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Lai: The Most Dangerous Minister In Buhari’s Cabinet – By Fredrick Nwabufo

COVID-19: Lai Mohammed Speaks On FG Sharing N15 Billion Donations To Nigerians For Lockdown

By Fredrick Nwabufo

Nigeria’s ministry of information used to be the preserve of processed, patriotic, and disciplined minds. It used to be a place for rational public servants like Chukwuemeka Chikelu, the late Dora Akunyili, and Frank Nweke Jr – and not propagandists.

I recall vividly the bold undertakings of the ministry under Chikelu, “the debonair and cool-ruling minister”. At the time, Nigeria was just five years out of the clutch of the military with foreign perception liabilities. The country had chalked up a binder of negative depictions. The minister saddled up to the exigency of the situation; he applied himself to re-imaging Nigeria. Though his quest elicited some skepticism, it was a sorely needed intervention at a time the country was seeking debt forgiveness from Paris Club and the like.

Chikelu also deployed himself to enhancing the promotion of broadcast on HIV/AIDS prevention and control by asking media executives to cut down charges on health-related broadcast messaging. He was also committed to the campaign against female genital mutilation, asking journalists that they “should make it a covenant to write at least a story on the evils of the practice”. But I think he is most remembered for his effort in re-portraying Nigeria.

I also recall the hefty exploits of Akunyili as minister of information with her “Re-branding Nigeria” campaign. She said the campaign was to emend the “faulty perception and assault on the reputation of the ordinary Nigerian”. The late minister was concerned about how Nigerians were fixed on abroad for abuse. Nweke did his bit as well – bringing poise and charisma to the office of the spokesman of the federal republic.

Among these three ministers, you could see their genuine commitment to the country. Their campaigns were never targeted at Nigerians but at redressing the challenges faced by citizens owing to the soiled image of the country.

But what is Lai Mohammed’s game? Since Lai became minister of information five years ago, he has been on an offensive against citizens. He has applied himself more as Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s propagandist, than as a spokesman of the federal republic. Like Goebbels, he appears dutiful in virulently clamping down on alternative voices.

Again, since he became minister, his campaign has been to conscript the media into a regiment and to effectuate a holocaust of independent voices. Unlike his predecessors, Lai’s docket as minister is zeroed in on propaganda, agency espionage, and citizen gag for the state.

He started with his duplicitous “change begins with me” campaign – a furtive attempt to absolve the government of blame over its gypped “change” agenda. The Buhari administration rode to power on the Pegasus of change. But after it took the mantle, it cast overboard every pretension, and asked citizens to seek the change themselves in their unlit homes, decrepit hospitals and perilous roads.

After his “change campaign” suffered an unintended abortion – obviously for being integrity challenged – Lai deployed himself robustly to gagging citizens and the media. Though he said social media will be “regulated and sanitized”, it appears this is an adventure too unwieldy for the minister to see through. But he is still on the prance to “sanitize” social platforms. By the way, social media is the only citizen agency that has not been functionally annexed by the very irritable Buhari government. Lai took his artifices to the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC). He summarily amended the broadcasting code, laying mines in the new canon for broadcasting.

Broadcast industry stakeholders have faulted the new code which is essentially a gag code. Speaking on the issue, Tonnie Iredia, a former director-general of the NTA, said the NBC code, which “was supposed to be a professional guide and masterpiece that promotes professional excellence in broadcasting is now filled with sanctions and what you will do and not do”. He also asked why the minister, who is a politician and never practised in the industry, was spearheading the process which naturally should be midwifed by professionals.

In the same vein, Ikra Aliyu Bilbis, chairman of the NBC board, said Lai amended the broadcasting code “unilaterally”. In Bilbis’ words: “Instead of studying and following the law, relevant rules and regulations, and direct the appropriate authorities as stipulated by the law to act on, he (Lai Mohammed) erroneously embarked on the review alone.”

In the new code, the fine for so-called “hate speech” was jacked up from N500,000 to N5 million. This is ultimately to menace broadcast stations and to force them into a regiment of compliance and fear where only broadcast favourable to the administration will air. Nigeria Info, 99.3 FM, Abuja, which the NBC just fined N5 million for interviewing Obadiah Mailafia, former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), who alleged that a northern governor is the leader of Boko Haram, is the first casualty of Lai’s Goebbelian pursuit.

A memo by the NBC warning broadcast stations of sanctions against insult on the president, governors and members of the national assembly by their guests “because it is not in our culture” to insult elders, surfaced online on Thursday. This further accents Lai’s desperate agenda to garrison the media.

At this point, it is either “hell or the lake of fire” (all the same). The broadcast industry and the Nigeria media must rise against the new Goebbels and most dangerous minister in Buhari’s cabinet. They have only their chains to lose.

Fredrick Nwabufo is a writer and journalist

Twitter: @FredrickNwabufo

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Akwa Ibom: PDP Aspirant Takes Nomination Form To Shrine

A councillorship aspirant under the Peoples Democratic Party in the forthcoming 2020 Local Government Elections in Akwa Ibom State, Friday Etim Ukim, has taken his nomination form to the shrine for support.

Ukim, an Aspirant of Ward 7 in Urueoffong/Oruko Local Government Area, was spotted in a picture visiting the deity to pray for his victory.

According to Paradise News, the councillorship aspirant, placed the two nomination forms in front of the deity and prayed over it.

He knelt before the deity and prayed with a bottle of gin while holding palm fronds on the other hand as the religion demands.

Photos below:

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Nigeria Breaking News, Today, Friday, 14th, August, 2020

This is a round-up of some-breaking news in Nigeria Today, Friday, 14th, August 2020.

How I Was Attacked By Oshiomhole’s People Today – Obaseki

Edo state governor, Godwin Obaseki has today claimed that an attack was launched on his convoy at ward 10, Apana, Etsako west local government area of the state, which is Adams Oshiomhole, former national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC)’s ward.

This Obaseki made known in a statement through his spokesman, Crusoe Osagie.

Read more details here

President Buhari’s Daughter, Hanan To Wed Fashola’s SA [See Wedding Schedules]

Reports have confirmed that Hanan, one of the daughters of President Muhammadu Buhari will be getting married to her fiance this year.

According to reports, the daughter of the president will in the next few months settle down with Mohammed Turad, the special adviser to the former governor of Lagos State and now Minister of Works, Babatunde Fashola

Read more details here

Ize-Iyamu: Move To APC And Your Sins Are Forgiven – Bala Mohammed Attacks Presidency

Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, has reacted to the recent comment directed at him by President Muhammadu Buhari Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.

Recall that Garba Shehu while reacting to the criticism of President Buhari’s endorsement of Osagie Ize-Iyamu, asked the Peoples Democratic Party to sack all its governors under investigation for corruption specifically.

Read more details here

N5m fine: We Are Yet To Receive Letter From NBC – Nigeria Info

The Nigeria Info, on Thursday disclosed that it is yet to receive the letter from the National Broadcasting Commission on the N5m fine imposed on the station over the comment of the former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Obadiah.

Femi Obong-Daniels, the Group Head of Stations, Wazobia/Cool FM/Nigeria Info, further stated that the radio station is waiting for a formal notice without receiving any.

Read more details here

Edo 2020: Bode George Roasts Fayose Over Comments On Obaseki

Olabode George, the former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has berated former governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose over comments on Governor Godwin Obaseki.

Naija News reports that Fayose in an interview on Plustv Africa, had stated that Obaseki will lose the forthcoming Edo State governorship election.

Read more details here

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COVID-19: Nigeria Records 373 New Cases

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has recorded three hundred and seventy-three (373) news cases of the deadly coronavirus (COVID-19).

The agency made this known in a post on its Twitter page on Thursday night.

Death from COVID-19 has risen to 966 with the total number of discharged patients is 34,309.

Lagos recorded 69 of the 373 cases, followed by Osun with 41, Kaduna with 40 and Oyo 40.

The rest are: “FCT-35 Plateau-22 Rivers-19 Kano-17 Ondo-17 Ogun-15 Abia-14 Gombe-12 Imo-9 Enugu-7 Kwara-6 Delta-5 Niger-2 Borno-1 Bauchi-1 Nasarawa-1.

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Transfer: Arsenal Set To Announce Willian Deal In The Next 48-Hours

English Premier League side, Arsenal is set to announce Willian’s deal in the next 48-hours.

The Brazilian is now a free agent, after confirming his departure from Chelsea.

Willian is set to sign a three-year deal worth £150,000-a-week with the Gunners.

Willian’s agent, Kia Joorabchian, appeared to confirm the move was on the cards on talkSPORT, saying: “It won’t be long before we announce it. We know where he is going.”

The 32-year-old has passed his medicals at Emirate.

The Gunners head coach, Mikel Arteta, is planning to play Willian in a central position next season, as he prepares for his first full season in charge.

 

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How I Was Attacked By Oshiomhole’s People Today – Obaseki

Tinubu Bombs Governor Obaseki Over Edo Assembly Crisis, Makes New Claims

Edo state governor, Godwin Obaseki has today claimed that an attack was launched on his convoy at ward 10, Apana, Etsako west local government area of the state, which is Adams Oshiomhole, former national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC)’s ward.

This Obaseki made known in a statement through his spokesman, Crusoe Osagie.

He said the suspected thugs behind the attack were dislodged by a combined team of security personnel and vigilante groups.

He added that the thugs were chased by Philip Shaibu, the deputy governor, who alighted from his vehicle and chased the attackers.

He said a female police officer, who was recording the footage of the incident, was also attacked.

 

Addressing members of PDP and supporters at Apana village square, Obaseki alleged that Oshiomhole had made several attempts to scuttle his re-election.

He said the forthcoming poll will determine who will take charge of the levers of power in Edo politics.

As we were coming here (Village Square in Apana), you heard what happened. They went to hire thugs and began to shoot to prevent us from coming here. On September 19, 2020, use your permanent voter card (PVC) to ‘pepper them’,” he said.

“Ward 10 is a special ward. This election is special. It will show who is in charge of politics in Edo State. For all my eight years in government, you know what I did for Comrade Oshiomhole. He said it with his mouth. I supported him to be the governor. I raised funds for him. I worked for him and Edo State for eight years without receiving a dime.”

 

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N5m fine: We Are Yet To Receive Letter From NBC – Nigeria Info

NBC

The Nigeria Info, on Thursday disclosed that it is yet to receive the letter from the National Broadcasting Commission on the N5m fine imposed on the station over the comment of the former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Obadiah.

Femi Obong-Daniels, the Group Head of Stations, Wazobia/Cool FM/Nigeria Info, further stated that the radio station is waiting for a formal notice without receiving any.

He said, “We have not received any letter. I can confirm that to you. We have been waiting, but it has not come. As of 8 pm that we are talking, we have not received anything and until we get that, we don’t have a conversation with them yet.”

Information gathered revealed that apart from the statement released by NBC, the report had also been posted on the official website of the commission.

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Catholic Priest ‘Impregnates’ 30 Reverend Sisters (Photos)

Catholic Priest 'Impregnates' 30 Reverend Sisters (Photos)

A Catholic Priest has reportedly Impregnated 30 reverend sisters.

Naija News understands that reports online have it that Pope Francis has confirmed reports for the first time that a particular Malawian Diocesan impregnated 30 nuns.

The reports said the Pope reportedly revealed that priests and bishops in the Catholic Church had sexually abused nuns and that some priests have been suspended on several occasions with some resulting to the Reverend sisters going into the family way.

Catholic Priest 'Impregnates' 30 Reverend Sisters (Photos)

Meanwhile, nuns around the world have suffered sexual abuse by priests, sometimes resulting in pregnancy and abortion, but church leaders have “fail[ed] … to discipline” the clerics involved, the New York Times reports.

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Federal Government Speaks On Vaccine For Coronavirus

FG Predicts Another Pandemic After Coronavirus In Nigeria

President Muhammadu Buhari-led government on Thursday noted that it is working hard to ensure that Nigerians have access to Coronavirus vaccines when it becomes available.

The development was disclosed by the Chairman of the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, during the daily briefing on Thursday in Abuja.

Mustapha while speaking on the vaccine said, “globally, the world continues to pursue the search for a vaccine with over one thousand trials ongoing and different claims of levels of success.”

“We note particularly the announcement by the President of Russia on the breakthrough in the development of a vaccine even as we study the developments.”

“Fighting the pandemic successfully will take a global effort, and Nigeria will not be left out whenever and wherever progress is made.”

“However, the health and safety of Nigerians will always remain our priority in the pursuit of a solution,” he said

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Indian Man Launches Lifelike Wax Statue Of His Late Wife To Keep Her Memory Alive [Photos]

A 57-year-old Indian man who reportedly lost his dear wife to a ghastly car accident has launched a lifelike wax statue to keep her memory alive.

Reports had it that Mr Srinivasa Gupta wife, Madhavi Gupta died in the year 2017 in a horrible accident which left their daughters with some injuries.

Gupta who enjoyed beautiful moments with his wife while she was alive decided to make a bungalow for his late wife and as well made a lifelike wax of her status. Naija News learnt that Madhavi before her death had told her husband she dreameth of having a bungalow of her own.

To make her dreams come through, the widower set out plans to construct the bungalow, a year after her death.

It was gathered that the widower had summoned 25 architects to deliberate about the bungalow, of which one among them came up with the idea of the lifelike statue of the deceased. The statue which was finally erected in a bungalow in Koppal, in the Indian state of Karnataka, Naija News understands.

Mr Gupta on August 8 hosts people at the bungalow for a housewarming ceremony at the place where the statue was erected.

See below some photos taken from the ceremony.