Kaduna, Dec. 14, 2018 (NNN) Gov. Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State has advocated broader jurisdiction for States legislature and judiciary to legislate and adjudicate on strict laws to tackle the menace of fake news and hate speech.
The governor made the call when the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed paid him a courtesy visit on the sideline of the 47th Meeting of the National Council on Information, holding in the state capital.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NNN) reports, the minister, states Commissioners of Information, Heads of federal information agencies and other stakeholder attended the meeting.
The theme of the meeting is : “Fighting Fake News and Hate Speech to Enhance and National Unity”
The governor who said the theme for the Council meeting was apt added that Kaduna had bore the brunt of hate speech and fake news more than any other state in the federation.
He noted that fake news and hate speech could tear the nation apart and therefore required strict and vigorous law enforcement actions.
el-Rufai, however said that Kaduna like other states was constraint to using the outdated penal code in fighting hate speech and fake news.
Specifically, the governor said the jurisdiction of state high courts should be widened to enable them have Cyber Crime Act that provides framework to pursuing people that use social media to proliferate fake news.
He noted that the states could not effectively prosecute those that are involved in the crime because they are relying on the penal code.
The governor gave the instance of a fake report circulated in the social media by one Aminu Maikori which claimed that five students of the College of Education, Gidan Waya, were ambushed and killed by Fulani herdsmen in southern Kaduna.
He said the report which turned out to be false almost triggered reprisal killings, “yet the mastermind of the fake news was still walking the street freely because of absence of firm law.
“Audu Maikori who sat in the comfort of his home in Lagos and posted a story that 5 students of Journalism of College of Education Gidan Waya had been killed which was totally false.
“We are prosecuting Audu Maikori and when he realised that he was misled, he posted a retraction and thought that was all.
“We said No, we are going to have him convicted first. But this was since 2016, we are in 2018 he is still on bail.
“We have fundamental problems. We need to give state governments and state high courts jurisdiction to try these people because the federal government cannot do it alone.
“What we are thinking of doing in Kaduna state is to enact our own legislation to tackle the menace.
“We need a stronger framework that will compel the technologies and processes that are used now more than ever,” he said.
The governor also explained that the recent crisis in Kaduna metropolis and Kasuwan Magani was largely as a result of hate speech.
“Rumours started circulating that the abducted Chief of Agara had been killed and within an hour, 22 people were killed in reprisal attacks.
“The story circulated was that I invited the chief to a meeting and told him that his chiefdom will become an emirate and when he disagreed with me, I said I would deal with him.
“So, when he was abducted on his way back from Kachia it was implied that I had arranged the abduction. This was what started the crises and it is totally false.
“I have never invited any chief to the government house except when they write to me and say they want to meet me for one reason or the other”.
The governor queried: “Why should I have argument with a Chief or abduct him, when in fact, if he flouts the law, I have legitimate and constitutional power to abolish his chiefdom or emirate.
“Unfortunately, that was the fake story that was circulated, it raised tension and till today parts of that chiefdom are still under partial curfew”.
In addition, the governor said the fake news about the cloning of the President was not peculiar to him.
He said someone also went to
his Wikipedia page and changed
his birthplace to Bamako, Mali.
el-Rufai commended the Council for bringing the meeting to Kaduna and charged participants to come up with strong recommendations to tackle the menace.
Earlier, the minister had called on the states to compliment the efforts of the federal government in fighting fake news and hate speech.
He said the fake news phenomenon was increasing because the opposition were using it as campaign tool to discredit the Buhari administration ahead of the 2019 elections. (NNN)
Edited by Joseph Edeh/Maharazu Ahmed
his Wikipedia page and changed
his birthplace to Bamako, Mali.
Feature A Pakistani student’s “golden, happy” days in China
Abdul Ghaffar Shar, a Pakistani doctoral student in China’s Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University (NWAFU), was busy helping his teachers harvest the wheat in the university’s experimental fields over the past few days.
Wearing a straw hat and gloves, Shar, 29, did farm work under the hot sun like local farmers in Yangling, northwest China’s Shaanxi province.
Yangling, an agricultural hi-tech industrial demonstration zone in China, is located about 80 km from the starting point of the ancient Silk Road in Xi’an, the provincial capital.
More than 2,000 years ago, Zhang Qian, an imperial envoy, set off from Xi’an and traveled westward on a mission of peace that opened the Silk Road, an overland route linking the East and West.
Although he knew little about Zhang, Shar said he also wants to be an “envoy” between China and Pakistan as the two countries deepen cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative.
“I am studying plant nutrition science in China. I hope I can play a role in strengthening the agricultural technology exchange between the two countries under the initiative,” said Shar.
FIGHT AGAINST COVID-19
After receiving his bachelor’s degree in agriculture from Sindh Agriculture University in Pakistan in 2014, Shar decided to continue studies in China’s NWAFU.
A new journey started.
Shar learned to speak mandarin and use chopsticks. He also adapted to Chinese food. In order to make more friends, Shar let his teacher give him a Chinese name “Jin Letian”, which means “golden, happiness and sky.”
This winter vacation, Shar did not return to his hometown and spent most of the time on his research. However, the COVID-19 epidemic disrupted his plans.
According to local regulations on the prevention and control of COVID-19, Shar was required to stay in his dormitory in February. During the stay, teachers regularly delivered face masks, food, and other daily necessities to him.
“I think the restriction is necessary. Wearing facial masks, washing hands frequently, not panicking, and no gatherings are the experiences I cherished,” he said.
“I also shared my experiences with my family in Pakistan. In fact, the Chinese people’s sense of solidarity during the epidemic impressed me a lot,” Shar said.
EMBRACE BETTER LIFE
Shar is researching plant nutrition for his doctoral degree.
In Shar’s opinion, Pakistan is a traditional agricultural country and farmers use many chemical fertilizers in the fields, which has a negative impact on soil fertility and the environment.
“I study to improve soil fertility by adjusting trace elements of farmlands, which will help increase grain yields in my hometown,” he said.
In the past six years, Shar collected research samples extensively from all around the experiment stations in Shaanxi, which also gave him an opportunity to experience the development of China’s rural areas.
“A village that we frequented in Sanyuan County had new changes almost every year, like newly renovated houses and wider roads,” he said.
Besides the daily lessons, he also participated in local poverty alleviation programs.
Of the 253 foreign students in the university at present, 85 percent are from countries and regions along the Belt and Road, including 79 from Pakistan.
In December, Shar and other international students at the university became volunteer teachers in a primary school in Fang Town. He got the opportunity to teach online classes to his students during the epidemic.
The Belt and Road Initiative has brought the people of China and Pakistan closer, said Shar. He said after graduation, he would engage in trade in agricultural products between China and Pakistan.
Gov. Ortom inaugurates Benue Assembly Service Commission
Gov. Samuel Ortom of Benue on Tuesday inaugurated the State House of Assembly Service Commission.
Ortom, while inaugurating the commission in Makurdi said, it was to ensure smooth administration and running of the House including recruitment, promotion and discipline of staff.
He enjoined members to be guided by the extant laws governing the commission and also charged them to be committed, conscientious and patriotic in all their dealings with the staff and the public.
He thanked the lawmakers, particularly the Speaker, Mr Titus Uba for the expeditious approval of the commission members.
He listed members of the commission to include, Dr Sylvester Atachin as Chairman, Mr Benjamin Dowgo, while Mr Terseer Tsumba, Mr Avine Agbom and Mr Ezekiel Adaji will serve as members.
“As pioneers, you have the task of laying the foundation on which future the commission members would build.
“You have been appointed based on your previous experience, competence and adherence to the doctrine of fair representation.
“It is important to note too that your appointment is a four-year mandate, which may only be renewed once.
“Let me emphasise that the commission cannot afford to function as an island, but shall have a harmonious working relationship with the National Assembly Commission, the State Civil Service Commission and the leadership of the House among others for optimal results,”he said.
He expressed happiness that a milestone has been achieved during his tenure as governor of the state and under the leadership of Uba as speaker.
“It is my belief, therefore that the autonomy of the legislature is for administrative convenience and will not stop us from continuing to work together in harmony.
“As a matter of fact, it should accentuate the mutual respect and co-operation between the two arms of government for the overall good of Benue people and the nation,”he said.
Atachin thanked the governor for finding them worthy of the appointment and pledged members unflinching support for his administration.
Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Ali Baba-Inuwa (NAN)https://nnn.ng/gov-ortom-inaugurates-benue-assembly-service-commission/
Rape Crisis: NICO Director Seeks Culture Policy Review Rape
After 32 years since Nigeria’s cultural policy was put in place, the acting Executive Secretary of the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Mrs Bridget Yerima, has told the Federal Government to review the policy, to tackle the country’s rape crisis.
Yerima told newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja that reviewing the policy was central to tackling the incessant rape cases plaguing Nigeria currently.
She lamented that Nigeria’s cultural policy, formulated in 1988 had become obsolete and needed to be re-appraised and updated, to tackle emerging social issues, including rape, child-molestation and domestic violence.
According to her, Nigeria needs to consider the methods adopted by some foreign countries in their resolve to curb incidences of rape in their countries.
“Countries like India, China, North Korea and Saudi Arabia have instituted punishment options of death, castration, beheading and death by firing squad.
“Nigeria may need to move in that direction as means to curb the rising incidence of rape cases.’’
Yerima, who is the Director, Overseeing the Office of the Executive Secretary of NICO, argues that no punishment should be considered too harsh in protecting minors and old women, who have been at the receiving end of rapists in recent years.
“There is no doubt that the rising cases of rape, child molestation and domestic violence in Nigeria are causing many citizens sleepless nights. This calls for creative solutions to stem the ugly tide.
“The rape cases involve illegal sexual acts and violence often leading to death. In most cases, the victims are females and children who are vulnerable and weak.
“These cases have become so rampant and discomfiting, prompting Nigeria’s parliament to call for a state of emergency to deal with the embarrassing crisis.
Yerima, however, recommended that it had become auspicious for parents and guardians to rise to the occasion by playing their required roles to stem the worsening tide of rape nationwide.
“Parents and guardians must resume their traditional responsibilities as parents, who must be on ground to guide, direct or instruct their children all the time.
“In recent times, due to the harsh economic climate, most parents have had to pick up jobs that take them away from home in order to make ends meet.
“While this is explainable, parents must learn the balancing act and avoid being absentee parents most of the time.’’
Yerima suggested that at least one parent must be on ground all the time, to not only supervise but to also instruct kids.
According to her, a situation where parents transferred their roles and responsibilities to domestic helps and caregivers or to teachers and neighbors is totally unacceptable.
She said that parents should ensure that their children dressed decently at all times, to avoid attracting the attention of marauding rapists.
Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation is currently grappling with a rape pandemic that that has seen babies and geriatric citizens being raped by young men.
Citing a recent report, Nigeria’s Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Dame Pauline Tallen, said that up to two million Nigerians are raped every year.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Silas Nwoha (NAN)https://nnn.ng/rape-crisis-nico-director-seeks-culture-policy-review-rape/