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NILDS Reiterates Need For Capacity Development For Journalists

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By Gloria Ikibah

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The National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS), has said there many challenges confronting the Nigerian media.

Director-General of NILDS, Prof Abubakar Sulaiman, who spoke at a two-day capacity building workshop for the House of Representatives and Senate Press Corps in Abuja on Tuesday, organized by NILDS in collaboration with the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS), said that journalists are required to act as watchdogs for the nation’s democracy.

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He said while the government is responsible for providing an enabling environment for the media to flourish, media agencies have an equal obligation to deliver adequate structures and resources and the organisational capacity required for the press to operate.

“At a time of significant polarisation, insecurity and fear, you have a duty to report responsibly rather than further aggravate the situation.

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This will represent a significant paradigm shift that moves the focus of your reporting from mere sensational and divisive storytelling to one that emphasises collaborative problem-solving and empowers citizens to make the right decision” he said.

He further said journalists often serve as the bridge between political actors, decision-makers and the Nigerian public, and as such, millions of people depend on them to report, interpret and simplify very complex governance issues.

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This, he asserted makes the media the gatekeepers of information and custodians of democratic values and ethos.

Prof Sulaiman said, “As aptly summarised by the Centre for Democracy and Governance, access to information is the very lifeline of democracy for at least two reasons. First, it ensures that citizens make responsible, informed choices rather than acting out of ignorance or misinformation.

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Second, by providing accurate and up-to-date information, the public is better placed to hold their elected representatives accountable.

For the media to be effective in this regard, the media should be independent of governmental, political or economic control and pluralistic to reflect the broadest possible range of opinions within the country.

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“The role of media in democracy goes beyond informing the public of the issues that shape their lives to providing spaces for an informed and inclusive public debate and an outlet for the voices and perspectives of citizens, including marginalised ones.

“Consequently, one of the most important roles the media can play is that of building consensus.

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This is even more critical given the divisive nature of our politics, which has been characterised by antagonism, deliberate propagation of falsehood, ethnic and religious inclinations, and attacks against persons rather than focusing on issues. These issues have combined to inflame an already fragile polity further.

“Regrettably, the ethics and professionalism of the media in Nigeria have been seriously questioned. Some of the issues of concern include sensationalism of news which predominantly appeals to emotions.

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In our context, this has taken several forms, including exaggeration of facts to get high ratings or more subscriptions and the use of ‘clickbait’ headlines to boost sales, especially on social media and online platforms. Other manifestations include poor quality of reports, often lacking in depth.

“It is well known that media practitioners in Nigeria often do not possess the appropriate background or education to become professional journalists. Most lack opportunities to obtain quality training to develop their skills. As a result, many journalists simply train on the job.

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He furthermore said the image and perception of the Nigerian media have been undermined by the lack of necessary investigative capacity, which is critical to unveiling issues of importance to the public and holding government officials to account.

Another major challenge Sulaimon stated is the fact that journalists are either not paid at all or are grossly underpaid. This he said has propagated what has been termed ‘brown envelop’ journalism as well as a culture of pay-to-play. Collectively, these limit the capacity of journalists to function effectively as guardians of truth.

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“In the case of the National Assembly, poor coverage over the years has contributed to the negative perception of the parliament by citizens. Such misperceptions are often echoed by the press in a way that tends to set the people against their elected representatives.

The culpability of the press is sometimes heightened by the lack of incentives and motivation by the media agencies, which inevitably makes journalists vulnerable to corrupt tendencies and other undue political pressure.

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At other times, members of the press corps sometimes have limited understanding of the legislature by the very people that are meant to report on it.

The lack of knowledge of legislative processes, practice and procedure suggests that most reporters limit themselves to the superficial elements and ‘drama’ that often characterise deliberative assemblies worldwide.

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“Furthermore, some of the substantive efforts and interventions of the National Assembly in critical areas such as the promotion of national security has been under reported by the press corps.

It is on record that the 9th Assembly has done more than any other Assembly to fund security agencies, amend their statutory and legal frameworks to promote synergy and undertake effective oversight of the security sector.”

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Earlier, Resident Representative, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, Marija Peran, said training the Press Corps of the Senate and the House of Representatives is vital while endeavouring to strengthen good and democratic governance.

“With Nigeria in its third decade of democratic consolidation and many complex conflicts threatening to rupture the country, the Nigerian media is one of the most powerful institutions in the country. Its influence and reach should not be underestimated.

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“Legislature Reporting, an essential part of mass media function, is a significant feature of a parliamentary democracy. The ideal behind is that both the people and the government benefit from legislature reporting.

This specific task of reporting involves multiple activities of the legislature, including the complex process of law making as well as debates on subjects of public importance.

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Reporting the proceedings of a legislature is a highly responsible job and requires requisite ability and maturity to take on the task.

“The starting point to take on this task, must be to understand not only the proceedings and processes of legislature, but also the principles and challenges of governance in Nigeria as well as the function of legislative oversight.

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With General Elections ahead and faced with fake news and the growing importance of social media in the shaping of public opinions, show how relevant and timely it is to train those charged with legislative reporting. To this end, we meet here today,” Peran said.

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“I Admire Your Eloquence, Calmness,” Emir Of Kano To Obi

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By Tai Agbo

The Emir of Kano Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero has declared that he admired the eloquence, calmness, humility of the standard bearer of the Labour Party, (LP) Mr Gregory Peter Obi.

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The Monarch stated these when the presidential candidate paid him a courtesy visit in his palace on Friday.

Said he “Iadmire your eloquence, calmness, humility, respect for culture, and fear of God.”

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A statement by the spokesman of the Thirdforce Dr Yunusa iTanko added that Obi visited the revered monarch as he arrived Kano to sympathize with the Kano Flood Victims as well as Beirut Road Collapsed Building.

The Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party the statement further stressed used the occasion of the visit to brief the Emir of his desire to serve Nigeria as the next president come 2023.

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The former Anambra State Governor, who said he had been exposed to various areas of governance for years, noted that he was experienced enough to lead Nigeria.

“Though l am in the state for sympathy visit, l deem it appropriate to make the Palace my first point of call to pay you Royal Homeage and to formally infor.m of my intention to run for president in the forthcoming election.”

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Mr Peter Obi furthet explained that he was also in the Palace to sympathize with him as a Royal Father for the twinntragedy that befell the state penultimate weeks.

The Emir who nited that the country was blessed with abundant resources but wondered why there were suffering, poverty and crimes, said he believed Obi was eminently qualified for the position as he did it as Anambra State Governor wished wished Peter Obi well in the pursuit of his ambition.

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Peter Obi was in company of Kano State Gubernatorial Candidate of Labour Party Engineer Bashir Ishaq Bashir, his running mate Dr. Datti Yusuf Baba Ahmed , Dr Yunusa Tanko and State Chairman of Labour Party Mall Raji in his entourage.

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2023: Obi Visits Emir of Kano, restated his Desire to Lead Nigeria+photos

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The Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party Mr. Peter Gregory Obi on Friday visited the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero where he reiterated his desire to serve Nigeria.

Obi visited the revered monarch as he arrives Kano to sympathize with the Kano Flood Victims as well as Beirut Road Collapsed Building.

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The former Anambra State Governor, who said he has been exposed to various areas of governance for years, noted that he is experienced to lead Nigeria.


While he told the Emir he is in the state for sympathy visit, Obi said he deemed it appropriate to make the Palace his first point of call.

The visit to the palace, Peter Obi explained, is to pay Royal Homage to the revered Emir and also to formally inform him of his intention to run for president in the coming election and also to sympathize with him as a Royal Father for the twinntragedy that befalled the state penultimate weeks.

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On his part, the Emir of Kano expressed his happiness for the visit and said he admires Peter Obi’s eloquence, calmness, humility, respect for culture, and fear of God. He also thanked him for having respect for culture.


The Emir who said the country is blessed with resources but wondered why there’s suffering and poverty and crime, said he believed Obi is eminently qualified for the position as he did it as Anambra State Governor where he wished Peter Obi well in the pursuit of his ambition.

Peter Obi was in company of Kano State Gubernatorial Candidate of Labour Party Engr. Bashir Ishaq Bashir, his running mate Dr. Datti Yusuf Baba Ahmed , Dr Yunusa Tanko and State Chairman of Labour Mall Raji in his entourage.

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2023: Newly wed couple join Obidients in Abuja one million man march+video

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Newly wedded couple on Saturday join the Obidients one million man march in Abuja trending video emerges online.

Naijablitznews.com reports no one seems to be left out as depicted in this video showing the newly married couple marching for LP presidential candidate Peter Obi.

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Watch video below:

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