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BBC staffed by people ‘whose mum and dad worked there’, says Nadine Dorries

BBC

BBC staffed by people ‘whose mum and dad worked there’, says Nadine Dorries

Nadine Dorries has labelled the BBC an institution riven by bias and staffed by people “whose mum and dad worked there”, despite Boris Johnson urging colleagues to dial down culture war rhetoric.

In an outspoken appearance at the Conservative conference, the new culture secretary condemned what she called “groupthink” in the BBC and arts more widely because of a predominance of privately educated people reliant on nepotism.

She also explicitly linked the BBC’s next licence fee settlement to its ability to attract a more socially diverse workforce, and what she called “an impartiality problem”.

“The perspective from the BBC is that they will get a settlement and then we’ll talk about how they’re going to change,” Dorries told a live edition of the Telegraph podcast Chopper’s Politics at the conference in Manchester. “But my perspective is, tell me how you’re going to change and then you get a settlement.

“We’re having a discussion about how the BBC can become more representative of the people who pay the licence fee, and how it can be more accessible to people from all backgrounds, not just people whose mum and dad worked there.”

Dorries faced criticism in 2013 for employing two of her daughters as staff in her parliamentary office at a cost of up to £80,000.

Her latest comments came after two senior Conservative figures expressed concern on Sunday evening about the central role played by “woke issues” on the conference’s opening day. A cabinet minister told the Guardian Johnson had warned colleagues he was not keen on pursuing a culture war, after No 10 was stung by the row over the England football team taking the knee, in which some ministers appeared to condemn the gesture.

Several senior figures have ploughed on regardless, however, including Dorries. The party co-chair Oliver Dowden used his conference speech to condemn what he called “woke aggression”, claiming the Labour party has “woke running through it like a stick of Brighton rock”.

Michael Gove, who heads the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, used his speech to condemn what he called “a militant left who want to denigrate our past and divide us in the future”.

In her interview on Monday, Dorries claimed that criticism of her surprise appointment to her new job was “total, pure, leftwing snobbery” and that people who criticised her bestselling novels were “insulting 2.4 million people” who bought them.

Saying the arts were dominated by people who went to private school or “have a connection with the BBC”, Dorries said: “What really infuriated me was all these people who were criticising me were those people … who found themselves where they were through a privileged background, through nepotism and whole other reasons.”

Dorries said the BBC in particular had “a kind of groupthink” that excluded people from working-class or northern backgrounds, adding: “If you’re only taking people from one kind of background you end up in a groupthink scenario.”

The BBC made no comment in response, but said it was the first broadcaster to measure socioeconomic diversity; that of its entire workforce for whom there was data, 11.5% went to private schools; and that it was investing heavily in recruiting people from a broad range of backgrounds.

In contrast, 60% of the cabinet in which Dorries serves attended private schools.

Dorries denied the idea she was seeking a culture war: “I don’t want to go to war with anybody. Where it’s quoted is with my relationship the BBC. And that’s not the case. I don’t want to go to war. But what I want to do is to have constructive dialogue with the BBC: how are you going to change?”

Asked if there would still be a licence fee in 10 years, Dorries replied: “Will the BBC still be here in 10 years? I don’t know. You can’t look into the future. It is a very competitive environment.”

She dropped a strong hint that she would like to press ahead with the proposed privatisation of Channel 4. “Channel 4 is in a good place at the moment, but if Channel 4 wants to grow and it wants to be successful, then it needs to change,” she said. “One of the obvious ways of doing that is for Channel 4 to privatise.”

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24yr- old man arrested for being in possession of fake Naira notes

Police Operatives serving in Abakaliki (AI) Road Police Division of the Enugu State Command on April 10 arrested one Mmaduabuchi Okonkwo, 24, of Mkpologu, Emene, Enugu, at the Old IMT Bus Stop, Abakaliki Road, Enugu.

The suspect’s arrest is the sequel to his alleged possession and transaction of counterfeited Naira notes. A total of forty thousand Naira (₦40,000.00) suspected counterfeited one thousand denominated Naira notes were recovered from him.

A preliminary investigation revealed that the suspect boarded a minibus from New Haven Junction to Old IMT Bus Stop, Enugu, and gave the driver one of the counterfeited notes.

The driver, however, scrutinized and observed that the currency was fake, thereby raising an alarm that led to the suspect’s arrest.

Upon interrogation, the suspect confessed to having paid the sum of twenty-five thousand (₦25,000.00) genuine Naira notes to his cohort at large for the counterfeited Naira notes worth fifty thousand Naira (₦50,000.00)

He further confessed to having spent ten thousand Naira (₦10,000.00) out of the fake notes, remaining the forty thousand Naira (₦40,000.00) that was recovered from him.

Confirming his arrest, the spokesperson of the command, DSP Daniel Ndukwe, says the suspect will be arraigned and prosecuted once investigations are concluded.

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Niger Govt arrests over 30 illegal miners

Oyo Govt To Clampdown

The Niger State Ministry for Minerals Resources has disclosed the arrest of over 30 illegal miners at various locations, despite the ban on illegal mining in the state.

It also debunked the alleged killing of one person at an illegal mining site in Minna during a clash between restive youth groups last Friday.

The state Commissioner for Minerals Resources, Garba Yahaya Sabo, said the arrests were made from January to date across various mining sites in the state.

He explained that the Ministry has been given the mandate to protect, arrest and stop all illegal mining activities by miners, adding that those interested in mining must register with the state government so as to create employment as well as boost revenue generation.

Sabo, who lamented the lack of adequate manpower to help monitor activities of the illegal miners at mining sites, however, said desk officers will be stationed to keep an eye on mining locations across the 25 LGAs in order to keep the Ministry abreast with every development in the sector.

“Many of these illegal miners are criminals and their activities can pose serious security threat to the people of the state.

“Whenever, we chase them out of the mining sites during the day, these illegal miners usually gather again during the night under the pretense of mining gold and during such periods, launch out to commit various crimes in the state,” he revealed.

The commissioner also denied reports that a youth was killed at Maitumbi illegal mining site along Julius Berger Quarry site.

According to him, “The incident did not actually happen at the illegal mining site, but opposite the site at night. Nobody was killed during the youth clash on Friday there.

“The report in its entirety is fake, malicious and has no link to mining activity. It was designed to just tarnish the image of the Ministry.”

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NDLEA destroys 304,436kg, 40, 042 litres of illicit drugs seized in Lagos, Ogun

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, on Tuesday 16th April 2024 destroyed a total of 304,436kg kilograms and 40,042 litres of illicit substances seized from parts of Lagos and Ogun states.

Speaking at a brief ceremony where the seized drugs were publicly destroyed in Badagry Lagos, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the Agency, Brig Gen Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) said the open destruction of the seized illicit drugs followed court orders, even as he called for more public support for ongoing efforts by NDLEA and other stakeholders to curb the menace of substance abuse and illicit drug trafficking in Nigeria.

“Though a routine exercise and an established process of removing dangerous substances from our society, the public destruction of confiscated illicit drugs is usually conducted at the end of their related cases in court”, the NDLEA boss stated adding that the exhibits being destroyed were of mixed types, “which include illicit drugs in solid and liquid states as well as in various classes such as cocaine, heroin, cannabis, and tramadol, among others.”

He said the drugs were seized by NDLEA operatives across different formations of the Agency in Lagos and Ogun states from January 2022 till date especially at the Lagos seaports, airports, and land borders.

“To be destroyed here today on the order of the court are solid drugs, weighing 304,436.055kg and 40, 042. 621 litres of liquid drugs. The sheer volume of the drug haul speaks volumes about the extent of the nefarious activities of the drug underworld.”

He expressed appreciation to traditional rulers, heads of security agencies, the clergy, members of NGOs and CSOs as well as other stakeholders who witnessed the ceremony.

“The destruction of these seizures complies with the NDLEA Act, which mandates the Agency to destroy all drug exhibits after prosecution. We want to say that your presence here is a testament to this important occasion. To this end, we appreciate all stakeholders and members of the public for witnessing this exercise”, he added.

He seized the opportunity to acknowledge the support of the Agency’s local and international partners, “especially the American Drug Enforcement Administration (US-DEA); United Kingdom NCA, Border Force; the Germans, the French; Indian NCB, among others who had worked with us on a number of busts. Similarly, we appreciate the Nigerian military and other law enforcement agencies such as the Customs; Immigration; Police; Civil Defence; FRSC; NFIU,NAFDAC and others that have been supporting our efforts to rid Nigeria of illicit drugs.”
While assuring that NDLEA will not relent in its effort to end the drug scourge in the country, Marwa called for more public support for the activities of the Agency. “The safety of our society is the responsibility of every one of us. Every citizen shall be fulfilling his or her civic duty by assisting the Agency’s War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) campaign to clean up our communities and cities. Together, we can make this country secure”, he added.

Lagos state governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu represented by Chairman, Badagry West Local Government, Mr. Olusegun Onilude expressed satisfaction with the efforts of NDLEA to tackle the scourge of illicit drugs in the country.

“Almost all crimes and criminalities are fueled by illicit drugs, so the Lagos state government appreciates NDLEA and its leadership in their resolute fight against illicit drugs.

“The volume of illicit drugs being destroyed here today speak volume and every right-thinking person should be worried”, he stated.

He also thanked the Agency for taking the War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) social advocacy campaign to schools and communities across Lagos State. “No doubt, NDLEA is working, and the state will continue to collaborate with the Agency and its leadership”, he assured.

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