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Reps, minister disagree over plan to regulate social media

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The House of Representatives has frowned on the idea of regulating the social media being considered by the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture.

The Chairman, House Committee on Information, National Orientation, Ethics and Values, Odebunmi Olusegun and a member of the House, Emmanuel Oghene, said any clampdown on the social media could be counterproductive.

They gave the warning when the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, appeared before the committed for the 2021 budget defence.

The minister, while responding to questions from members of the committee, had said the next war to be fought in the country would be against the social media, in a veiled reference to the outcome of #EndSARS protests.

He stressed the need to have a policy to regulate the social media and check fake news and misinformation.

Odebunmi, however, warned against controlling the use of the social media and urged the Federal Government to rather search for the technology to work with what was currently being used in the social media world.

“Social media has come to stay. What the government should do is to look for technology that will work together with what is in the space.”

Oghene also said it was wrong to always look at the negative sides of social media at all times without mentioning the good side.

He said it was social media that called the attention of government to looting of COVID-19 items in some places, adding that there was a time some boys were digging the road but got caught because the social media captured it.

Oghene said, “I want to appeal that we should not overdo it because it will harm us. China is not a good example because it is a communist country. Nigeria has always been free, we are a democratic country.

“Let us look at other democracies and see what they have done with their social media. This technology is already here. It is not going to go away.

“We should have enough laws in our law books to deal with social media. If people post things that are not correct, they can be taken to court.

“If the laws are not enough, bring a bill and the National Assembly will pass it into law. If you shut down the social media, democracy will be greatly hampered.”

The minister had earlier said, “We are sitting on a time bomb on this issue of fake news. Unfortunately, we have no national policy on social media and we need one.

“When we went to China, we could not get Google, Facebook, and Instagram. You could not even use your email in China because they made sure it is censored and well regulated.”

He added that the nation would need a technology and resources through a media policy to dominate its social media.

The minister said, “The recent #EndSARS war was fought on social media. They mobilised using social media. The war today revolves around two things. Smartphones and data and these young men don’t even watch television or listen to the radio or read newspapers.

“You will be shocked that when you start arguing with your children, they will be quoting the social media. So, we need a social media policy in Nigeria and we need to empower the various agencies and we need the technology to be able to regulate the social media.”

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Deborah’s killing un-Islamic, barbaric — Hausa community

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THE Special Assistant to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa on Security Matters and youth leader of the Hausa community in Agbor, Ika South Local Government Area of Delta State, Junaidu Imam, has condemned the killing of the 200- level Home Economics student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto, Deborah Samuel over alleged blasphemy, describing the killing as barbaric and un-Islamic.

 

Imam who doubles as the Chairman of, the United Rainbow Peace Movement, URPM, while reacting to the dastardly act, contended that the killing of Deborah was against the teaching of any religion in the world, noting that such practice was not an Islamic act as Islam promotes civility and peaceful coexistence.

 

While insisting that no individual was given the authority to kill, he said: “No matter how grievous an offence is, even if it attracts capital punishment, the Prophet allows retracting blasphemous pronouncement, which means the offender can evade the punishment. Whatever the version, her killing was despicable. She has the right to a trial before the abysmal level of her execution.

 

“The version I heard was that Deborah said Muslims were sending content to the class WhatsApp group. On that basis, the girl has freedom of expression. Islam says you cannot impose your religion on others. A verse also said ‘your religion is for you and theirs is for them’. So, as Muslims, you don’t cross the path. Everyone is entitled to their religion. Therefore, nobody can ascertain that Deborah has abused our Prophet Mohammed as it is the duty of the court to establish the fact.”

 

“They are not supposed to take it upon themselves to kill, beat, burn, destroyed place of worship and people’s property based on what they judged as blasphemy,” he further explained, even as he called for justice for the lynched NCE undergraduate.

 

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AbdulRazaq clinches Kwara APC guber ticket, talks of beating own record

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Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara state was Thursday evening reelected as the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2023 General elections.

The governor was the sole aspirant in the exercise that took place inside the Banquet Hall of the government house, ilorin where 965 delegates were expected to vote for him.

At the end of the exercise, Chairman Governorship/ House of assembly primaries sent by the National leadership of the party from Abuja ,Prof Emmanuel Dandaura who led the team that supervised the election said that there were 961 valid votes, and 4 invalid votes.

Professor Dandaura asked whether there was complaint from anyone to which there was no response. He therefore declared the governor as the gubernatorial candidate of the party for the 2023 governorship elections.

Governor AbdulRazaq in his acceptance speech assured that he would not take the support of the delegates and other stakeholders in the ruling party for granted.

He noted that,”2023 is the year to make it clear to the doubting Thomases that the revolution of 2019 was not a fluke”, stressing that “It is the year to reaffirm our decision to reclaim our dignity and have a state that serves everyone equitably.

“We must therefore keep what is left of our patrimony, and by all democratic means avoid a relapse to the years of the distress, Governor AbdulRazaq said.

He also said that, “between 2019 and now, the trajectory of Kwara State has changed. We have registered a bold presence in the comity of decent and respected states. We have positive strides and indices in education, health, access to water, improved youths engagement, gender mainstreaming, support for farmers and the vulnerable, and rural development to show for our mandate.”

Today, he said, that ” no part of Kwara State is left without government presence. Our politics has also evolved. The destiny of Kwarans is no longer tied to any particular person. That is the bold message from our primaries.”

Governor AbdulRazaq however said he’s not perfect, saying, “Are we perfect? No, we are not. What is not debatable is the magnitude of progress that Kwara has made over the last three years. We can only beat our own records of achievements.”

He also said, “So, we will campaign on our records of improving the lots of our people and reasserting the leadership position of Kwara State.

“We will campaign on our record of courageously opening up the democratic space for all. We will campaign on our records of courageously opening up our books for public assessments in our strong belief that perfection belongs to God alone. In doing so, we are steadily improving the old system and achieving more efficiency.”

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Alleged killing of Timothy: Ibadan based Radio CEO, Hamzat regains freedom

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THE Chief Executive Officer, CEO, of an Ibadan based Radio Station, Agidigbo FM, Alhaji Oriyomi Hamzat, who was arrested and whisked to Abuja, on Thursday, has regained his freedom, we reliably gathered this morning.

Recall that Hamzat was arrested by Force Intelligence Bureau, FIB, operatives over his alleged role in seeking justice for a gruesome murder of a Postgraduate student of the Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, Ile Ife in Osun State, Mr. Timothy Adegoke.

Recall also that Adegoke died in one of the hotels belonging to the Maye of Ife, Chief Ramon Adedoyin late last year. Adedoyin and some of his hotel staffers have been arrested and currently facing murder charges in connection with the killing.

A competent Radio station source, however, who did not want his name in print told Our Correspondent that: “Oga, Alhaji Hamzat, will reunite with us today. He will be in Ibadan from Abuja any moment from now.”

Police had earlier said he was arrested in connection with a case of Cyber Bullying under investigation.

Its position was made known in a statement signed by Force Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi and made available to newsmen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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