Checking violence and hate speech in Edo 2020 political campaigns
, News Agency of Nigeria
The ongoing campaigns for the Sept. 19 Edo governorship election are characterised by violence and hate speech. No one is claiming responsibility. However, political observers say that almost all the political gladiators are guilty.
Barely a month to the election, the fear of possible violence is palpable.
Political pundits are predicting all manners of outcomes, before and after the election.
The team had paid a courtesy visit to the Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, in his palace.
Before you could say Jack Robinson, political thugs had gathered at the entrance of Oba Palace, chanting all kinds of hate speech, name calling and booed Gov. Godwin Obaseki and his entourage.
Few of the thugs were arrested by security operatives. Nothing has been heard since then.
Some few suspects were said to have been arrested by the police, but their identities were not disclosed nor have they been prosecuted.
Obaseki has constantly preached peace, he had appealed to voters and his supporters to avoid violence or any action likely to breach public peace. He also called on the security operatives to ‘do the needful.’
In the same vein, the APC candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, also stressed the need for peace, when he visited Abuja to address the media on the political developments in Edo.
He suggested that security operatives should unmask the sponsors of violence and promoters of hate speech during campaigns and that it should be the best approach to address “this ugly development.
“Our security operatives should be more proactive and adopt the `name and shame’ method.’’
He also told the media that he was surprised that security operatives had continued to hide behind one finger in curtailing violence thereby fuelling a re-enforcement.
“We believe that security operatives can do more, show the faces of those arrested and their sponsors as a form of deterrent.
“They should make everything bare, like the case of the incident that took place at the Oba Palace, which is now a shame to all Edo people.
“Politics is not a do-die affair; it’s only the electorate that should be allowed to decide.
“All that is needed is to appeal to them to vote for you and your party with the `SIMPLE Agenda’ like mine.
“Not until we unmask faces behind violence, we will only be scratching the surface,’’ he said.
He appealed to fellow contestants to reduce issues that promote violence and thuggery at rallies and discuss issue-based matters and development of the state.
Also, the incumbent Gov. Obaseki’s thoughts are not different. He regularly condemned violence at the beginning, except recently that he started saying “fire for fire.”
Critics and political watchers say Edo is a volatile area that should be watched, “it’s like a time bomb waiting to explode.’’
INEC, the political umpire, last week, alluded to this, when it said that the state governor has powers to declare a State of Emergency in the state if the situation persists.
Critics say violence and hate speech are twin brothers dominating the current campaigns in Edo, one providing the fuel for the other to execute.
Dr Kingsley Oboh, a social critic and a political scientist says Nigeria’s brand of politics is embedded with hate speech, a case of “trying to make an omelette without breaking eggs.’’
According to him, let’s call a spade a spade, the blame squarely rests on the political umpire, security operatives and the political gladiators.
“What the contestants say at rallies speak volumes, loaded with hate speech and slander.
“Most of them do not address issues of development.
“Until politicians are redirected to issue-based campaigns, hate speech and political violence will continue to rule Nigerian politics.’’
Oboh says there are reports of incidences of shooting and discovery of cache of arms in some parts of the state, adding that “ arms and ammunition are needed in Sambisa forest to fight Boko Haram insurgency not in Edo politics.
“What the politicians need to do is to appeal to the conscience of the electorate, beg for their votes and present to them your agenda and tell them what you can do differently.
“You don’t need to shoot at them as in the case of the Igueben community incident, or intimidate people by any form of violence.
“The leadership of the security operatives should do the needful and take charge and be fair to all the political parties.’’
The Oba of Benin has also cautioned the major political parties to restrain their supporters from causing trouble in the state, adding that the Palace should not be dragged into politics, as he remains father to all.
He warned politicians to play by the rules, and not to turn any part of the state to a theatre of war for selfish interests.
Commenting on the happenings in Edo politics, Oboh says both the politicians, political umpires like INEC and security operatives, have learnt nothing and forgotten all, the people remain the oppressed mentally and emotionally.
“The peace and the tranquillity of the environment are again being troubled by people with selfish political ambition.’’
As suggested by stakeholders, all hands must be on deck before and after the Sept. 19 governorship election, to check any infraction that may cause upheaval in Edo. (NANFeatures)
**If used, please credit the writer as well as News Agency of Nigeria https://nnn.ng/checking-violence-and-hate-speech-in-edo-2020-political-campaigns/
Gov. Zulum mourns Col. Dahiru Bako killed by insurgents in Borno
Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno has condoled with the Nigerian Army over the demise of Col. Dahiru Bako, killed in an ambush by Boko Haram insurgents.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Bako was ambushed on Sept. 20 while leading his troops on a clearance at Sabon Gari-Wajiroko axis in Damboa Local Government Area of the state.
Zulum, whose condolence message was in a statement released by his Special Adviser Media and Strategies, Malam Isa Gusau in Maiduguri on Monday, said the sacrifices of the senior and other slain soldiers would not be in vain.
He said: “It was public knowledge that I liked late Col. Bako and so did many people.
“Bako was a true soldier who inspired his troops and led them to frontlines with exceptional courage that was clearly out of pure patriotism.
“He fought very hard and very well. He defeated many enemies of peace and protected many sons and daughters of Borno State to the extent that he gave his life defending the people.
“By the grace of God, the supreme sacrifices made by Col. Bako and many other heroes like him in the armed forces and volunteers shall not be in vain.
“The deaths of our heroes, sad as they are, only reinforce our confidence in the strong will exhibited by our gallant troops and volunteers, that defending our country comes ahead of everything.
“The people of Borno will forever be grateful to late Col. Bako and everyone like him. We pray that Allah forgives his shortcomings and those of all our fallen heroes.”
The governor pledged his administration’s continued support to the Nigerian army to enable its personnel to execute the counter terrorism campaign and restore total normalcy in the state.
Edited By: Dianabasi Effiong/Ejike Obeta
NCDC announces 195 new COVID-19 cases, death toll hits 1,100
The NCDC made this known on its official twitter handle on Monday.
According to the agency, the new infection takes the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 57,437.
The health agency sadly reported two new deaths raising the death toll in the country to 1,100.
It also reported that 105 patients who had been treated and had also recovered from the infection were discharged across the country.
Among other states that recorded new cases were Rivers (12), Kaduna (8), Ondo (3), Bauchi (2), Edo (1), and Ogun (1).
According to the agency, till date, 57,437 cases have been confirmed, 48,674 cases have been discharged and 1100 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the FCT.
The health agency said a multi-sectoral national emergency operation centre (EOC) activated at Level three, had continued to coordinate the national response activities across the country.
Meanwhile, the agency has warned that majority of Nigerian states were not testing enough.
It said, “We do not have enough data coming out of these states to ascertain if we are improving or not or where exactly we are.
“So we have to work together; in summary, it is way too early to make any interpretation whether we are flattening the curve or not.”
The NCDC appealed to more states to test consistently so that progress could be monitored on a national level.
Edited By: Ejike Obeta
NSE, others commit to expanding retail investment opportunities in capital market
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the webinar was on “Capital Market Investing in a Digital Age”.
Mr Oscar Onyema, Chief Executive Officer, NSE, in his address, said that investor participation was crucial to sustainable economic growth.
Onyema said that the Exchange was committed to playing its role in advancing the Federal Government’s financial inclusion goals.
“Investor participation is central to the growth of sustainable development of any economy.
“NSE is committed to playing a critical role in the advancement of the FG’s financial inclusion goals.
“As part of our efforts to realise the objectives of the financial inclusion, we intend to facilitate conversations which will serve to equip existing and potential investors with the necessary skill to effectively manage and grow financial resources at their disposal.
“In these engagements, we will also expand the retail investment opportunities available in the capital market and the channels through which they can be accessed,” Onyema said.
“The outbreak of COVID-19 adversely affected the global economy in many ways and at different magnitude.
“The Nigerian capital market was also negatively affected, with the market witnessing a downturn in Q1 of this year.
“However, the market rebounded in Q2 and as a result the NSE all share index has recorded a 18.9 per cent increase from its position at the end of March.
“The market also witnessed the growth in the percentage value of equity transactions contributed by retail investors, currently at 29 per cent from 21.8 per cent in 2018 and 24.72 per cent in 2019,” he said.
According to him, these highlight the market’s resilience in time of adversity and is a testament of market stakeholders’ ability to adapt.
Onyema said that digital technology played a significant role in achieving the positive results recorded in the NSE so far.
He said that technology had helped to make significant services more easily accessible.
Mr Laolu Martins, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, NISL, said that it had become imperative to ensure that retail investors were made aware of the opportunities inherent in the capital market.
Martins said that for retail investors, navigating through the web of processes in the capital market was usually difficult, thereby discouraging them from investing.
He said: “The general belief is that retail investors are often left behind and do not have enough knowledge on the workings of the capital market.
“NISL is a securities trading company, financial advisory service, offering consulting solutions to corporate bodies across the value of activities on the stock exchange.
“In order to invest properly, all investors need to carry out some sort of financial planning, no matter how small or big.
“We realised that for retail investors, it is usually difficult for them to navigate through these web of processes and other issues that create a bottleneck or discourage investors.”
Martins said that some processes that create difficulties for investors include budgeting, investment, savings, risk management and liquidity management.
“At NISL, we have enough expertise to ensure that we help our investors navigate through this web of terms and processes to ensure that their investment is rewarding,” he said.
Martins said the reason for the webinar was to expose some of the investment opportunities for retail investors.
“This webinar is to enlighten the investing public, retail investors, that they can buy bonds in the NSE and it is like lending your money to a company or a government entity.
“It is advisable that retail investors should approach their stockbrokers to guide them in which bond they should invest in,” he said.
Mr Femi Balogun, Head, Market services Department, NSE, spoke on the importance of market data in guiding investors’ decision.
“Market data is important to the investment of an intending investor.
“Some people are good at picking stocks, but If you use data to drive your decision in conjunction with your expertise, you make a better informed decision on your investment,” he said.
Amolegbe said that the Exchange had always provided avenues that would support and ensure a seamless investing process for retail and other investors.
Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Oluwole Sogunle
Imo Govt. moves to restore Owerri masterplan to check flooding
Gov. Hope Uzodimma of Imo, has said his administration is desirous to restore the original masterplan of Owerri, the capital city, as part of the efforts to tackle flood-related issues in the state.
Uzodinma said this on Monday, when a delegation of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) came on an advocacy to the state.
The governor, who was represented by the Secretary to State Government (SSG), Mr Cosmos Iwu, said that plans were underway to demolish all the houses built on the waterways in the city “in order to give the water access to flow into Otamiri River.”
He also said that government had carried out series of sensitisation programmes in the state aimed at preparing the people for emergencies and called for the agency’s support.
“We are appealing to NEMA to assist us because the environmental impact of the flood in Imo is bigger than us.
“We have been doing our best and we will continue to do our best. We have received some relief items from NEMA but we are asking for more.
“We also commend your visit to Imo, it shows serious commitment on the side of NEMA,” the governor said.
In a speech, the Director-General of the agency, AVM Mohammed Mohammed (rtd.), appealed to the state government and major disaster stakeholders to demonstrate greater commitment to disaster management.
Mohammed, who was represented by Deputy Director (Accounts) in the agency, Mr Abdul-Aziz Jibrin, said that the visit was to ascertain the level of preparedness by Imo government in case of any disaster.
He said that the state was among the states in Nigeria likely to witness flooding this year as predicted by the Nigeria Meteorological Agency.
The NEMA boss said that Imo had shown capacity in disaster management in the past and urged Gov. Hope Uzodimma to show more commitment in mitigating flood and other disasters in the state.
“We are here on advocacy visit and awareness campaign to sensitise the people on the need to be prepared at all times.
“I am assuring Imo of NEMA’s full commitment to partner with the government and dissaster stakeholders in the area of disaster management,” he said.
Mohammed listed Ohaji-Egbema, Ogutta, Oru-East and Owerri North as highly probable flood risk local government areas in the state.
He warned that other council areas, “which does not fall under high probability may also be affected.”
He said that although the state seemed prepared for any disaster, there was need for the government to ensure regular sensitisation of the people to be vigilant.
“We have interacted with all the disaster stakeholders and government and I can assure you that we are satisfied with their level of preparedness.
“But they must not relent in showing commitment at all times,” Mohammed said.
He said the agency was also in Imo to interact with other disaster stakeholders to know their challenges and the way forward.
The Commander, 211 Quick Response Group Nigerian Air Force, Group Capt. Elisha Bindul, assured the NEMA delegation in his office of the command’s commitment to disaster management.
Bindul said the command had also embarked on advocacy visits to various community leaders in Imo to sensitise them on disaster management.
He said the command also carried out rescue operations in various communities and also provided security to NEMA officials during emergencies.
“It is our legal responsibility to carry out rescue operations during emergency and to also collaborate with other stakeholders in mitigating disaster,” Bindul said.
He listed limited speed boats and life jackets, ambualances and mattresses as some of the challenges facing the command during interventions in disaster management.
He solicited the assistance of the agency in providing the necessary logistics to the command for a better proactive approach to disaster management.
He promised the command’s readiness to continue to partner with the agency in disaster management in the state.
Edited By: Sam Oditah