The wife of the President, Mrs Aisha Buhari, has commended the hardwork and professionalism exhibited by Nigerian journalists for keeping citizens informed and educated on happenings around them. Mrs Buhari applauded the journalists in a statement made available to newsmen on Wednesday by her Director, Information, Mrs Suleiman Haruna, in Abuja. The statement added thatThe post Aisha Buhari applauds Nigerian journalists for hardwork, professionalism appeared first on The Herald Nigeria Newspaper.
A Zimbabwean journalist arrested for writing a story deemed insulting to first lady of Zimbabwe, Grace Mugabe, was granted bail on Wednesday, his lawyers said.
Kenneth Nyangani of the privately-owned Newsday newspaper was arrested on Monday over an article that the first lady allegedly donated clothes, including used underwears, to supporters of her husband’s Zanu-PF party.
Grace Mugabe is a notorious shopper with a penchant for designer goods, and just this week was reported by local press to have purchased a new Rolls Royce – in cash.
Nyangani was charged with “criminal nuisance,” which carries a maximum six-month prison term, and ordered released on bail.
Passmore Nyakureba from Legal Aid Group Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights said “Nyangani has been granted bail but we will go back to court on Oct. 18 for further remand.
“We are likely to challenge the charge.
“Nyangani has denied any wrongdoing; the charges are malicious and are a violation of constitutional rights.
“His right to practice his profession as a journalist has been seriously threatened.”
Zimbabwe ranks 128 out of 180 countries in the Reporters Without Borders 2017 World Press Freedom Index.
The group described the media situation in the southern African country “oppressive” and noted that both local and foreign journalists regularly faced arrest.
London-based rights watchdog Amnesty International had demanded that the charges against Nyangani be dropped.
President Robert Mugabe, aged 93, ruled Zimbabwe for three decades and intends to contest elections in 2017.
The first lady has been widely tipped as possible successor.
Mugabe has been accused of vote-rigging, multiple human rights violations and embezzlement in a country where 63 per cent of the population live below the poverty line, according to UN World Food Programme.
Information and culture minister Lai Mohammed has underscored the need for upward review of the retirement age of journalists working in the ministry.
“They are like judges and university professors; like old wine, they get better with age,’’ he added.
The minister also considers the need to revisit the abandoned media salary structure in order to ensure that government media professionals earn living wage.
At a thanksgiving reception by the new Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Culture, Ms Grace Gekpe, on Sunday in Abuja, he underscored the need for improved funding for the ministry and its agencies.
Mohammed, who was represented by Mr Bayo Onanuga, the Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said that the ministry has a very big responsibility and there was the need for sufficient funding.
“The government is doing a lot of things, but it is being misrepresented by naysayers.
“This is the time that the government needed to raise an army of competent information managers to counter the false and negative narratives about the administration,’’ he said.
Praising the appointment of Gekpe, he said that the era of godfatherism in deciding appointments into key positions at the federal level was over.
Mohammed stated that appointment to positions in the Federal Government “is strictly by merit’’.
“Gone are those days when people were appointed into positions by other factors apart from merit.
“Most of us must have heard that the new permanent secretaries were asked to write examination; Gekpe was one of the very few that scaled through the examination.
“Gekpe is a shining and beautiful woman. That could have earned her the appointment, but not under this regime of Change.
“She is a permanent secretary by virtue of hard work, merit and because she has a lot of things to offer,’’ he said.
The minister said that the ministry was proud of Gekpe, satisfied with her appointment and wished her all the best.
The Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita, who attended the reception, said the position of permanent secretary “is the highest level any civil servant can dream to reach’’.
She enjoined Gekpe to present her life and tenure to God for wisdom and guidance and as well show understanding and loyalty to her minister and the administration.
“She is called to serve the nation and in doing this, she should face her duties with dignity, integrity and understanding that this is a government of change, it cannot be business as usual.
“She has to be an epitome of incorruptibility, she should be efficient, productive, and be a citizen centred- permanent secretary’’.
In a brief remark, Gekpe said her appointment was a call to serve and pledged to discharge her responsibilities with the fear of God and in support of the government’s programmes.
“I will put in my best to assist my immediate boss, the minister, and the government at large to achieve the agenda set for the country,’’ she said.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Tuesday criticised increasing spate of attacks on journalists on duty, and admonished security agencies to adopt rigid actions to check the trend.
Kaduna State Chairman, Mr Hassan Hyet, while on a solidarity and sympathy visit to the Kaduna chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), said that the consistent attack on media men was an assault even to the entire society.
Reports said that thugs invaded the NUJ secretariat on Sunday, when top members of the APC, including senators, House of Representatives members and party officials were addressing a press conference centred on the delegates election conducted by the party on Saturday, July 29.
The thugs beat up journalists, broke cameras and midgets, and also destroyed part of the NUJ building.
The NUJ official advised politicians against using youths as political thugs and hoodlums, but mobilising such youths into positive ventures that will make them assets to the nation.