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COVID-19: Journalists also frontline workers, govt should support media with palliatives, says AMPON President

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The novel Coronavirus pandemic has left many individuals, businesses, and even countries incapacitated and the role the media; journalists and broadcaster played in day-to-day activities cannot be an oversight.

A group of journalists and media practitioners, the Association of Online Media Practitioners of Nigeria (AMPON), has called on the Nigerian government to extend the palliatives support to the journalists those that are working tirelessly to gather information for public consumption.

The president of the group, Mr. Wole Arisekola, publisher of Ireland based journal; TheStreetJournal, said journalists are also frontline workers in the fight of the deadly pandemic virus; COVID-19 and they are also entitled to palliatives and relief packages.

According to Mr. Wole Arisekola; journalists are like the health workers, soldiers, policemen, and other security agents, are an integral part of essential service providers globally and as such must be included in whatever palliative package being rolled out by the Federal Government as well as other bodies.

He explained further that the media are also playing a critical and crucial role in the war against the coronavirus pandemic. Because without them no one will even know what is going on, including what those in the medical field are doing.

They should, therefore, be included in whatever palliative package being planned and again be adequately protected. ‘They too are in the frontline, always there to write COVID-19 stories, cover COVID-19 outbreaks, supply all the necessary statistics, get the survivors to speak to them and so on. Their roles, therefore, are also key and must be factored into whatever palliative package the FG or any other body is planning.’

I am Paschal Ogechi Obi Chikero . I have written and published three books , I wrote Festus Keyamo's biography- Lion In Isolation .I have been a Reality TV show Producer/Creator, an Actor and Film Script Writer.

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2023 and the Contentious Issue APC Must Confront

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2023 and the Contentious Issue APC Must Confront
For the APC, the 2023 presidential elections present a real test of its ability to survive and forge a unified front as a political organisation.
The Buhari era is about to end, and the hitherto unifying figure of a Buhari that appears to have glued the disparate tendencies in the party together will no longer be there. Already, the commencement of the process of picking the party’s candidate for the 2023 contest has shown glaringly that the contest will be brutal and acidic, unless a miracle happens. Since the party’s initial objective of booting out PDP and gaining power has been achieved in the Buhari two-term presidency, 2023 will signal for the party the real wheeling and dealing of ruthless ambition driven by self-aggrandizement among its contending power blocs.

Even now, allegations of betrayal, vociferous proclamation of personal ambitions and dirty innuendoes about imposition of candidates have started reaching an uncomfortable level in the party.

Regardless of the drama and subplots that have started unfolding, it is for the party and Nigerians generally to zero in on a candidate that has the right mix of persona, charisma, vision, discipline, awareness and courage to keep the party and the country in good shape post 2023.

The task may be daunting but what the party needs to do is clear cut. This is because the problems a post Buhari president will confront are already here with us now.

One, with continuous fall in oil prices and a general lull in business activity since the outbreak of COVID-19, the economic realities have been worsened by the growing poverty and unemployment which has made upward social mobility unachievable for the wider population. The Nigeria Bureau of Statistics has continued to record staggering inflation rates, with food inflation and general cost of living growing out of hand and, according to the World Poverty Clock, nearly half of the Nigerian population currently subsist in extreme poverty. In fact, the Brookings Institute has predicted the figure to rise to 110 million by 2030.

Two, the generality of Nigerian citizens are disillusioned that the current administration has not succeeded in its efforts to deliver democratic economic gains, better governance, and to tackle corruption and insecurity decisively. Thus, loss of confidence in the government and the party is very high.

The initial public upbeat mood that greeted government’s fight against corruption at incipient following the introduction of revolutionary measures such as the Treasury Single Account (TSA) to reduce leakages has, sadly, evaporated today, leading to growing frustration.

Three, more than ever before, Nigeria is looking incapable of taming the intractable insecurity situation in the land as citizens shiver due to increased attacks from bandits, kidnappers and terrorist groups. Kidnappings have reached a crisis point with increased scale and frequency. Call for balkanization of the country along ethnic lines has also been gaining traction.

Arising from the growing citizen frustration, it is clear that whoever the party chooses to replace President Buhari in 2023 must have the dexterity, knowledge and empathy required to manage the potentially game-changing citizen advocacy led by a historically apathetic middle class that has woken up to bark and bite. This awakened group will definitely offer a more coordinated and sophisticated challenge to the status quo than Nigeria has ever had to manage before. Of course, because social media and digital have also come to offer more ammunition for the citizens in their growing anti-establishment consciousness, it cannot be business as usual and the party cannot afford not to take into consideration these new paradigms and dynamics as it prepares for life in government after Buhari.

The challenge therefrom is that from its array of political gladiators that have indicated interest in the job, APC has to pick the one that most fits the profile of a 21st Century public administrator and politically astute servant-leader.

Although, it is a tough call, the party’s best materials for now appear to be Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Senator Ibikunle Amosun and Governor Kayode Fayemi. In terms of finesse, experience, capability, age and ability to cross-connect the various critical population segments, the three stand out from the pack.

If APC is to respect and espouse the principles of fairness, equity and national cohesion by fielding a Southern candidate after President Buhari’s eight years, any of the three stand a chance of recreating and shoring up the party’s brand fortune.

However, it is an open secret in political circles across the South West that, unlike the Vice President and the Ekiti State governor who have been described by informed political watchers as tacit fall back options for the vaunted Ashiwaju Bola Tinubu ambition that appears to be hitting a political brick wall, Senator Amosun offers the party more gravitas and believability, especially among the segment of the population who still hold on to the notion that APC was created as a political vehicle to advance the personal ambition of the founding fathers and not to move Nigeria forward genuinely.

This is because out of the three gentlemen, it is only Amosun that is regarded as a true politician with a mind of his own and not a creation and/or disciple of the Tinubu School of Politics. Political watchers point at the fact that no one has been able to stick the disloyal, betrayer, Judas Iscariot and ingratitude labels on Amosun as done by the BAT crowd on the other two as a justification of the respect and political sagacity which the former Ogun State governor parades in the South west political space.

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Opinion: Such a Dangerous time to be a Student By Olutayo Irantiola

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Opinion: Such a Dangerous time to be a Student By Olutayo Irantiola

Growing up in this country some years ago was full of fun and pleasant memories; from your classmates, to your teachers, the school authority, and everyone around.

It was a grand community wherein all the misdemeanor of children were corrected by neighbours and children still plead not to be reported to their immediate parent; parenting was done by the community.

 

Reading newspaper reports daily has negatively impacted the mental health of many persons. Howbeit, would one remain perpetually deaf to what is happening in one’s community? Life has got so bad that being a student has become a difficult journey to embark upon.

 

The happenings in the North-Eastern part of Nigeria have made schooling very dangerous. Well, as said, that is the meaning of Boko Haram from the beginning is Western Education is forbidden and it is depicted with the various killings and abductions. In the last few years, students in that region of the country have been turned into refugees in their homeland. Although, recently, the Borno State Government is making attempts at resettling the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), and schools are being built and commissioned all over. This signifies the beginning of Western Education for this set of Nigerians.

 

Imagine the recent happening in Greenfield University, Kaduna State. Some students were killed for no just cause. The situation is critically alarming that lecturers, workers, and students have become targets of kidnappers. About the same time, a Professor of the University of Jos, Grace Ayanbimpe and her husband were also kidnapped. All of these led the Senior Staff Union of Universities to demand weapons to guard themselves if they cannot be safe on their various campuses.

 

It is such a challenging time to be a student when you think about the number of auto crashes that claim the lives of students annually while trying to commute to their various institutions of learning and back to their homes. This also brings to the fore the unfortunate death of the students of the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, earlier in the year, who were crushed to death by a truck.

 

When you encounter Nigerian students, you need to pity them specially. They would spend years in a tertiary institution of learning, either state or federal, because the Academic Staff Union of Universities and the Nigerian Government are always at loggerheads over things they usually claim would benefit the students. It is so saddening that you can only know the year in which you resume school but you can never know the year in which you will graduate. Every day, the heartbeat of parents and the students keeps palpitating strongly because nobody knows what would be the next occurrence that would make interrupt learning.

 

Despite all these, female students are exposed to several ills within few years of maturity. They are trailed by lecturers old enough to be their fathers; some evil students rape and murder them amongst others. The journey of a female student needs special care with all that is heard and seen these days. Kudos to the University of Lagos for firing two randy lecturers.

 

At the moment, Nigeria is just heading for a more grievous crisis in terms of labour force. As stated by Professor Olayinka Idowu, the former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan. Every Senator wants a University to be sited in his hometown, as such, quality education is fast depreciating in Nigeria. Asides that, all the Polytechnics are being converted to Universities, for instance, Yaba College of Technology and the Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro. These schools may become Universities but what of the technical know-how that we are losing. The skillset of a graduate of the Polytechnic is very different from that of a University graduate. Although the Senate has removed the dichotomy lately, we still need everyone to understand the differences, if not, polytechnics would becoming ghost tertiary institutions.

 

Ultimately, if you are fortunate to get through school without any scar or blemish; the hurdle of serving your fatherland is staring at you in the face. With all the various uprisings in the country, where is the safe haven for a one-year period, that reminds me, the NYSC Orientation Camp in Maiduguri, has been turned into an IDP camp. Where exactly is the place that one would want to serve with the current state of the country? If you are not thinking of all these, it becomes frightening for the Director-General of NYSC saying that Corps Members can be deployed to a war zone if a war breaks out. Can a Corps member defend the integrity of this nation by mere marching when trained soldiers are being killed by terrorists in our nation?

 

Have you noted the rising spate of the kidnapping of those in search of work lately? The syndicate is getting more organized daily. They would lure victims to a particular location, thereafter abducting such individuals. It is getting sophisticated to a fault. There jokes about the situation about how lucrative the kidnapping business has become. People now notify others to look out for certain addresses as they are the hideout of people perpetrating such heinous crimes.

 

It is such a challenging time to be a student; it is such a challenging thing to be out of school and it is such a challenging time to be in search of work! May the Lord see us through these trying times.

 

Olutayo Irantiola is a Public Relations Consultant and Creative Writer based in Lagos, Nigeria, his writings are available on www.peodavies.com

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Angela Nwosu Gives Men Spiritual Tips About Their Wives

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Angela Nwosu Gives Men Spiritual Tips About Their Wives

Top Nigerian female spiritualist , Angela Nwosu , has again dished out a thought provoking spiritual advice to married men . 

NAIJA NEWS NG reports that the controversial wife of a Nollywood filmmaker wrote that some women have strong spiritual guides that bless or punish their partners when made happy or sad.

Angela Nwosu wrote on her verified Facebook page :

“A very important Repost. Read this again and let it sink it.👇
A lot of women have extremely active spirit guides that are at their beck and call, most of them don’t even know this. If you make them cry, one way or another, something will go wrong for you, if you give them happiness, something will go right for you. You might not even know where your blessing is coming from, but you will only notice that things are changing well for you.
If as a man, you marry this type of woman and you treat her bad, whether directly or indirectly, forces bigger than you will begin to fight you, and she will always be there to listen to your complaints and suffer with you, even offer you words of encouragement and pray for you, but the prayers will be meaningless, because you aren’t worth it, her spirit guide will seriously deal with you. These type of women will never leave you, no matter what. If at any time, you decide to leave them and they meet another man that treats them well, they will become a huge blessing to that man, while you continue to suffer, wherever you are, and in most cases, it’s impossible to meet someone like that again.
Only women have these type of auras and spirit guides. It’s important to study the type of woman you are dating or married to, if you are sensible and mature enough. Another important thing is, faithfulness should come naturally to you, without an effort. You dare not cheat on such a woman, whether they find out or not.
#angienation
Udo!”

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