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Federal Government Has Begun Social Media Sanitisation —- Lai Mohammed

Peter Okunoren

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The Federal Government has said it had begun the process of sanitizing the social media space to prevent it from setting the nation on fire.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, stated this yesterday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja. “As a matter of fact, we have already put in motion the machinery for this.

“We have written letters to the major stakeholders who would nominate representatives and we are going to sit down together to decide on how best to confront this menace,” he said.

Mohammed said the government had the responsibility to keep the country together, adding that social media would not be left alone to destabilise the nation.

The minister said the government welcomed the debate that had followed the decision and announcement to sanitise the social media space and the airwaves.

“We are glad about the criticism because what we set out to achieve is to bring the matter to the front burner of discourse.

“We are not under any illusion that the people will take this hook line and sinker.

“We are, however, glad that there are more people who believe that the social media poses imminent danger to the unity of Nigeria, especially as they have become merchants of fake news and hate speech,” he said.

Mohammed stressed that those who opposed the regulation of the social media had not denied the fact that the platform was being used by purveyors of fake news and hate speech with grave consequences.

“Their concern, largely, which is unfounded, is that it might lead to the stifling of the freedom of press or gaggling the media. However, we want to make it clear that it is not our intention to do this.

“The only people who are afraid of the decision to sanitise the social media and the airwaves are the purveyors of hate speech and fake news.

“It must be put on record that Nigeria is not the only country that is doing something about this. Germany, Egypt, Russia, India and the United Kingdom (UK) are all doing something about regulating the social media platform,” he said.

Mohammed expressed concern that the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and other media professional bodies, which were supposed to support the regulation, were kicking against it.

“This is amusing, because they should be glad as they are the ones we are protecting.

“The honest truth is that the established, well trained professional journalists do not indulge in fake news and hate speech because they have regulatory bodies already.

“The NUJ has a regulatory body and Code of Conduct and they are largely not the one responsible for the dissemination of fake news and hate speech.

“I am, therefore, really surprised that such criticism is coming from them because they are the people we are protecting and they are the ones that will benefit the more from the government action,” he said.

The minister reiterated that no amount of criticism and opposition would stop the regulation of social media and the airwaves.

“We heard all kinds of threat; some even went as far as calling for the removal of the minister.

“Let me assure them that the minister is not perturbed by this and we are focused.

“No amount of intimidation, sponsored articles in any form is going to stop us from regulating social media.

“This is not just a menace to the government; many people have committed suicide because their reputation had been destroyed by the social media,” he said.

Mohammed reiterated that the Federal Government would neither gag the media nor stifle the freedom of speech in regulating social media platforms.

On the regulation of the media space, the minister said he would receive recommendations on the implementation process, in a few days, from the committee he recently inaugurated.

He said the committee had also received a lot of attacks from some critics that the intention was nothing but an attempt to gag the media and stifle free speech.

“Again, our answer to this is simple. Under our watch, hate speech will not become free speech.

“Let me say once again that only those who are purveyors of fake news and hate speech have things to fear from these recommendations,” Mohammed said.

According to the minister, the regulation of social media and the airwaves is in the national interest.

BIG STORY

Makinde vs Adelabu: Confusion As APC, PDP Celebrate Appeal Court Ruling In Oyo

Peter Okunoren

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There was wild jubilation in Oyo State following the Monday ruling of the Appeal Court on the application filed by the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the last elections, Adebayo Adelabu, against the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Engr. Seyi Makinde.

The Court of Appeal sitting in Ibadan held that there was a miscarriage of justice at the Oyo State Election Petition Tribunal because they should have considered every document submitted to prove its case and not lump it together and consider it as one, it did not give any consequential order to that effect.

The Appellate Court in its ruling resolved the four issues filed by Adelabu in favour of Makinde and dismissed the four reasons. The court had noted that it allowed the appeal because there were issues of a miscarriage of justice at the lower court but added that a judgement must be given after considering a situation in its entirety.

The four-man panel further noted that in this situation the 180 days mandated for the tribunal to operate had lapsed and there was consequently no reason to touch the ruling of the lower court.

Adelabu had filed an appeal through his counsel, Yusuf Alli (SAN), against the judgement of the tribunal upholding the victory of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Engr Seyi Makinde, praying the court to dismiss the judgment of the lower court and order a fresh election while counsel to Seyi Makinde urged the court to dismiss the appeal and uphold the judgement of the case.

While the camps of the APC has started jubilating, the PDP camp has also started jubilating in reaction to the judgement.

APC United Kingdom as at 1:07 PM via his verified Twitter handle @APCUKingdom tweeted that “[BREAKING NEWS] Appeal court rules in favour of APC Gubernatorial candidate in Oyo State, Adebayo Adelabu, as his appeal was upheld. More Details shortly! #NextLevel @OfficialAPCNg @apcghanachapter @apcyouthomoodua.”

Appeal court rules in favour of APC Gubernatorial candidate in Oyo State, Adebayo Adelabu, as his appeal was upheld.

More Details shortly!#NextLevel @OfficialAPCNg @apcghanachapter @apcyouthomoodua pic.twitter.com/pHnxg7L5GC

— APC United Kingdom (@APCUKingdom) November 11, 2019

The PDP via G.S.M Media @MakindeMedia, an independent media campaign team for Makinde said: “Congratulations Gov. Seyi Makinde. People’s choice!”

Congratulations Gov. Seyi Makinde.

People’s choice! pic.twitter.com/P2xHZEMAt2

— G.S.M Media (@MakindeMedia) November 11, 2019

A copy of the image accompanying the tweet was also posted by Oyo State PDP via @PDPOyoState.

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BIG STORY

Great News! 12-Year-Old Nigerian Boy, Chika Ofili, Bags Award In UK For Discovering A New Formula In Mathematics

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Master Chika Ofili, a 12-year-old Nigerian boy based in the UK, has bagged a special award for recognition after making a shocking new discovery in mathematics.

He is said to have discovered a new formula for divisibility by 7 in mathematics.

His new formula for divisibility of 7 is to multiply the last digit in the figure and then add everything together, then check if the new figure is a multiple of 7.

For example, to check if 7 can divide 532, the process is illustrated below:

53 + 2 x 5= 63

63, is a multiple of 7; hence 7 can divide it. Amazing isn’t it??? Nigeria to the World!!!

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BIG STORY

FG Declares Monday Public Holiday

Peter Okunoren

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The Federal Government has declared Monday as Public Holiday to mark the 2019 Eid-ul-Mawlud which is in commemoration of the birthday of the Holy Prophet Muhammad.

Mr Mohammed Manga, Director Press and Public Relations of the Ministry of Interior, announced this in a statement on Thursday in Abuja, NAN reports.

He said the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, congratulated the Muslim faithful on the occasion and enjoined them to live within the virtues and teachings of the Prophet.

He said imbibing the Prophet’s virtues of love, courage, and perseverance would guarantee peace and security in the country.

Aregbesola expressed confidence that the challenges confronting Nigeria at the moment would soon be over and therefore called on Nigerians to remain focused and determined.

He gave the assurance that with the immense potentials the country is endowed with; coupled with its human and natural resources, Nigeria will sooner than later join the league of developed nations.

“With love, commitment, self-sacrifice, patience and patriotism, we will certainly, build a greater Nigeria,” Aregbesola said.

The Minister restated the Government’s desire to ensure a peaceful and secure environment for all Nigerians.

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