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How I was almost raped in a Military facility — Dabiri-Erewa

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Abike Dabiri-Erewa

The Chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has recounted how she was almost raped while engaging in investigative journalism.

Dabiri-Erewa spoke at the maiden edition of the National Freedom of Information Awards in Abuja over the weekend.

The ceremony was organised by the International Press Centre and Media Rights Agenda.

Dabiri-Erewa, who spoke after receiving an award, encouraged journalists in Nigeria to brace the odd and undertake investigative journalism.

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Sharing her experience during her active years in the profession, the former House of Representatives member, who represented Ikorodu Federal Constituency of Lagos State, recalled how the timely intervention of Major Hamza Al-Mustapha, former Chief Security Officer to late Head of State, General Sani Abacha, saved her.

She had been arrested and locked up in a military facility in Apapa area of Lagos State.

Dabiri-Erewa, who worked with the Nigerian Television Authority for 15 years, anchoring the weekly NTA News line programme, said: “Dare to venture, dare to succeed.

“I was arrested at a point I was doing investigative journalism, locked up in Apapa in one of the military facilities there.

“What saved me from being raped was Major Al-Mustapha who happened to come in at that point.

So, you cannot afford to be afraid.”

The Eagle

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Zamfara Killing: MURIC hails media for fair reporting

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Director, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), Prof Ishaq Lakin Akintola

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has hailed the Nigerian media for properly reporting the killing of Muslims in Zamfara last Friday, September 23, 2022.

MURIC commendation is contained in a press statement signed Sunday by its Director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola.

However, theIslamic human rights organization slammed the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) for falsely claiming that it was only Christians that are being killed in Nigeria.

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The statement reads in part: “Terrorists invaded the Friday prayer mosque in Ruwan Jema town in Bukkuyum Local Government Area of Zamfara State Friday, 23rd September, 2022 killing fifteen (15) and injuring forty eight (48) Muslim worshippers. The armed men hid their guns inside their clothes and pretended to be worshippers. They opened fire on innocent worshippers after entering the mosque.

“MURIC is particularly impressed by the manner in which the killing was reported. Unlike in the past when the killing of Muslims attract little or no media attention and mere casualty figures are given while the religion of the victims are deliberately left out, this time around, the Nigerian press really went to town with stories of the Zamfara killings and most media houses identified the victims as Muslims. This is quite laudable.

“The Media Monitoring Unit (MMU) of MURIC reported the use of the following captions in different media houses to describe the Zamfara killings (https://saharareporters.com/2022/09/24/breaking-scores-worshippers-killed-terrorists-attack-zamfara-mosque-during-jumaathttps://dailypost.ng/2022/09/24/bandits-invade-mosque-kill-15-worshippers-in-zamfara/https://www.thecable.ng/15-worshippers-killed-as-bandits-attack-mosque-in-zamfarahttps://muslimnews.com.ng/2022/09/25/terrorists-attack-zamfara-mosque-during-jumaat-prayer-kill-15-worshippers-turkiye-envoy-mourns/https://www.vanguardngr.com/2022/09/bandits-attack-zamfara-mosque-kill-15-worshippers-2/https://pmnewsnigeria.com/2022/09/24/terrorists-shoot-15-worshippers-dead-in-zamfara-mosque/https://www.thisdaylive.com/index.php/2022/09/25/terrorists-invade-mosque-kill-15-worshippers-injure-others-in-zamfara/https://punchng.com/bandits-attack-zamfara-mosque-gun-down-worshippers/https://tribuneonlineng.com/gunmen-kill-15-worshippers-in-mosque-in-zamfara/https://www.channelstv.com/2022/09/24/terrorists-attack-zamfara-mosque-kill-at-least-11/https://thenationonlineng.net/bandits-invade-zamfara-mosque-kill-15-worshippers/)

“Even some foreign media like Voice of America (VOA) and Reuters were not left out of the fair reportage (https://www.voanews.com/a/armed-bandits-kill-15-at-mosque-in-northwest-nigeria-residents-say-/6761811.htmlhttps://www.reuters.com/world/africa/armed-bandits-kill-15-mosque-northwest-nigeria-residents-2022-09-24/https://newscentral.africa/fifteen-killed-forty-eight-injured-as-bandits-ransack-zamfara-mosque/) We salute them all.   

“However, a few media houses need to be awake to the sensitivity of the revelation of identities when reporting incidents like this. It may not have been deliberate, but newsmen need to be conscious of the need not only to be fair but also to be seen to have been fair. At least one or two media houses left out the identity of the faith of the victims of the Zamfara killing (https://www.tvcnews.tv/2018/06/police-confirm-fresh-attack-in-zamfara-village-15-killed/https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/headlines/265729-police-confirm-15-killed-in-zamfara-attack.html).

“Both the press and non-governmental organisations should be partners in progress. We cherish the emerging culture of equity, fairness and professionalism in reportage. Both Christians and Muslims deserve fair representation in media reports. This will promote peaceful coexistence among the different faiths.

 “The manner of reporting the Zamfara killings thus revealed the fact that it was Muslims that were killed and injured last Friday. We therefore wonder how the Christian Association of Nigeria arrived at its conclusion that only Christians were being killed in Nigeria and it tried to sell such a dangerous idea to the West, knowing it to be false.

“MURIC is constrained to ask CAN if the 15 worshippers killed and the 48 injured in Zamfara mosque last Friday were also Christians? What of the 200 worshippers killed and the 165 injured in Boko Haram’s bomb attack in Kano Central Mosque on 28th November 2014 (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-30250950)? Were they also Christians? Do Christians attend Jumu’ah prayers in mosques?

“The intention and likely outcome of such vicious lies are not lost on us. America and its Western allies like Britain, France and Germany are likely to impose travel sanctions on Muslim leaders in government, label some Islamic organisations in Nigeria as terrorist groups, place some Islamic scholars on terror watch and begin a process of secret supply of weapons to Christian leaders and Nigerian churches.

“But the greatest benefit would have been a geometric increase in the pouring of monetary support in billions of dollars, euro and British pounds to Christian leaders and groups.

“MURIC condemns the killing of innocent Muslims who had only gone to the mosque for their Jumu’ah prayer last Friday. For the umpteenth time, we reiterate our stand that terrorists and bandits are not part of us. They belong to the evil circle of criminals. They are not part of the Muslim community.

“They are rebellious subjects and enemies of peace. Nobody, therefore, should associate them or their actions with the peace-loving and law-abiding Muslims of Nigeria. In the same vein, it will be naïve for any individual or group within or outside the country to link the actions of terrorists and bandits with the Nigerian government.

“We commiserate with Bello Matawalle, the governor of Zamfara, on the senseless killing of innocent citizens of his state. We pray that Allah will forgive the dead and grant the bereaved families the fortitude to bear the loss and the economic empowerment to take care of dependants left behind by their bread winners. Above all, we pray for peace in Zamfara, the entire North and the rest of Nigeria.”

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Insecurity: Amotekun’ll be armed, backed by law — Akeredolu

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GOVERNOR Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State

GOVERNOR Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, yesterday, insisted that state security outfits in the country, backed by law must have access to sophisticated weapons to combat insecurity.

Akeredolu said this during the Passing-Out Parade of Courses 3 and 4 of the State Amotekun Corps in Akure.

His words: “State Security outfits backed by law whether in Western Nigeria, Katsina, Borno, Benue or any Northern state must have access to the same sophisticated weapons that the marauders have. Anything else is a contradiction in terms.

“It is evident that the current internal security framework in the country is ineffectual. The response of the subnationals by setting up their outfits is welcome, necessary, and has become indispensable.

“Everyone must be given the same access to outgun the criminals. Without uniformity nationwide, the threat to the cohesion of the state will continue.

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“The fight back against marauders committing crimes against humanity must allow subnational and regional authorities to have the tools, the most sophisticated weapons available which the marauders already have in abundance.

“Without providing the sub-national security forces to be a counter-balancing force we have a crisis which strikes at the heart of the conception and the definition of the state itself.”

Speaking on the training, the Ondo State governor said: “Those passing out have undergone rigorous training at great expense to the state. The training will not end here it will be continuous.

“However, no amount of training will mask the debilitation of fighting with one arm tied against implacable foes.

“Amotekun must, therefore, be armed and will be armed and be backed by law. Otherwise, the training will be inadequate and we will be placing the lives of these great patriots in danger.

“The key guiding principles which you must adhere to at all times include Spartan discipline, zero-tolerance to bribery and abuse of power, prompt response to distress calls and display of professionalism in the discharge of your duties. No form of misconduct shall be tolerated.”

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Lekki-Epe Expressway: Govt promises speedy work, warns against one-way driving

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Lagos State Government has warned motorists plying Lekki- Epe expressway against driving against the traffic, just as it promises speedy completion of the ongoing rehabilitation and construction of the road.

Aramide Adeyoye, Special Adviser on Works and Infrastructure to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, stated this after an inspection of the phase two of the project from Epe junction to Eleko.

He sought the cooperation of residents and motorists during the project and promised speedy completion of the second phase of the road project, which is about 16 kilometres.

“You will recollect that about two years ago, January 2020, the construction work on the road began after Mr. Governor’s flag off ceremony. The phase 1 which is about 18.5 kilometres was practically 95 per cent completed within the space of one and half years. All the street light poles have arrived and will be fixed very soon.

“Anybody coming from Epe junction down to Eleko will see the whole road transformed. The second phase starts from Eleko to Abraham Adesanya. As we go towards Lagos, the road gets busy, so the methodology we are going to use for this one will be different from the phase 1.

“We have decided to address Awoyaya to Eleko, but in doing this, certain areas are flat. So, we need to raise the road. The reason motorists are having difficulty moving is largely as a result of failure to comply with road signs.

“On my way to this inspection, I saw a lot of people driving one way while some were trying to overtake at a construction zone. This is a bad attitude and our people need to change. We appreciate the traffic management team but they need to do more.

“In this stretch of 16 kilometres from Eleko to Abraham Adesanya, we will have enough discharge points so that this road will last longer. We are having some setbacks due to rainy season but major work will commence by October.

“It is a mechanized process, the contractors have enough equipment and they are well mobilised. They will deliver a kilometre every month. They have demonstrated it before, it is about performance. They have delivered 18 kilometres in 18 months. These 16 kilometres stretch won’t be a big deal.”

On the durability of the road, Aramide said that they are aware of the kind of investment going on around Lekki-Epe axis, and the road is being constructed in such a way that it will stand the test of time.

“We have thought of investment coming to this area, and that is why the kind of pavement here is not the usual flexible one you will find anywhere. We also have provision for weight bridge, so that vehicle on this corridor will know that there is control.”

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