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Nigerian university, OAU, shuts down after indigenes invaded campus with charms

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Students of foremost Nigerian institution, the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State, have been told to proceed on a forced two-weeks break by the management, beginning from Monday, March 28.

The action by the school’s management was necessitated by the invasion of the institution on March 17 by angry indigenes of the University host community with assorted charms, amulets and other fetish objects, to protest the announcement of a new Vice Chancellor who is not a native of the town.

The indigenes of the town were angry that one of their own was overlooked for the post in preference for someone who is an “outsider,” citing favoritism and nepotism by the management.

The protest was sparked after the school’s Senate announced Prof. Adeboye Bamire, as the 12th VC of the institution, with the natives insisting that an indigene should have been made the VC instead.

The indigenes took exception to the appointment of a non-native as the VC of “their” and decided to register their anger by the fetish protest.

In a statement signed by the University’s Registrar, Mrs. M. I. Omosule, announcing the temporary closure of the institution, the management said it was to prevent any breakdown of law and order and to stop the students from carrying out reprisal attacks on the indigenes of the town.

The statement also noted that the protesters had assaulted some workers and students of OAU during the invasion and the measure was taken to prevent the students taking the laws into their hands as a result of the attacks.

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Sign language interpreter, Kunda, seeks inclusivity in media rights agenda (video)

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An inclusive society is crucial for a nation’s human and economic development in the modern era.

In this edition of Project Aliyense, we feature Paul Kunda, widely recognized as the face of sign language interpretation on national television, serving the deaf community.

Kunda, a dedicated sign language interpreter and educator with over four years of experience, sheds light on the significance of media freedom.

“As a sign language interpreter at Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) and a teacher by profession, I advocate for media freedom,” he said.

Kunda emphasised the importance of the Access to Information (ATI) Act, recently assented to by President Hakainde Hichilema, which empowered citizens to demand information freely.

He stressed the need for unhindered access to information to foster a civil and prosperous society.

Regarding digital rights, Kunda highlighted their critical role for the deaf community, given the transformative impact of digital platforms, especially when mainstream media access is limited.

“As a representative of the deaf community, I believe digital rights should be inclusive. Everyone, including persons with disabilities, should enjoy these rights through various devices to express themselves and participate in national discourse,” he asserted.

He also called for the recognition of sign language as the eighth national language, aligning with United Nations conventions that mandate sign language interpreters at all events to promote inclusivity.

This story is sponsored content from Zambia Monitor’s Project Aliyense.

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Educationist challenges media freedom norms, cautions against misuse of freedom of expression

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Geshom Banda, Deputy Head Teacher at Hillside Primary School, presents a contrasting perspective amidst discussions on media freedom and digital rights.

Banda contested the prevalent notion suggesting limitations on expressing opinions regarding government affairs through media channels.

In an interview with Zambia Monitor in Chipata, Eastern Province, Banda emphasized Zambia’s democratic foundation, affirming that citizens possessed the liberty to voice their views on governmental matters via the media.

“Television broadcasts frequently feature discussions on political issues and government affairs, reflecting the freedom of expression prevailing in our nation,” he observed.

Furthermore, Banda highlighted the accessibility of media platforms for marginalized groups, including the disadvantaged and persons with disabilities, enabling them to articulate their voices effectively.

“Thanks to the readily available facilities, marginalized communities now have avenues to express themselves through various media channels,” he said.

Nevertheless, Banda cautioned against the misuse of freedom of expression and digital rights, particularly concerning the dissemination of inaccurate information, which could adversely affect consumers’ perceptions of cyberspace.

“The challenge lies in misinformation. Inaccurate information circulated through the media can distort the public’s understanding,” he cautioned.

Acknowledging the necessity of regulatory measures, Banda referenced the Cybersecurity Act, aimed at curbing the malicious distortion of media content, despite persistent efforts by some individuals to spread misinformation.

“Granting unrestricted freedom in media poses risks of information distortion. Hence, regulatory measures like the Cybersecurity Act are crucial in safeguarding digital rights and preventing abuse,” he emphasized.

This story is sponsored content from Zambia Monitor’s Project Aliyense.

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