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Missing Journalist: IG Assures NUJ Of Resolving Case

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Missing Journalist: IG Assures NUJ Of Resolving Case

The Inspector-General of Police (IG), Usman Alkali has assured the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) of the police force’s readiness to unravel the disappearance of Mr. Tordue Henry Salem, a reporter with the Vanguard Newspapers.

The I-G gave the assurance when members of NUJ, FCT Council, carried out a peaceful march to his office on Monday in Abuja to express displeasure with the silence of the police on the matter.

Alkali, represented by Mr Frank Mba, the Force Public Relations Officer, disclosed that Salem’s case was with them, explaining that it was officially reported to the National Assembly Police Station on Oct. 15.

He said from their investigation, Salem slept in the house of his sister some where around Life Camp on Oct. 12, woke up on Oct. 13, took a Bolt Taxi to National Assembly, where he worked for Vanguard.

“After close of work, he was last seen at the National Assembly between 4pm and 5pm on Oct. 13, and thereafter his colleagues never saw him again.

“On Oct. 15, the matter was formally reported at the National Assembly’s Police Station.

“The attention of the FCT Commissioner of Police and IG were drawn to the case. The IGP gave a firm instruction that all materials and human resources should be deployed at locating and understanding the rationale behind Salem’s disappearance.

“As I speak to you, we have made significant process in the investigation.

“However,  I am glad that the Chairman of NUJ, FCT Council, understood the significance of confidential briefing and because of that request, I would rather do more of confidential briefing.

“But, we were able to trace when he left the National Assembly. We were able to interact with a young lady who spent time with him that night.

“We have the recordings of the last call he made. Also,  we were able to speak with six different persons he spoke to that night.

“So, there are a lot of efforts behind the scene taking place. The Police intentionally kept quite on the case.

“We call it ‘Technical Silence’, because, we want to get to a comfortable altitude before we talk to the public,” Alkali said.

He said that the suspects or whoever had a hand was still out there, adding that the police would not want to provide too much for the suspects to know how much or how far the police had  gone.

“So, I just want to give a strong assurance that everything, humanly and operationally possible, would be done to solve this case.

“We see the media as integral part of what we do. We appreciate Journalists’ collaboration and support.”

Speaking earlier, the Chairman of NUJ, FCT Council, Mr Emmanuel Ogbeche, submitted a petition to Alkali signed by himself and Secretary of Council, Mr Ochiaka Ugwu.

The petition is titled “Demand to expedite action for the locating of Mr Tordue Henry Salem, Journalist and Correspondent with the Vanguard Newspaper who has been missing for 12 Days”.

Ogbeche said the FCT Council was optimistic that with adequate funding, up-to-date deployment of technology, well-motivated personnel and proper synergy, the Nigeria Police Force would be positioned to rise up to the task of securing our country alongside other security agencies.

“The IG, Sir, as you are aware, a colleague of ours and a journalist of note, Mr Tordue Henry Salem of the Vanguard Newspapers, went missing on Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021, right in front of the Total Filing Station less than a 100 meters from the Force Headquarters.

“Some 48 hours after, fellow colleagues who cover the House of Representatives realised he had disappeared, a report was immediately incidented at the National Assembly Police Division.

“This was followed by a petition to both your office and that of the Director-General of the Department of State Service by his employers, Vanguard Media Ltd.

“This was outside calls by the leadership of the NUJ to senior officers of the Police.

“It is regrettable to note that 12 days after Salem disappeared, nothing much has happened to indicate whether he is alive or dead, whether he is captive of the State, a non-state or an alien.

“it is relevant that we remind you that the State owes every Nigerian, particularly a journalist, protection and assurance of safety,” Ogbeche said.

The FCT NUJ Chairman explained that Nigeria had continued to fare badly on the Press Freedom Index for six successive years and it would be most unfortunate if the disappearance of Salem added to the poor rating.

Ogbeche noted that in 2020, a report of Reporters Without Borders showed that Nigeria went five spots down the Press Freedom Index from 115 to 120 out of 180 countries, with the telling remark that Nigeria remained “one of West Africa’s most dangerous and difficult countries for journalists.”

He further stated that a June 2021 report of the Nigeria Union of Journalists and Media Foundation for West Africa revealed that the media industry recorded seven unresolved killings and 300 violations, affecting about 500 journalists, media workers, and media houses in Nigeria.

“What all these underscores is that the prevailing environment is unsafe, suffocating and dangerous not just for journalists and other media workers but for the sustenance of democracy itself.

“It is in this wise that we are here to demand that Mr Tordue Henry Salem not only be found but that adequate protection be offered to journalists going forward. That the culture of harassment, intimidation, brutalization, and disappearances ends.

“Our demand is reinforced by the fact that as we approach 2023, a General Elections year in Nigeria, the political and economic elites become more desperate to hang on to power and because they will not want to be held accountable to the Nigerian people, the media become their major targets.

“This culture of impunity should and must be arrested by the Nigeria Police as the primary security agency as well as other sister agencies,” Ogbeche stressed.

Journalists during the March

Meanwhile, some journalists who participated in the peaceful March spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria.

Mr Olakunle Awoniyi of WE FM, Abuja said he was happy with what the IG said, adding that he was convinced that the Police would do the needful to find Salem.

Miss Tina Olaitan of the ministry of Information said the disappearance of Salem was not the first of it kind in the country.

“But it has to stop. It is not a crime to be a Journalist. Please the Police should look for Salem.

“If he is dead, let us see his body. If he is alive, let is know what he did. We are worried,” she added

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”Your mentorship, humility, and resilience was exemplary” Oando Boss, Wale Tinubu Mourns Barkindo

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The Group Chief Executive, Oando Plc, Jubril Adewale Tinubu, has mourned the death of H.E. Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, the Secretary General of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC.
Tinubu said Barkindo’s death has robbed him of a good friend.
He wrote: “We had many conversations and speeches together  yesterday but this wasn’t one of them.
“The most profound reminder of the fragility of life is death.
“You were a good man who lived a great life. Y
“I still can’t believe the news, but Allah knows best. Till we meet again my good friend.”
Barkindo died at about 11pm on Tuesday, 5th July 2022.
His death confirms the old saying of a thin line separating life from death. But once that line is crossed, the gulf created becomes as large as an ocean, and so treacherous that it’s impossible to cross back.
The sad incident of the death of H.E. Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo has again brought to the fore what difference a few hours coiuld make between life and death.
Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo was among other top and eminent personalities that delivered speeches at the ongoing 21st Nigeria’s Oil and Gas conference in Abuja . His speech earned him a standing ovation.
Unfortunately, the technocrat died of heart attack hours after he was honoured by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa.
A former managing director of the NNPC,  Barkindo was appointed OPEC Secretary-General in 2016. He was the fourth Nigerian to hold that position and the 28th person in the role overall.
He was GMD of the NNPC between 2009 and 2010.
He was 63 years old.

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Oando,  LAMATA sign MoU on electric mass transit buse

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 Oando

 

Oando Clean Energy Limited has announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (referred to as LAMATA), the Lagos State Government agency tasked with planning, implementing, regulating and franchising sustainable integrated public transport in Lagos.

The MoU establishes a partnership between OCEL and Lagos State in her journey to becoming a sustainable city via the rollout of electric mass transit buses, supporting charging infrastructure and service centres (EV Infrastructure Ecosystem).

The statement obtained from the NGX noted that with over 25 million residents, Lagos is the most populous city in Africa and among the top ten of the world’s fastest-growing megacities.

 

Speaking at the MoU signing ceremony, Commissioner for Transportation, Lagos State, Dr. Frederic Oladeinde said the MoU represented the State Government’s commitment to cutting greenhouse gases by replacing them with cleaner sources of energy.

Oladeinde said, “With an understanding that transportation is a key emitter of greenhouse gases in Nigeria, we developed a strategy to cut greenhouse gases by 50%. A key component of this strategy was identifying and developing a more robust mass transit system for Lagos that would include rail and waterways amongst others. Using electricity to power mass transit is a step in the right direction, and from there we would gradually transit to private cars.

“This is just the beginning, there is still a lot more to come on stream. I commend LAMATA and Oando on this MoU signing, and both parties can be rest assured that they have my full backing to ensure success,” he added.

Commenting on the MoU signing, the Managing Director, LAMATA, Engr. Abimbola Akinajo said: “We began this journey late last year, and for us, this has been a rapid development. It speaks to the energy and zeal of both organizations, and that is commendable. Oando Clean Energy came to us with a comprehensive solution that went beyond electric mass transit buses to include supporting infrastructure, and this was key for us, as the full remit of an EV support ecosystem is the only way to achieve success.

“This initiative will not only accelerate the Government’s transportation agenda, but also positively impact the health of Lagosians and the environment. The magnitude of its impact is far-reaching, and when you start to look at it as more than a transport initiative, you will see how laudable a project it is. The Oando brand comes with know-how and experience, and we are relying on this to successfully move from MoU signing to actual implementation that will in the medium to long term benefit over 22 million Lagos commuters. We look forward to a very robust and fruitful partnership.”

In his response, the Chairman, Oando Clean Energy, Adewale Tinubu, who was represented at the MoU signing by Dr. Ainojie ‘Alex’ Irune said: “Oando Clean Energy was born out of a need to curate the best energy mix to propel Nigeria and indeed Africa, to its full potential.

As a company, Oando has always championed Public-Private Partnerships as fundamental to Nigeria’s industrialization. Through the signing of this MoU, we are revolutionizing the landscape of mobility by pioneering e-mobility in Lagos. Furthermore, we remain dedicated to achieving our national commitment to net-zero by 2060, ending energy deficiencies and further propelling the country to an industrialized phase through decentralized and sustainable energy systems.

We are excited to be embarking on this journey with Lagos State and must commend their foresight and willingness to forge a template for others to follow. It’s easy to be perturbed by the perceived challenges that come with the mega-city status tag, but by taking this bold step, Lagos is showing the continent what is indeed possible and giving other cities the impetus to redefine today how to build a public transport system for the future.”

 

Over the last decade, the number of vehicles on Lagos roads has quadrupled, yet studies suggest that Lagos could become the world’s most populated city by 2100 with as many as 100 million residents; and as the city grows, so will the number of vehicles.

This upward trajectory in vehicle numbers poses a significant challenge as transportation has been identified as the key contributing sector at circa 23% to 30% in annual CO2 emissions.

Against this backdrop, the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) between LAMATA and OCEL will enable the successful fulfilment of the objectives of the Lagos State Government through the deployment of an EV Infrastructure Ecosystem towards the attainment of a sustainable road transport system in the State.

Furthermore, this initiative will bridge the existing gap in available mass transit buses for the increasing number of Lagos commuters.

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Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, Wins Primary for Second term

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The Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, has  emerged winner of the state governorship primary of the All Progressives Congress.

In the primary election conducted at the MKO International Stadium, Abeokuta, five other aspirants contested against the governor.

The aspirants include Olubiyi Otegbeye, Mrs Modele Sarafa- Yussuf, Mr Owodunni Opayemi, Remilekun Bakare and Abdukadir Akinlade.

Of the six aspirants, only Abiodun, attended the primary, while agents of all other aspirants, announced their presence and did what was expected of them.

Giving the details of the  election, that was conducted in a peaceful atmosphere,  the Chairman of the Ogun State  APC Primary Election  Committee, Chief Wale Ohu, disclosed that 1,180 delegates, from the 20 local governments, were accredited for the exercise.

Announcing the results, Ohu, said Abiodun scored 1,168 votes, while other aapirants, did not secure any vote, saying that two votes were voided.

Prior to the commencement of the process, Ohu, announced to the delegates and all the leaders of the party that attended the event, that all required agents, were present.

Ohu took time to read out names of the officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and other officials of the APC officials that were sent from the National Secretariat.

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