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World Council of Churches Fumes Over Killing of Nigerian Pastor

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Lawan Andimi

The gruesome murder of a Nigerian pastor by a faction of the dreadful Boko Haram terrorists’ group has continued to generation reactions from different quarters.

On January 20, 2020, leader of the Church of the Brethren, Pastor Lawan Andimi, was executed by the terrorists and video of his killing released to the world by the group.

Mr Andimi was abducted before his killing on January 2, 2020, when the terrorists raided his town, Michika area of Adamawa State, one of the highly volatile three states in the north east region of Nigeria, where Boko Haram has wreaked havoc for many years.

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The deceased was an ordained minister in the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria, serving as district secretary for the Michika area, and was chair of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) for the Michika area.

After his abduction, in a video earlier released by Boko Haram, Mr Andimi had pleaded with the Nigerian authorities and others to secure his freedom. It was later reported that the terrorists requested for a N200 million ransom, but were allegedly offered N50 million by officials of CAN, which was rejected.

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Reacting the gruesome murder, the World Council of Churches, in a statement, condemned the brutal act of violence and expressed his sincere condolences to Mr Andimi’s family, community and church.

“We have lost a brother who worked for peace, who worked for ecumenism, and whose life has been cut short by senseless violence,” General Secretary of WCC, Mr Olav Fykse Tveit, said.

“We denounce this violence as an act of hate toward someone who dedicated his life to God and to the service of others,” said Mr Tveit. “We pray for justice and comfort for his family and loved ones. And I appeal urgently to the Nigerian government and authorities to ensure the protection of people targeted by violent extremists because of their religious or other identity.”

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Mr Andimi was originally from Kwada village in the Chibok area. He was reported missing on January 3, 2020, a day after an attack on Michika by Boko Haram. His abduction gained international attention when, on January 5, his captors released a video in which he professed his Christian faith.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

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LG Polls: Ogun Imposes Movement Restriction

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Ogun LG Polls

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Ogun State Government has announced a statewide restriction of movement between 7 am and 4 pm on Saturday, July 24, 2021, to allow for the conduct of local government elections.

The State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Abdulwaheed Odusile, said the restriction was at the instance of the Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission (OGSIEC), which is conducting the councilorship and chairmanship elections in all the 236 wards across the 20 local government areas in the state.

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However, during the period of the restriction, voters will be free to move to their polling centres within their neighbourhood and cast their votes for the candidates of their choice.

The statement urged the electorate to be peaceful and avoid any act that could tarnish the hard-earned reputation of Ogun State as one of the most peaceful states in the country.

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This is coming after the Lagos State Government restricted movement between 8 am and 3 pm on Saturday for the same purpose.

Mr Gbenga Omotoso, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, had said in a statement Thursday that the restriction will enable the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) to conduct hitch-free elections across the 57 local government areas and local council development areas in the state.

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“The restriction will facilitate the ease of movement of the electorate, election materials and LASIEC officials for the sanctity of the election, effective monitoring and enhanced security,” Mr Omotoso said.

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Everybody Needs PR—Yomi Badejo-Okusanya

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yomi badejo okusanya Everybody Needs PR

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The Group Managing Director of CMC Connect BCW, Mr Yomi Badejo-Okusanya (YBO), has emphasised the importance of Public Relations to organisations and individuals, saying everybody needs PR.

Mr Badejo-Okusanya, who doubles as the president of the African Public Relations Association (APPA), therefore, submitted that efforts should be made to have a better understanding of the profession, noting that PR is different from journalism but both work together to achieve great results.

He called on organisations, leaders, nations, policy and decision-makers to never overlook the value that PR brings to the table.

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“Many still bear in mind that PR is only about press releases and organising events whilst those with an understanding of the weight PR professionals pull as a result of their expertise have yielded great results for themselves,” he said.

Mr Badejo-Okusanya, while speaking on the first-ever World PR Day held on July 16, 2021, charged practitioners to push forward the agenda of PR in their daily dealings, stressing that “PR needs PR.”

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The APRA leader said the decision to set aside a day for PR and a unified global agenda was indeed a welcome development, stressing that, for the past 33 years, APPA has been able to gather PR Practitioners in Africa and recently across the globe under one roof to push forward the agenda of PR, the profession itself and discuss issues, trends and solutions to PR needs.

“I am delighted because this day speaks to the fact that our effort is yielding results in ways that will take the profession to the level where it belongs and better utilized by organisations, businesses, nations, brands, individuals, decision and policymakers.

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“Truth is, everybody needs PR. It is part of our daily lives and PR is about telling a compelling story! This call for unity on a day such as this will bring about great opportunities and collaborations that will be beneficial to our profession in the long run,” he said.

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MIIVOC to Train FIRS Officials on FOI Act

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FOI Act

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

A group known as the Media Initiative against Injustice, Violence and Corruption (MIIVOC) is taking steps to improve the knowledge of government officials in the implementation of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act of 2011.

Already, it has concluded arrangements with the management of the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) to train key personnel on the provisions and application of the law.

“Knowledge and capacity on the FOI Act are still very low in the country. There is a need for training and retraining of representatives of public institutions on the provisions and applications of the Act.

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“Poor understanding of the provisions of the FOI Act is one of the reasons for its poor implementation in Nigeria, particularly, among state actors,” the Executive Director of MIIVOC, Mr Walter Duru, said.

“Section 13 of the FOI Act makes it mandatory for public institutions to ensure the provision of appropriate training for its officials on the public’s right to access information or records held by the government or public institutions, as provided for in this Act,” he added.

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“Pursuant to section 13 of the FOI Act, the present management of FIRS approved the training for relevant officials of the Service on the FOI Act, with the view to ensuring increased compliance. The training is to be held on Thursday and Friday this week in Abuja,” Mr Duru also stated.

The MIIVOC chief, who also chairs the board of the Freedom of Information Coalition, Nigeria called on other public institutions in the country to take steps towards enhancing the capacity of their officials through regular training and retraining on the provisions of the Act.

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He also called on Nigerian citizens to take advantage of the FOI Act to hold governments at all levels accountable.

Mr Duru, an Assistant Professor of Communication and Multimedia Design at the American University of Nigeria, Yola is the leader of the non-state actors drive on FOI Implementation in Nigeria – Chairman of Freedom of Information Coalition in Nigeria.

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