ICYMI: Tribune top stories of the week

Last week heralded series of trending news stories across media outlets which embodied controversial happening that set the social media agog, drawing criticisms, condemnation and reactions.

Perhaps you missed any of the top trending stories because of your busy schedule, Tribune Online takes this moment to bring you top stories you might have missed.

Social Media Regulation Bill, Finance Bill, APC rows and other controversial news dominate the socio-political discourse last week.

SOCIAL MEDIA REGULATION BILL

Last week, the social media bill aimed at regulating the spread of false information on the internet passed its second reading despite criticisms by Nigerians that the bill would violate the rights of expression if enacted.

The bill entitled: “Provision for the Protection from Internet Falsehood and Manipulation Bill, 2019 (SB. 132) sponsored by Senator Muhammad Sani Musa, Niger East District, seeks a jail term and fine or both for defaulters.

Senator Muhammad Sani Musa in an attempt to doused the tensed atmosphere argued that the bill was not to stifle the constitutionally-guaranteed rights of expression but to nab the growing threats posed by reckless posts that threatened public harmony

He said: “This is not an attempt to stifle free speech. It is rather an opportunity to address the growing threats which, if left unchecked, can cause serious damage in our policy and disrupt peaceful coexistence.”

He noted that while the internet could be a channel of information, it remained a threat in as much as it served haven for fake news peddlers.

According to him, the need to check the internet became paramount.

“While the internet has made information possible, the fact remains that it has also been a weapon in the process which is why governments across the world are trying to mitigate the risks associated with information transmission via the internet by monitoring abuse and deliberate misconducts” he had said.

Meanwhile, several Nigerian youths, media practitioners and major stakeholders have taken to social media in protest against the contentious bill, noting that the proposed bill is an attempt to buried critical views.

While it is still battling with criticisms, the bill ran into an allegation of plagiarism. Nigerians have raised concerns over the similarity in content between the bill and an existing Act in Singapore, “prohibition of communication of false statement in Singapore”

IPPIS SAGA

The growing face-offs between lecturers of Nigerian universities and the Federal Government over the enrollment into the integrated payroll and personnel information system (IPPIS) took another dimension last week.

Recall that the Office of the Accountant General of Federation (OAGF) had directed all staff of federal universities “to present themselves for enrolment for the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information  System”; come with their credentials to their various institutions between November 25 (today) and December 5 for enrolment amid stiff opposition from lecturers of Nigerian universities.

The Federal Government had, also, threatened to stop salaries of workers not captured on the payment platform, designed to weed out ghost workers.

Meanwhile, ASUU President, Abiodun Ogunyemi, took a swipe on the Federal Government, saying IPPIS “negated the policy on university autonomy.” and dared the FG to stop their salaries.

Unable to keep its house in order, a faction of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the Congress of University Academics (CONUA) had directed its members to begin enrollment on the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System that ASUU earlier rejected.

In a statement signed by the CONUA National Coordinator, Dr Niyi Sunmonu, and, the National Publicity Coordinator, Dr Ernest Nwoke, the group said that, “CONUA members are in full support of every policy and effort of government to reform the Nigerian public financial system with a view to combating corruption and thereby sanitising our educational system.

“That the IPPIS being one of such efforts is welcome by CONUA in the light of government’s assurance on accommodating the peculiarities of the academia,” the statement reads in support of IPPIS.

Meanwhile, the Academic Staff Union of Universities is currently mulling a “strike” option should no resolution materialise.

APC ROWS

Despite winning the gubernatorial elections in the Kogi and Bayelsa states, the ruling party, APC could not basked in the euphoria of the victory as internal crisis rocking the national executive council of the party took another dimension, with aggrieved members calling for the resignation of the national chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomole, over the multiple internal crises plaguing the party in states across the country.

Earlier, Salihu Moh Lukman, the Director-General of the Progressive Governors ’Forum (PGF), had told the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, to convene a National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the party or resign without further ado.

Comrade Oshiomole has been in a power tussle with his successor, Godwin Obaseki – a rift which members claim is embarrassing the ruling party.

However, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, on Friday (last week), managed to survive the troubled flood of conspiracy by some aggrieved members of the party after, to the shock of many members of the NEC, who had thought that the meeting would be used to address many of the internal crises of the party, which had continued to manifest from pillar to post, the National Chairman of the party brought the meeting to a close, allegedly without allowing any contribution or opinions to be aired by members.

In his address, President Buhari, however, urged leaders of the party to ensure that the party lives beyond his tenure.

SLAIN PDP WOMEN LEADER DEATH

Mrs Acheju Abuh, the women leader of Wada Aro campaign council, Ochadamu, in Kogi state, was burnt alive in her home by suspected political thugs.

The suspected thugs, it was gathered, locked all exits in the house and poured petrol before setting her place on fire.

In reactions, many aggrieved Nigerians took to the social media, especially on the micro-blogging site, Twitter, to call on the Nigerian government to ensure justice is served.

Among them was the wife of the former Senate President, Mrs Toyin Saraki, who, on her Twitter handle, condemned the ugly incident, citing it as “the most unimaginably horrific manifestation of elector a violence” and charged the government to leave no stone unturned while investigating the tragedy.

The president later decried the killing, ordering the police chief to carry out a thorough investigation and ensure that her killers are brought to book.

FINANCE  BILL

On Thursday, the senate passed the Finance Bill which is to, among others, increase the value-added tax (VAT) from 5 per cent to 7.5 per cent

Earlier in September, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, to douse the stiff opposition to the increase had said the increase was a recommendation of the presidential technical advisory committee mandated to profer advice on ways to realise the alternative source of raising funds for the implementation of the new minimum wage.

However, stakeholders have urged FG to discard the proposed increase of VAT, noting that it should focus on reducing the cost of governance.

SOCIAL MEDIA BILL

UPDATE: Anti-social media bill scales second reading in Senate

Again, Nigerians decry ‘Anti-social Media Bill’, raise petition to #SayNoToSocialMediaBill

More confusion over bill against falsehood

ASUU/FG IPPIS SAGA

Amidst opposition by ASUU, FG starts enrollment into IPPIS Nov 25

https://www.google.com/amp/s/tribuneonlineng.com/ippis-violates-university-autonomy-%25E2%2580%2595-asuu/amp/

IPPIS: ASUU directs members to boycott enrolment

APC ROWS

Convene NEC meeting or resign, APC governors tell Oshiomhole

No third term for me — President Buhari

APC NEC meeting ends in deadlock

SLAIN KOGI PDP WOMEN LEADER DEATH

Post-election violence: How thugs set PDP women leader ablaze in Kogi — Police

#JusticeForMrsAbuh: Nigerians demand justice for slain PDP women leader in Kogi

Killers of Kogi PDP woman leader must be brought to justice, Buhari orders investigation

FINANCE BILL

Proposed VAT increase and unending controversies

Senate passes finance bill to raise VAT from 5% to 7.5%

 

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