority of Nigerians as a result of the dismal performance of the APC-led federal government”.

They frowned at the long delay in the minimum wage negotiations.

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Rising from a meeting hosted by Enugu State Governor, Peter Mbah, the governors welcomed the autonomy granted Local Government Councils, and said that they believe in the efficacy of the Local Government system which ensures that governance is taken closer to the people as enshrined in the constitution.

The Forum also frowned at what it called the destruction of good institutions and developments put in place by the party when it was in power at the federal level by the ruling APC.

READ ALSO: Tinubu Appoints New MD, Board Chairman For NPA

The Forum expressed strong support for the Governor of Rivers State in his political battle and said that a political solution that would bring peace to the state would be initiated.

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A communique from the meeting read by the Forum’s Chairman, Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State said:
“The meeting deliberated on a wide range of issues bordering on critical national interest. The unprecedented hardship faced by the majority of Nigerians as a result of the dismal performance of the APC led federal government, the minimum wage negotiations and the recurring issue of intergovernmental relations with special reference to local government autonomy and funding.

Following an exhaustive discussion and consultations with all the organs of the party as you can see here, the national Working committee of the party.

Upcoming congresses

“In the spirit of the founding fathers of our great party who adopted internal democracy as a fundamental principle on which our party was built, the congresses leading to the elections of the party leaders at the various tiers must be all-inclusive, transparent, fair and in compliance with the constitution of our party. To ensure the successful conduct of the congresses of the 36 states of the federation and the federal capital territory”.

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READ ALSO: Japa: 7 Mistakes To Avoid When Applying For A Schengen Visa In 2024

Off-season election.

“Of the off-season elections in Edo and Ondo, the Forum admonishes all parties in the election to ensure that campaigns are issue-based, violence-free and in strict compliance with the provision of the electoral act. The forum urges the Independent Electoral Commission INEC to provide a level playing field that guarantees transparent, fair and peaceful elections as any act of bias will be resisted. The forum urges the president to show leadership as a true democrat by refraining from making any statement suggesting political interference in the entire process”.

The economy

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“The Forum notes with dismay and grave concern the mismanagement of the economy by the APC led federal government”.

The Minimum wage

“The Minimum wage negotiations are becoming unduly protracted in the face of the attendant unprecedented hardship and impoverishment of the people. The forum resolves as follows: The Labour’s demand for a substantial salary raise is eminently justified and therefore commands total support of the forum. While the forum supports Labour’s demand, agreement must take into consideration the ability to pay by the sub-nationals, the federal government and the third tier of government.

“While negotiations are ongoing, we appeal for restraint in both utterances and actions that could lead to a complete breakdown of law and order and ultimately the collapse of the economy”.

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Supreme court ruling on LG autonomy

“The forum believes in the efficacy of the local government system which ensures that governance comes closer to the people as provided in the constitution. The forum will also support the autonomy of the local government as enshrined in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

READ ALSO: Japa: New Zealand Simplifies Work Visa Rules For Spouses Of Foreign Students

Restoring the Nation’s Past Glory

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“The forum regrets that the 16 years of the tremendous development of the PDP-led federal government during which the country with single-digit inflation, the establishment of the existing anti-corruption institutions and higher standard of living by the majority of Nigerians has been eroded during the lifespan of the lacklustre APC led federal government.

“The forum identifies with the Nigerian populace in these troubling times and promises to bring back those good old days of low inflation rates, affordable food, fuel and transportation, steady FDI influx resulting in high Naira value and great quality of human life that was recorded.

“In that regard, the meeting commended the Governors of the PDP-controlled states for their innovative approach to governance in many fields, especially infrastructure, education, health, women and youth initiatives and the timely delivery of developmental projects across the country.

“The forum notes the crisis in Rivers State of the party and commits to supporting the governor of Rivers State and also resolved that the issue could be done through the political solution that will be required and other measures that all the leaders of the organs of the party will be committed so that we can go together and resolve this issue with minimal friction, division or rancour.

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READ ALSO: JUST IN: ECOWAS Heads Meeting Starts In Abuja As Tinubu’s Tenure Ends

“The forum therefore calls on all Nigerians to refrain from any anarchy as we all march towards the return of the PDP to power in 2027”.

Earlier the chairman of the Forum described the meeting as “an extraordinary meeting of the PDP Governors Forum and some of our major stakeholders, including our National Working Committee and various organs of the party. This meeting is very unique and auspicious because we are here to showcase our history as a party. We have been leading in this country as a party. We have all the structures established before the commencement of the APC administration”.

The governors in attendance were Siminalayi Fubara of Rivers State, Seyi Makinde of Oyo, Umo Eno of Akwa-Ibom, Sheriff Oborevwori of Delta, Godwin Obaseki of Edo, Caleb Mutfwang of Plateau, Agbu Kefas of Taraba, Dauda Lawal of Zamfara, and Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa, Douye Diri of Bayelsa, and the host governor, Peter Mbah.

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Also in attendance were the Chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees, Senator Adolphus Wabara and the Acting National Chairman of the party, represented by the Deputy National Chairman, South, Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja, former governor of Kaduna State and former Acting National Chairman of the PDP, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, and former governor of Niger State, Dr Babangida Aliyu.

 

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