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Social media Relevant tool for societal growth – Prof. Eghosa Osaghae

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Director-General, Nigerian Institute for International Affairs (NIIA) Prof. Eghosa Osaghae, has said social media has become a powerful tool for societal growth despite criticism

“The social media presents platforms for robust discussions on issues, views and ideas with opposing views flowing side by side. It is healthy to have debates with fierce disagreements.

“Ultimately, a cross fertilisation of these ideas, the sublime and ridiculous alike, will fashion out a path to greater togetherness, growth and progress,” Osaghae told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Sunday.

He emphasised the need for Nigerians to prioritise national interest above other considerations while using the social media, and cautioned against the tendency to exaggerate perceived flaws to ridicule or divide the nation.

Osaghae regretted the influx of fake news, misinformation and negative perceptions into social media platforms, urging Nigerians to be more circumspect when handling issues bordering on insurgency, terrorism, ethnic relations and the “so-called national question debate”.

“It is good to have unbridled access to information, but a lot of it is exaggerated. Sometimes, you think the country is at war. We should always argue toward arriving at a middle ground.

“Freedom behoves on the user the responsibility to be ethical, reasonable and responsible. So, we must always pander to national interest and defend our country.

“It is important for Nigerians to realise that citizens of other countries read what we put into the internet. We must strive to be positive so that others can have positive impressions about us.

“Patriotism should always be the guiding spirit. It should always be ‘country first’; your mother is your mother, no matter how ugly.

“No matter how beautiful other mothers are, they cannot replace your mother. So, you must promote your mother and make her lovable instead of loving other people’s mothers.

“We shall help our country more if the social media is used as a tool for sober reflection. For the leaders, it can be used as a feedback mechanism with everyone defending and extending frontiers of national interests.

“No Nigerian should agree to be used as a surrogate for other countries’ national interests,” he said.

Osaghae also spoke on ongoing efforts to reposition the 61-year-old NIIA to achieve its mandate as the epicentre for constant interface between local and international affairs.

“We are trying to rebuild, reposition and reinvent the institute to surpass what had been achieved in the past.

“We have had our golden years but had to slow down owing to scarce resources, but part of leadership challenge is to diversify so as to broaden our resource base.

“We are building smart partnerships with the media, government, the business cycle, international development groups and institutions with similar mandates to broaden our horizon.

“Aside pooling in more resources, we shall be focused on research and knowledge sharing to sharpen our capacity to influence and shape developments,” he said.

He said the institute was also reinventing citizen diplomacy with a focus on making Nigerians feel more positive about themselves and their country.

“We want Nigerians to feel proud of their country because it has produced some of the best leaders in all sectors of human endeavour.

“Nigeria has produced the finest scholars, technocrats, administrators and diplomats in the likes of Emeka Anyaoku, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Prince Ajibola and Prof. Adesina.

“The world has also recognised our literary prowess with great writers like Prof Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe and others winning global honours.

“Nigeria is also famed to have led the struggle that conquered apartheid and effectively chaired the UN anti-apartheid committee to great success.

“In the John Biden administration in U.S., there are up to five Nigerians holding key positions. They got that far on merit. There is generally a vast potential waiting to be tapped in this country.

“There are Nigerians whose attitude is uncomplimentary, but that is just a distraction. We are a great people and should deploy our ethnic and religious diversities to maximum advantage,” he said.

He advised Nigerians to feel proud of their nationality and avoid being too critical of their nation as it was the only space they could call their own.

“Time has come for everyone to redirect the world to see our positive sides. If we do not project Nigeria positively to the world, it will be relegation unending,” he said. (NAN)

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Let’s move on – Ningi Tells Colleagues On Resumption From Suspension

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Senator Abdul Ningi ( PDP Bauchi Central ), on resumption from suspension , told fellow Senators on Tuesday at plenary that ” It’s time to move on ” , just as the Senate President , Godswill Akpabio , said ” bygone should be bygone .

Senator Ningi made the ‘ time to move on ‘ assertion while expressing his appreciation to the Senate for recalling him from suspension after spending 75 out of 90 days slammed on him on March 12, 2024 at the committee of the whole .

Ningi who expressed his appreciation through Order 42 of the Senate standing rules , said he was in Turkey when he had of his being recalled from suspension.

He said : Mr President , Distinguished colleagues , I rise with profound humility to commend the Senate , its President , Senator Godswill Akpabio, the Senate leadership and the minority caucus for recalling me from suspension .

” I was in Turkey when the news got to me last week and I’m very much appreciative of the gesture .

” I’m happy to be back at home because National Assembly is like home to me , having served as House leader , Deputy Senate Leader in the past and now as one pf the Distinguished serving senators .

” I also thank my State Governor , Senator Bala Mohammed , the people of Bauchi State and other Nigerians who reached out to me in one way or the other during the period that has now been put behind “.

In his response , the President of the Senate , Senator Godswill Akpabio , on behalf of the Senate , said bygone should be bygone .

” Distinguished Senator Abdul Ningi , you are a very resourceful person needed in the 10th Senate , electorates from Bauchi Central Senatorial District voted you for .

” You are welcome and let bygone be bygone

The Senate had on Tuesday last week on the strength of motion sponsored by the minority leader , Senator Abba Moro on behalf of minority caucus , recalled Senator Ningi from the three months suspension .

Recall that Senator Ningi was suspended by the Senate at the committee of the whole on 2024 budget padding allegation leveled against the Senate during interview he had with the BBC Hausa service.

Apparently elated to be back in the Senate , Senator Ningi was among the first set of Senators and House of Representatives members to arrive the National Assembly for plenary on Tuesday .

Senator Ningi who along with some few other Senators like Suleiman Kawu ( NNPP Kano South) , Aminu Waziri Tambuwal ( PDP Sokoto South) etc , came into the National Assembly through the Villa Gate , arrived exactly at 10: 40am , 20minutes to 11:00am fixed for commencement of plenary which even started at about 12:10 pm .

However as a result of his suspension , Senator Ningi lost his Chairmanship position of the Senate Committee on National Identity and Population , which was allocated to Senator Mustapha Musa ( APC Yobe East ) ,two days after the now lifted suspension .

 

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Commissioner of Police Dies At Force Headquarters

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Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Mr. Abubakar Muhammad Guri was reported to have slumped and passed away on Monday at the Force Headquarters in Abuja.

According to sources, DCP Muhammad collapsed shortly after entering his office at the Louis Edet House, without displaying any prior signs of illness.

Eyewitnesses recounted that the late police chief, dressed in his uniform, collapsed on his seat within his office premises. Swift action was taken as fellow officers rushed him to the hospital for immediate medical attention.

Sadly, despite all efforts to revive him, DCP Muhammad was pronounced dead upon arrival at the medical facility.

An unnamed source familiar with the situation shared, “Some officers rushed him to the hospital and even before reaching there, he had already passed away.”

Despite the gravity of the incident, official statements from police authorities are yet to be issued regarding the untimely demise of DCP Muhammad.

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INEC Extends Voter Registration In Edo, Ondo

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Following a review meeting held with stakeholders, the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC), said it has extended voters’ registration for Edo and Ondo States respectively.

Registration was earlier slated to end on the 5th of June, 2024 in the two states.

However, a statement by the commission said following appeals by stakeholders, the date has been extended from Thursday 6th to Sunday 9th, June 2024, to allow more eligible persons to register.

The commission, similarly, extended the duration of the exercise from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm daily.

Furthermore, it said the number of centres has been increased beyond 397 wards, and the two states’ offices in Benin City and Akure to include all the 36 Local Government offices of the commission.

“More machines will also be deployed to areas identified to have peculiar needs such as difficult terrain or communal issues,” the statement partly said.

Like the ward registration centres, INEC explained that the detailed information on the names and location addresses of the LGA offices, have also been uploaded on its websites and social media platforms for the guidance of registration in the two states.

Meanwhile, the commission said the exercise is progressing in the two states.

It said, “As of Monday, 3rd June 2024, eight days after the commencement of the CVR, a cumulative of 120, 1458 new voters have registered. Of this figure, 55, 861 (46.4%) are male, while 120, 458 (53.6%) are female,”

It added that the majority of the 82, 003 registered voters, representing 68.8 per cent, are youth between the ages of 18-34 years.

In terms of occupation, 43, 419 or 36.8 per cent are students, while 812, 0.67 per cent, are persons with disability.

It, however, noted that the figures were preliminary, adding that the final figures will be published on a state basis and for all categories of registration at the end of the exercise, and after data clean-up, using Automated Biometric Identified System (ABIS).

 

 

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