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Media Must Promote Inclusion For Nigeria To Overcome Security Challenges



Media Must Promote Inclusion For Nigeria To Overcome Security Challenges
L-R: Provost, Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ), Mr Gbenga Adefaye; Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi; Vice Chairman, Governing Council, NIJ, Mr Ray Ekpu and Chairman, Vintage Press (Publishers of Nation Newspapers) Mr Wale Edun; during the 50th anniversary and Convocation lecture of the Nigeria Institute of Journalism in Ogba, Lagos… on Monday.

Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has tasked the Nigerian media to promote inclusion rather than sectarian inclusion for the country to overcome security challenges facing it.

As the country battles insecurity, Dr. Fayemi advocated the establishment of effective and accountable security agencies in pursuit of individual and community security in tandem with state security.

He suggested that issues of poverty, demography, food security, energy security and social security must be factored in when formulating security policy and they must be considered as risk factors in the generation of threat assessment matrix.

The governor gave the recommendations on Monday while speaking as the guest lecturer at the sixth convocation ceremony of the Nigeria Institute of Journalism (NIJ), Ogba, Lagos which also doubled as the 50th Anniversary of the establishment of the premier media training institution in the country.

Dr. Fayemi whose lecture was entitled “The Media, National Security and Nation Building,” stressed that the narrow and one-dimensional militaristic orientation of the nation’s security establishment is inadequate to address the threats faced by the citizens.

At the lecture which was chaired by the Vice Chairman, Governing Coucil of the NIJ, Mr Ray Ekpu, and attended by the Provost of the nstitute, Mr Gbenga Adefaye, former NUJ President, Lanre Ogundipe and prominent media practitioners, Dr Fayemi also reinstated the inevitability of multi-level policing in the country, citing the establishment of the Amotekun Security Outfit in the South west states as one of the reasons the security situation in the geo-political zone had not degenerated.

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Governor Fayemi who said the state governors were united in their clamour for multi-level policing, said the much-touted excuse that state governors would abuse state police or multi-level policing was not tenable, as the process could be regulated like other public institutions.

He pointed out that no effort should be spared in securing life and property in the country, adding however, that the security architecture needed to be improved on through multi-level policing.

The Ekiti governor was of the view that for the media to understand the nature of the security challenges confronting the country and proffer solutions to them, an assessment of the political environment was crucial hence some questions have to be answered.

These include to what extent has the national question been settled? What do the Constitution and other laws say about the control of security forces and its interplay with the larger society and what is the role of the non-state security actors and how effectively do they carry out oversight on agencies in general?

The Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) noted that for the media to adequately perform its roles in promoting national security and nation building, it must be aware of the fact that the nation’s security sector now has a broader view than it used to be and a better understanding of its complexities.

He said: “Nowhere is this more crucial than in the media’s understanding of the security challenges that Nigeria confronts. As the nation confronts insecurity on a rising scale, the key challenges to the polity remain that of establishing effective and accountable security agencies in pursuit of individual and community security in tandem with state security and on the other hand, that of establishing effective governance of the security sector through the empowerment of civilian oversight mechanisms. In other words, any given national security policy and architecture to have meaning and purpose must address these two broad challenges.

“To do this however, the media must understand the complexities of the treacherous threat environment because more often than not, the orientation governing the operation of our security agencies, having been tailored to address perceived dangers of yesteryears, is now out of sync with reality.

“For example, the media must be better informed that the new security environment has occasioned a broader definition of security, drawing an inextricable linkage between security and development, underscoring the security of people rather than territories and individuals rather than states.

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“This became known in academic and policy circles as human security and popularized by Kofi Annan as encompassing “human rights, good governance, access to education and healthcare, and ensuring that each individual has opportunities and choices to fulfill his or her potential.”

“And as if taking a cue from this concept of human security, Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution states in Section 14 (2b) that ‘the security and welfare of citizens shall be the primary purpose of government’, in other words placing governance at the epicenter of security and development complex in Nigeria.”

To assist Nigeria in overcoming its security challenges, Fayemi advised the media to be more circumspect in reporting security issues, avoid exaggeration and be more responsible in the discharge of its constitutional duties to the populace.

He added: “Despite the challenges that we have faced as a nation, which we sometimes, unfairly exaggerate, it is important to constantly bear in mind that nation building is a slow and dynamic process.

“The awareness that nothing in nation building is finalized should give us hope and challenge us to do better and constantly look for ways and means to build a better country, by experimentation and learning, trial and errors, setting and resetting.

“And this is why the operative framework of any nation is never intended as a divinely inspired scripture. Most of the challenges we face today could not have been envisaged in 1999. But we must see these challenges as opportunities to test our governance system and its responsive capacity to issues of national co-existence.”

Earlier, the Chairman of the occasion, Mr Ray Ekpu had raised some posers bordering on security, rule of law, economy and economic distribution as well as equality, injustice and nepotism, which he felt government must address if the country must move forward.

He challenged media practitioners to strive to discharge their professional responsibility ethically without fear or favour. “It is a sacred responsibility which we owe to posterity,” he said.

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BREAKING: Alex Otti Of Labour Party Emerges Abia Governor-elect



Alex Otti

Alex Otti of the Labour Party has emerged the winner of Abia State governorship election.

This followed the eventual declaration, on Wednesday, of the results of the controversial Obingwa Local Government Area results.

With the conclusion of the collation of the outstanding results of the election, the Peoples Democratic Party scored 9,962 votes while the Labour Party, 3,776 votes in the LGA.

Consequently, the LP has won in 10 LGAs, the PDP in six LGAs, and the Young Peoples Party in one LGA.

The governorship candidate of the Labour Party in Abia State, Chief Alex Otti, was, consequently declared the winner of the 2023 governorship election in Abia State.

Otti polled a total of 175,466 to defeat his closest rival and candidate of the PDP who scored 88,526.

The Returning Officer, Prof. Nnenna Oti, declared the LP candidate the winner at the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission in Umuahia, the state capital, Wednesday afternoon after completing the suspended collation of results.

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CAN, Churches Defeat Govt Over CAMA Act



Emefiele Sick, Can't Meet With Reps - CBN
President Buhari

It was victory for the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and churches under it as a Federal High Court, Abuja, on Tuesday, stopped the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) from suspending or appointing their trustees.

Justice Inyang Ekwo, in a judgment, held that the provisions of Sections 17 (1), 839 (1) and (7) (a), 842 (1) and (2), 851 and 854 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA), 2020 and Regulations 28, 29 and 30 of the Companies Regulations (CR), 2021 were not applicable to CAN and the churches, including mosques, as a religious body.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Registered Trustees of CAN, in the originating summons marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/84/2022 field by Joe Gadzama, SAN, had sued the CAC and the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment as 1st and 2nd defendants respectively.

The plaintiff, in the suit, had posed five questions for determination.

CAN had asked the court to determine that whether Section 839, Subsections (1), (7) (a) and (10) of the CAMA, 2020 and regulations 28 – 30 of the CR, 2021 are inconsistent with Sections 4 (8), 6 (6) (b) and 40 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) which guarantees the its right to freedom of association and the right to seek redress in court, among others.

It, therefore, sought 13 reliefs which include a declaration that Section 839 (1), (7) (a) and (10) of the CAMA and Sections 28 – 30 of the CR are inconsistent with |Section 40 of the 1999 Constitution, and thus unconstitutional, null and void.

“An order striking down Sections 839(1), (7) (a) and (10), 842(1) and (2), 843, 851 and 854 of the CAMA for being unconstitutional.

“A declaration that Section 17(2) (a) and (d) of the CAMA demand an impossible and impracticable action; thus, void and for being impracticable and unknown to Law.”

CAN also prayed for an order of perpetual injunction restraining and barring the defendants from taking any step to give effect to the provisions of Sections 17(2) (a) and (d), 839(1), 842(1) and (2), 842(1) and (2), 842, 843, 851 and 854 of the CAMA against it as mentioned in Article 4 of its constitution, to prevent further contravention of the provisions of Sections 4(8), 6(6)(b), 251(1)(e) and 251(3) of the 1999 Constitution.

It argued if CAC was allowed to suspend its trustees and appoint interim managers to manage its affairs, it would be usurping its powers under the constitution and the powers of the standing committee and the plenary session which would not be in line with the constitution.

Delivering the judgment, Justice Ekwo said that the CAC did not controvert the averment of CAN that it was constituted by the churches.

“It is settled law that averments without contradicting evidence or averments are deemed admitted.

“There is a need at this point to define what a church is in order to see how applicable the provisions of the CAMA 2020 can be applicable to it,” he said.

Citing a previous case, the judge said “a church in its true definition is the body of Christ. One person cannot constitute the body of Christ; it connotes a congregation, an assembly of people. An individual cannot own a church. A church property must be the collective responsibility of all the members.”

He said the summary of the above was that “the church is an ecclesiastical being.

“Each church is characterised by its distinct dogma or creed and same for each congregation and denomination that constitute the church.

“It is on this ground that it is impossible for one church to be administered by another church and the church being what it is for the soul of man, the doctrinal distinctness and difference must be respected by the authorities within and without.

“This being so, it is then impracticable for the church or a denomination thereof to be administered by secular arrangement such as interim manager or managers stated in

Section 839 of the CAMA 2020 or any other arrangement put in place by the CAMA which does not take into account the doctrinal composition of the church.

“It is also my opinion that to suspend the trustees and appoint an interim manager or managers to manage the affairs of the church will conflict with the sacerdotal order of its divine administration and desecrate same.”

Justice Ekwo, who observed that the Minister of Trade (2nd defendant) neither filed any application nor represented in court despite being served by the plaintiff, held that the effect of the failure of a defendant to file pleadings is that the assertions of the claimant stands unchallenged and are deemed admitted and established.

According to him, therefore, the case of the plaintiff succeeds on the merit.

The judge, consequently, made a seven declarations, which include a declaration that Section 839 (1), (7) (a) and (10) of the CAMA 2020 and Regulations 28, 29 and 30 of the CR , 2021 are not applicable to religious organisation as CAN and the churches as they violated the right to worship guaranteed by Section 40 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

He also made an order of perpetual Injunction, “restraining the defendants from taking any step to give effect to or implementing and/or continuing with any act to implement the provisions of Sections 839 (1), 842 (1) and (2), 842, 843, 851 and 854 of the CAMA 2020.

Justice Ekwo, however, did not make the generic order striking down the sections of the CAMA 2020 as prayed by the plaintiff.

He said such an order would affect other bodies and organisations registered under Part F of the Act.

“These provisions are applicable in respect of the administration, supervision and regulation of other bodies like company, limited liability partnership, business name or incorporated trustee registered for other purposes stated in Section 823 (1) of the CAMA 2020.

“The court is also unable to strike down the provision of Section 17 (2) (a) and (d) of the CAMA 2020 which provides for mandatory pre-action notice to the 1st defendant, as prayed, as the practicability of compliance with such provision depends on the circumstance of each case thereby affected,” he said.

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BREAKING:Confusion As INEC Rejects Irregular Votes In Abia, Enugu Governorship Election Results



INEC Chairman Mahmood Yakubu

There is confusion over the governorship election results of Enugu and Abia States as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has rejected some votes it considered irregular.

The Labour Party agents and governorship candidate in Enugu State opposed results collation of Nkanu East council, claiming that the votes were padded.

This was as political thugs reportedly disrupted collation of results in Obingwa council area of Abia State.

These have led to the suspension of the exercise by the electoral umpire on Sunday in the two states.

An INEC official said that the commission had rejected the allegedly padded results after a careful review of the exercise on Tuesday, and wanted the right things to be done.

“For Abia State, INEC ordered that the results should be announced based on the accredited voters,” the source said.

On Enugu’s case, the commission according to the source has similarly ordered the review of the results of the Enugu State Governorship Election of last Saturday.

The collation was suspended following controversy over the alleged padding of results from Nkanu East Council, which returned over 30,000 votes in favour of Peoples Democratic Party candidate, Mr Peter Mbah, while only about 7,000 voters were accredited in the area by the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS).

The suspension of the announcement of results of Abia and Enugu gubernatorial elections had heightened tension in the two states.

The supporters of PDP’s Mbah have been calling on INEC to announce the results that had been collated and declare their candidate the winner, saying those who opposed the result should go to court.

In Abia, Dr Alex Otti of the Labour Party had won a total of 10 out of the 16 Local Government Area results so far declared by INEC, while his counterpart in Enugu, Hon Chijioke Edeoga, has won nine local governments and is currently in the lead in the state.

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