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Sit-at -home: IPOB denies attacking priest at Nnewi

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Sit-at -home: IPOB denies attacking priest at Nnewi

 

 

T he proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has denied the reports that emerged from Nnewi, the industrial hub of Anambra State on Thursday that some of its members attacked a Catholic priest during the sit-at-home order held across the South-East. IPOB said the story was a huge lie fabricated by those who felt ashamed and disgraced that the sit – at – home order was perfectly observed in Nnewi against their initial expectations. In a statement by its Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, IPOB said it remains the most peaceful movement as there had never been any evidence of them wielding any gun or any weapon to attack people not to talk of Christians.

The Pro-Biafra group went on to thank the Nnewi business community and other cities for standing in solidarity with the group and showing respect to the fallen heroes and heroines of Biafra against every manipulations from the powers that be. The statement reads: “It is crystal clear to the general public that since the inception of IPOB, we don’t carry or move about with machete, AK47 rifle or any kind of weapon. “We wonder why Nigeria Government and her security agencies would come up with such rubbish instead of saying really what happened in Nnewi and how they failed to deceive Biafrans to obey the sit-at-home order issued by IPOB authority.

“It’s very pathetic that National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) clashed with some Nnewi youths and drug peddlers in Nnewi yesterday and tagged it to a peaceful movement like IPOB. “Since the formation and commencement of this great movement championing for the liberation of Biafran people, we never attacked or killed anybody in Biafraland or in Nigeria state. IPOB does not indulge on such evil acts no matter the level of attack, killing, humiliation, intimidation, torture against us. “We are aware that they can only use sponsored media attack and misinformation to deceive and confuse the general public about the successful outcome of this sit at home order held on Thursday, May 30.

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APC crisis: Govs ask Oshiomhole to resign

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APC crisis: Govs ask Oshiomhole to resign

… Say he can’t bequeath any legacy to party

 

Given the crisis of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State, the governors on the platform of the party have asked the National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole to resign his position.

According to the statement from the Secretariat of the Progressives Governors Forum, the APC National Chairman cannot bequeath any legacy to the party.

The statement, which was signed by the Director General of the Progressive Governors’ Forum, Salihu Moh’ Lukuman also chided the National Chairman for the disqualification of the APC Deputy Governorship candidate in Bayelsa State,

Biobarakuma Degi-Eremieny by an Abuja Federal High Court.

The governors opinionated that the inability of the Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee to call a National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party since last year had led to the unresolved crisis in the party.

Calling for the resignation of Oshiomhole, the governors said, “In the current circumstance, nothing short of a NEC or National Caucus meeting of the party can resolve all our increasing organisational challenges as a party. It is either Comrade Oshiomhole respect the provision of party constitution and convene superior organ meeting to deliberate on all our challenges, or he should just accept his inability to manage the party and simply resign.”

The governors berated the APC National Chairman for the crisis in Edo State that has led to the suspension of the Oshiomhole by the state party.

The Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki and the APC National Chairman have been at loggerheads since June this year.

Speaking on the suspension on the APC National Chairman, the governors said: “Information coming from Edo State indicates that members of the State Executive Council of APC have passed vote of no confidence on Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, National Chairman of our party, APC. In so many respects, it could be argued, it is a natural outcome of unfolding power play between Comrade Oshiomhole and Governor Godwin Obaseki since June 2019 with the contentious inauguration of the Edo State House of Assembly. Possible retaliatory response from both Comrade Oshiomhole and groups such as Edo Peoples Movement who are loyal to Comrade Oshiomhole should be expected. In other words, there could be counter pronouncement suspending Governor Obaseki.

“Side by side with the news of the vote of no confidence was also the discomforting report of the Federal High Court judgement in Abuja disqualifying Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo as our Deputy Governorship candidate for the November 16, 2019 Bayelsa election. While expecting that every necessary step will be taken to vacate the judgement, it is very depressing for every committed party member to be subjected to such ignominious reality, which only remind us of our reckless conducts in states like Zamfara, Rivers, Bauchi and Adamawa, which chiefly gave away electoral victories to PDP.

“Instead of focusing on working to win elections, we are busy undermining ourselves. All these are ominous signs that we are about to re-enact the Zamfara, Rivers, Bauchi and Adamawa experiences in Bayelsa. It is Bayelsa today, Anambra, Edo and Ondo are being setup for similar experiences. Somehow, unfortunately, the National Executive Council (NEC) of the party, which is the organ vested with the statutory responsibility of responding to all these challenges appear to be suspended. The last time it met was August 2018. In its place, the National Working Committee (NWC), which is an administrative organ with the responsibility of implementing decisions of NEC and other higher organs seem to have usurped the powers of NEC.”

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S’Arabia apologises for video labelling feminism as extremism

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S’Arabia apologises for video labelling feminism as extremism

Saudi Arabia’s state security agency says a social media post on one of its accounts that categorised feminism as extremism was a mistake.

The promotional video categorised feminism, homosexuality and atheism as dangerous ideas and warned Saudis to be vigilant against them.

The security agency says it is investigating the video.

Saudi Arabia is trying to shake off its image as one of the most repressive countries in the world for women, reports the BBC.

The animated clip was posted to the Twitter account of the State Security Presidency over the weekend. The agency reports directly to King Salman.

The agency said in a statement that the video contained multiple mistakes and the makers of the video did not do their job properly.

The Saudi Human Rights Commission also released a statement saying that feminism was not a crime. However it did not make reference to homosexuality or atheism.

Saudi Arabia has no written laws concerning sexual orientation or gender identity, but judges use principles of Islamic law to sanction people suspected of extra-marital sexual relations, homosexual sex or other “immoral” acts, according to US-based Human Rights Watch.

The video has been criticised by human rights groups including Amnesty International.

Heba Morayef, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Director, said: “This announcement is extremely dangerous and has serious implications for the rights to freedom of expression and life, liberty and security in the country.”

The video comes as Saudi Arabia continues a programme of reforms, many of which focus on women’s rights.

The government lifted a long-standing ban on women driving in 2018 and made changes to the male guardianship system this August, allowing women to apply for passports and travel independently without permission from a man.

They were also given the right to register births, marriage or divorce.

However, women continue to face numerous restrictions on their lives, and several women’s rights activists who campaigned for the changes have been detained and put on trial. Some of them alleged to have been tortured in prison.

Men who had supported the activists’ cause or defended them in court were also arrested.

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Senate approves N10.69bn refund to Kogi

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Senate approves N10.69bn refund to Kogi

The Senate has approved N10.069 billion as refund for project executed on behalf of the Federal Government by Kogi state.

The approval was made amidst disquiet in the chamber by senators from opposition PDP who claimed that it was too much a coincidence to make the approval three days to the poll.

Senate Minority leader Enyinnaya Abaribe, (PDP, Abia South) said the approval should be delayed by one week so that the refunded money should not be misused during election.

“The witch cries in the night and the child dies in the morning. The approval comes when there is an election is on Saturday. The money should be delayed until next week so that it would not be misused,” he said.

Earlier, Senator Barau Jibril (APC, Kano), said commended the Kogi State government for deploying the state resources to ameliorate the suffering of its people plying the dilapidated roads.

He advised that the senate to immediately approved the Promissory note to the state so that other states should take a leaf from them.

The President of the senate overruled and approved the money saying the state applied for the refund along with other states that had gotten their own.

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Leave Bolivia, US orders families of govt employees

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Leave Bolivia, US orders families of govt employees

The United States on Tuesday ordered family members of U.S. government employees to leave Bolivia because of civil unrest in the South American country, the State Department said in a statement.

The department also warned American citizens against traveling to Bolivia and said the U.S. government had limited ability to provide emergency services after a disputed election sparked protests that led Evo Morales to resign as president and flee the country.

Morales resigned Sunday after nearly 14 years in power,reports nbcnews.com.

On Tuesday, a women’s rights activist and former television presenter who became an opposition leader in the Senate declared herself Bolivia’s interim president, promising to guide the country out of a deep crisis.

Jeanine Añez, 52, was a second-tier opposition figure until Morales’ resignation.

But as the Senate’s second vice president, she moved Tuesday to take temporary control of the body even though she lacked a quorum to appoint her. The Senate leader is next in line to the presidency, and she then proclaimed herself interim president to guide the Andean nation before new elections.

Celebrations and clashes quickly broke out in Bolivia among supporters and foes of Morales, who flew to exile in Mexico earlier in the day.

Bolivia’s crisis erupted after the last elections, on October 20, were marred by allegations that Morales fixed the results in his favor. Violent protests swept the country, leading to police defections and finally a call from the chief of the military for Bolivia’s first indigenous president to resign.

In a dramatic scene Monday, Añez wept as she told journalists that she wanted to “give certainty” to Bolivians in the midst of a power vacuum.

“I just want to provide a solution to the horrible crisis that we’re living through,” Añez said.

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APC crisis: Convene NEC now or resign, PGF DG tells Oshiomhole

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APC crisis: Convene NEC now or resign, PGF DG tells Oshiomhole

Salihu Mohammed Lukman, the Director-General of the Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF), has wadded into the crisis currently rocking the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) by calling on the party’s National Chairman of the , Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, to convene the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the party or resign immediately.

The PGF Director-General’s call came on the heel of the multiple internal crisis rocking the party in the states across the country, the most current of which is the worsening power tussle between Oshiomhole and his successor as governor of Edo State, Governor Godwin Obaseki, which Lukman described as “embarrassing” to the ruling party.

Lukman, in a statement he personally authored, titled ‘APC and our Inconceivable Organisational Challenges: Urgent Call to our Leaders’ and made available to journalists in Abuja on Wednesday, said the National Working Committee (NWC), an administrative organ of the party, including just a select members of the NEC and is tasked with the responsibility of executing decisions of the NEC, had hijacked the responsibilities of the apex decision-making organ of the party, the NEC, which he said seemed to have been suspended.

According to him, most of the crisis facing the party in the state, many of which had cost the party some states hitherto considered as its stronghold states, are those that the NEC or National Caucus meeting of the party are designed to sort out.

He reminded Oshiomhole that his constituency, as National Chairman of the party goes beyond his home state of Edo, but the whole of the country, charging him to follow the party’s constitution by convening the NEC, face the party in the process of resolving the myriad of crises facing it or simply accept that he is not capable of leading the party any further and resign his office as National Chairman.

“Side by side with the news of the vote of no confidence was also the discomforting report of the Federal High Court judgement in Abuja disqualifying Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo as our Deputy Governorship candidate for the November 16, 2019 Bayelsa election. While expecting that every necessary step will be taken to vacate the judgement, it is very depressing for every committed party member to be subjected to such ignominious reality, which only remind us of our reckless conducts in states like Zamfara, Rivers, Bauchi and Adamawa, which chiefly gave away electoral victories to PDP.

“Instead of focusing on working to win elections, we are busy undermining ourselves. All these are ominous signs that we are about to re-enact the Zamfara, Rivers, Bauchi and Adamawa experiences in Bayelsa. It is Bayelsa today, Anambra, Edo and Ondo are being setup for similar experiences.

“Somehow, unfortunately, the National Executive Council (NEC) of the party, which is the organ vested with the statutory responsibility of responding to all these challenges appear to be suspended. The last time it met was August 2018. In its place, the National Working Committee (NWC), which is an administrative organ with the responsibility of implementing decisions of NEC and other higher organs seems to have usurped the powers of NEC.

“Sadly, even the NWC, as at today, is a shadow of itself, as it has lost many members either on accounts of appointment into government or controversial suspension.

“For instance, Otumba Niyi Adebayo, Deputy National Chairman (South) is today a Minister of the Federal Republic. Senator Lawal Shuaibu, Deputy National Chairman (North) is allegedly suspended. Alhaji Inuwa Abdulkadir, National Vice Chairman (North West) is similarly suspended.

“We may recall that in June 2019, the NWC allegedly suspended Governor Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN). During the 2019 general elections, on accounts of the roles of former Governors Rochas Okorocha and Ibikunle Amosun against the candidates of the party, they were similarly suspended. Whether all these actions are permissible by provisions of the APC’s constitution is highly contestable.

“Why should all these be allowed to happen? Why is it impossible to convene a NEC or even National Caucus meetings, which are supposed to hold every quarter to resolve all these issues? Why should the NWC under Comrade Oshiomhole continue to imagine that it can conduct affairs of the party without mandatory meetings of party organs? What legacy is Comrade Oshiomhole hoping to achieve as a National Chairman by running the party in a way that suggests almost zero commitment to issues of party development?

“It is very painful for many of us who have had the privilege of being mentored by Comrade Oshiomhole to see him being devalued to a local factional leader from a very high pedestal of an illustrious national leader. As National Chairman, Comrade Oshiomhole hardly appreciate that he now has a national constituency and not just a state constituency, which may have been responsible for his apparent intemperance in the handling of matters affecting Edo State. I wish he paid similar attention to handling of issues affecting Rivers and Zamfara states during the 2019 elections.

“In the current circumstance, nothing short of a NEC or National Caucus meeting of the party can resolve all our increasing organisational challenges as a party. It is either Comrade Oshiomhole respect the provision of party constitution and convene superior organ meeting to deliberate on all our challenges, or he should just accept his inability to manage the party and simply resign.

“Our national leaders must rise to the challenge facing us as a party and take all necessary measures to convene superior organ meetings to begin to resolve all our challenges as a party. The current public disgrace must end,” he said.

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‘DSS fascistic, embarrassing Nigeria’ — Soyinka

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‘DSS fascistic, embarrassing Nigeria’ — Soyinka

*Nobel laureate reacts to attack on #FreeSowore protesters

Wole Soyinka, Nobel Laureate, says the Department of State Services (DSS) has become increasingly fascistic.

The DSS has refused to comply with a court order for Sowore’s release.

The agency said it received the court order for his release, but that no one had come to receive him.

But it refused to release him still after his lawyers and some civil rights activists came forward.

On Tuesday, agents of the service shot at protesters who had gone to the agency’s headquarters to demand his release.

In a statement on Wednesday, Soyinka said the DSS resorted to violence when its lies on Sowore’s release failed.

According to online newspaper, TheCable, he asked the security service to release Sowore and to stop embarrassing the country before the world.

He said the detention of the pro-democracy activist and the resort to violence by the agency was not only callous but also criminal.

”It is heart-warming to witness the determined efforts of ‘Concerned Nigerians’ in defence of these rights. Predictably, the ham-fisted response of the Directorate of State Security (DSS) continues to defy the rulings of the court. The weaponry of lies having been exploded in their faces, they resort to what else? Violence! Violence, including, as now reported, the firing of live bullets,” he said.

“Why the desperation? The answer is straightforward: the government never imagined that the bail conditions for Sowore would ever be met. Even Sowore’s supporters despaired. The bail test was clearly set to fail! It took a while for the projection to be reversed, and it left the DSS floundering. That agency then resorted to childish, cynical lies. It claimed that the ordered release was no longer in their hands, but in Sowore’s end of the transfer. The lie being exploded, what next? Bullets of course!

“Such a development is not only callous and inhuman, it is criminal. It escalates an already untenable defiance by the state. As I remarked from the onset, this is an act of government insecurity and paranoia that merely defeats its real purpose. And now – bullets? This is no longer comical. Perhaps it is necessary to remind this government of precedents in other lands where, even years after the event, those who trampled on established human rights that generate homicidal impunity are called to account for abuse of power and crimes against humanity.”

Soyinka said the protests for Sowore’s release go beyond only acts of solidarity, and that they “are manifestations of the judgment and authority of courts of law, under which this nation is governed”.

“Enough of this charade, nothing more than a display of crude, naked power. Release Omoyele Sowore and save us further embarrassment in the regard of the world. An apology to the nation by the DSS and the judiciary would also not be out of place. It would go some distance in redeeming the image of an increasingly fascistic agency and reduce the swelling tide of public disillusionment,” he said.

“It would go some distance in redeeming the image of an increasingly fascistic agency and reduce the swelling tide of public disillusionment.”

The DSS action was relayed live to a global audience by the BBC yesterday under its ‘Africa Live’ segment on its online home page.

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Israel kills Gaza gunman, militants fire rockets as violence continues

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Israel kills Gaza gunman, militants fire rockets as violence continues

An Israeli air-strike killed a Palestinian gunman on Wednesday and Gaza militants fired rockets into Israel as a spike in violence edged into a second day.

As dawn broke, air raid sirens sent Israelis rushing to shelters in towns near the Gaza border and deeper in the country.

The Israeli military said its forces targeted a Gaza crew preparing to launch rockets over the border. At least one man was killed. The Islamic Jihad militant faction identified him as a member of the group, reports Reuters.

The worst fighting in months began on Tuesday, after Israel killed in Gaza a top commander of the Iran-backed Islamic Jihad, accusing him of masterminding recent attacks against Israel and planning more in the near future.

In response, Islamic Jihad gunmen fired about 200 rockets into Israel throughout the day. Further Israeli air strikes on the group’s targets in Gaza killed eight Palestinians, seven of them militants, according to Palestinian sources.

However, it appeared that Hamas, the main militant group that rules Gaza, was staying out of the fighting for now. A diplomatic source told Reuters the U.N. Middle East envoy was on his way to Cairo to begin mediation to end the violence.

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Hong Kong readies for more chaos as violence spreads citywide

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Hong Kong readies for more chaos as violence spreads citywide

Hong Kong prepared for more clashes on Wednesday as anti-government protesters paralyzed parts of the Asian financial hub for a third day, with some transport links, schools and many businesses closing after an escalation of violence.

Protesters and police battled through the night at university campuses and other locations only hours after a senior police officer said the Chinese-ruled city had been pushed to the “brink of a total breakdown”.

Police fired tear gas at protesters overnight in multiple locations as activists blocked roads, torched several vehicles, hurled petrol bombs at a police station and metro train and smashed up part of a shopping mall, reports Reuters.

The flare ups come after police on Monday shot an unarmed protester at close range and a man was doused with petrol and set on fire in some of the worst violence since protests began more than five months ago.

Thousands of commuters were queuing at metro stations across the city early on Wednesday after some railway services were suspended and roads closed.

Riot police were deployed at stations, while protesters set up roadblocks and barricades on major thoroughfares.

Protesters are angry about what they see as police brutality and meddling by Beijing in the freedoms guaranteed under the “one country, two systems” formula put in place when the former British colony returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

China denies interfering and has blamed Western countries, including Britain and the United States, for stirring up trouble.

Protesters were planning demonstrations in areas including the Central business district, home to some of the world’s most expensive real estate and luxury shops, across the Kowloon peninsula and in the outlying New Territories.

“We just want to affect the Hong Kong economy to let the government know we are serious about our demands,” said a 21- year-old student named Lee, who had spent the night making petrol bombs at City University.

“Every day, everywhere, people are getting hurt.”

Hundreds of masked protesters, many of them students, hurled rocks and bricks, some launched with catapults, during Tuesday’s protests.

There were chaotic scenes through the night at the prestigious Chinese University, with explosions, plumes of smoke, yelling and sustained gunfire during which scores were injured. Hong Kong’s Hospital Authority said 81 people had been injured since Monday, with two in serious condition.

The youngest was 10 months old but the cause of the infant’s injuries was not known.

Many schools and universities canceled classes on Wednesday after the Education Bureau announced that parents could decide whether to send their children to school and urged them not participate in “unlawful activities”.

RETURN TO ‘NORMAL’

Dozens of commuters scrambling to get to work tried to stop a rural metro station in the eastern part of the city from shutting after the metro operator, MTR Corp announced it was stopping services there.

Several train lines, stations and bus routes were shut because of damaged facilities, the operator said, adding that its whole train network would shut more than two hours early, by 10 p.m.

“It is very painful to watch my city turn into this. Look at everyone, how angry they are,” said Alexandra, a 42-year-old insurance executive who had been trying to get to work.

“We all want to return to normal, but how can the government do that if they don’t listen to what Hong Kongers have been asking for.”

Outside Baptist University campus, on the Kowloon peninsula, police rammed barricades with buses to clear them. At least two people were arrested before police made a quick retreat.

Hong Kong’s stock market dropped 2% to a three-week low in early trade, outpacing falls elsewhere in Asia. The drop came after the city’s embattled leader, Carrie Lam, said protesters trying to paralyze the city were being “extremely selfish”.

Chinese state media condemned the violence with the ‘China Daily’ newspaper stating that young protesters were reveling in a “hormone-fueled ‘rebellion’”.

“It is foolish and naive to believe that Hong Kong would be better off by eliminating all mainland factors. Particularly, since the mainland is the main source of fresh water, electricity and the largest supplier of food to the city.”

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China says Taiwan scaremongering with attack talk

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China says Taiwan scaremongering with attack talk

China said on Wednesday Taiwan was scaremongering with talk of a possible Chinese attack, after Taiwan’s foreign minister said Beijing could resort to military conflict to divert domestic pressure if an economic slowdown bites.

As Taiwan’s presidential elections approach in January, China has stepped up a campaign to “reunify” with what it considers a wayward province, wooing away the island’s few diplomatic allies and flying regular bomber patrols around it, reports Reuters.

And President Xi Jinping said in January that China reserves the right to use force to bring Taiwan under its control but will strive to achieve peaceful “reunification”.

Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu told Reuters last week that China could attack the democratic and self-ruled island if

any threat to China’s ruling Communist Party arises from social pressures that could result from any slowdown in the world’s second largest economy amid a trade war with the United States.

Ma Xiaoguang, spokesman for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, told a regular news conference in Beijing that Wu’s comments were “complete nonsense and absolute rubbish”.

“Recently, in order to seek benefit for the elections, they have been weaving various lies to intimidate, threaten and mislead the people of Taiwan,” he added.

“I think compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Strait must be highly vigilant and not easily misled.”

China’s economy is fine, Ma said.

“Under the current complicated economic situation, the mainland’s economic development landscape is still good, and this is not something the likes of Joseph Wu can talk down.”

China’s economic growth is expected to slow to a near 30-year low this year, putting the onus on Beijing to step up stimulus needed to sustain growth.

Ma said China wants “peaceful reunification”, while Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party is the real greatest threat to peace, pushing independence and inciting enmity.

Taiwan was trying to “cover up” the island’s own economic problems, Ma added.

Taiwan’s economy grew at its fastest pace in more than a year in the third quarter, as a rebound in demand for tech products for the year-end peak season boosted manufacturers and “offset” the impact of trade disputes.

Ma separately confirmed that three people from Taiwan who had been reported missing in China were being investigated on suspicion of harming national security. He gave no details.

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Hate speech offenders risk death by hanging

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Hate speech offenders risk death by hanging

H

ard time awaits purveyors of hate speech in Nigeria as those convicted of the offence in any court of law in the country are to face death by hanging.

This is the recommendation of the Senate which surfaced yesterday.

 

It is a product of a bill being sponsored by the Deputy Chief Whip of the Senate, Sabi Abdulahi (APC, Niger North).

 

The proposal, which was introduced and read for the first time in the Upper Chamber, also provides life jail sentence or five years imprisonment, depending on the degree of the hate speech.

The Bill, however, provided an option of a fine of N10 million for those found guilty of the offence of hate speech.

 

The Bill also seeks the establishment of a commission that will enforce the law on hate speeches in the country.

The proposal, which is entitled: “Independent National Commission for Hate Speeches”, has the objectives of ensuring the elimination of all forms of hate speeches; promoting the elimination of all forms of hate speeches against persons or ethnic groups; as well as advising the Federal Government on the matter.

 

According to the proposed law, hate speech is defined as comments that insult people for their religion, ethnic, linguistic affiliation, and racial contempt, among others.

 

The Bill states that: “A person who uses, publishes, presents, produces, plays, provides, distributes and/or directs the performance of, any material, written and/or visual which is threatening, abusive or insulting or involves the use of threatening, abusive or insulting words or behavior, commits an offence if such person intends thereby to stir up ethnic hatred, or having regard to all the circumstances, ethnic hatred is likely to be stirred up against any person or person from such an ethnic group in Nigeria.”

 

It further states that: “Any person who commits an offence under this section shall be liable to life imprisonment and where the act causes any loss of life, the person shall be punished with death by hanging.”

And for offences like harassment on the basis of ethnicity, racial contempt, the bill proposes not less than five-year jail term or a fine of not less than N10 million or both.

 

The Bill reads further: “A person subjects another to harassment on the basis of ethnicity for the purposes of this Section where, on ethnic grounds, he unjustifiably engages in a conduct which has the purpose or effect of:

 

(a) Violating that other person’s dignity; or

(b) Creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for the person subjected to the harassment”, it states.

 

The bill also says: “Conduct shall be regarded as having the effect specified in subsection (1)(a) or (b) of this Section if, having regard to all the circumstances, including in particular the perception of that other person, it should reasonably be considered as having that effect.

“A person who subjects another to harassment on the basis of ethnicity commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction to an imprisonment for a term not less than five years, or to a fine of not less than N10 million or to both.”

 

According to the bill, the commission will be headed by an executive chairperson to be appointed by the President on the recommendation of the National Council of State, subject to the confirmation of at least two-thirds majority of the National Assembly.

 

Other responsibilities of the commission include: discouraging persons, institutions, political parties and associations from advocating or promoting discrimination or discriminatory practices through the use of hate speeches; promoting tolerance, understanding and acceptance of diversity in all aspects of national life and encourage full participation by all ethnic communities in social, economic, cultural and political life of other communities.

 

The commission is also to plan, supervise, coordinate and promote educational and training programmes to create public awareness, support and advancement of peace and harmony among ethnic communities and racial groups.

Also, the commission is expected to promote respect for religions, cultural, linguistic and other forms of diversity in a plural society; promoting equal access and enjoyment by persons of all ethnic communities and racial groups to public or other services and facilities provided by the government.

 

Other functions of the commission include promoting arbitration, conciliation, mediation and similar forms of dispute resolution mechanisms in order to secure and enhance ethnic and racial harmony and peace and investigate complaints of ethnic or racial discrimination and make recommendation to the Attorney-General, the Human Rights Commission or any other relevant authority on the remedial measures to be taken where such complaints are valid.

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