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Endless screening cause of workers death, 40% Of Workers Owed 13 Months Salaries – NLC

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Endless screening cause of workers death, 40% Of Workers Owed 13 Months Salaries – NLC




The organised labour unions in Kogi State have decried the unfortunate situation where over forty percent of civil servants in the state are still being owed 13 months salaries.

The state chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Onuh Edoka, spoke during a world press conference to mark the one year anniversary of the ongoing staff verification exercise in Lokoja today.

Joined by leaders of Trade Union Congress (TUC), Joint Negotiating Coucil (JNC), and other trade unions, Edoka described the ongoing verification exercise as elimination by substitution.

“Over 39,000 civil servants, representing about 40% of the workforce have not been paid salaries in last 12 months”, he said.

The labour leaders also lamented that many of their members had died due to the screening exercise that started on February 22, 2016.

He said some of the workers had accidents on their way to Lokoja and some were kidnapped and eventually killed by their abductors.

Edoka directed workers to embark on a 3-day warning strike starting from Monday, February 27 in solidarity with workers of the higher institutions of the state that had been on strike for over three weeks.
 
The workers all came out in black attire converged at the NLC secretariat as leaders of the union advised members to be law abiding. 

The chairman said the warning strike would commence on Monday, February 27 in solidarity with workers of the higher institutions of the state that had been on strike for over three weeks and those that lost their lives while trying to attend the screening. 

He said it was unfortunate that about 40 per cent of the state workforce had not received salary since January 2016. 

The NLC chairman said despite the continued assurances by the state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, that no genuine worker would be shortchanged, events in the last one year were pointing to the contrary. 

He said  following the protests that greeted the release of the final report of the screening committee, the appeal panel put in place by government still had people that served on the screening committee as members. 

Edoka said, "To redeem its image, government again inaugurated another committee tagged appeal committee, which was made up of over 70 percent of the members of the former review and complaint committee. 

"Ordinarily, if due process is to be followed in an exercise of this nature, salaries of all workers are supposed to be paid simultaneously as the exercise last, while the final report of the screening committee is to be submitted to government, white paper committee for review and recommendations for executive council's approval".

He however regretted that the reverse was the case with the screening as government went ahead to implement the report and embarked on "selective payment " of salaries to workers. 

He said, "It is surprising that at different fora, the governor has kept saying that genuine workers would not be victimised or shortchanged, yet there are cases of unpaid salaries to those who have been cleared, stagnation, omission and others. 
"It is worrisome that Kogi workers are witnessing another fourth round of screening exercise in the state, yet government is insensitive to the plight of workers; due to non payment of salaries to all deserving workers, death, kidnapping, accident and other evils continue to befall workers for the past one year". 

However Governor Belly while receiving the resolution of the labour leaders said
365 days was a journey to sanitize civil service for efficiency for better service delivery 
He explained that the exercise was aimed at removing the rot in the system that has been existing in the last 25 years "The rot was so large that past administrations could not muster enough courage to address. It took divine intervention for the administration to right the wrongs of the past"
He said variance existed between the screening committee report and the backup committee which gave rise to the Okala committee.
According to him,  "The damage of 25 years cannot be completely addressed in one year. The effort of the Government had been subject to sabotaged but the government s determination to address the rot is resolute hence the journey of the screening continued".
He said he was not unaware of the hardship caused by the exercise but the need to address the rot in the civil service was inevitable.
"It is better we solve the problem completely instead of doing it half way which can be disastrous to the State
On the issue of payment of salary the Governor said there are workers who have been cleared and paid adding that some were underpaid and others over paid which is being sorted out.
He gave March ending as the deadline for payment of all salaries of workers. 
The Governor expressed his sincere appreciation to the organized labour adding no labour union has been bought by Government 
He reiterated that the effort of the Government is to sanitize the civil service and make the State workers the best in the country.

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17 persons die in seperate accidents on same route in Kogi

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17 persons die in seperate accidents on same route in Kogi


17 persons including five children, two policemen and their driver lost their lives in seperate autocrashes Thursday on Itobe-Anyigba road in Kogi State.

First was that involving a mercedez-Benz truck and an ambulance conveying an empty casket with two police inspectors and a civilian driver travelling to Anyigba to take the body of a dead police sergeant.

The trio died when their ambulance van had a headon collision with a Mercedes-Benz truck coming from the opposite direction.

On the same day 14 persons also perished in a multiple accident involving three vehicles; two trucks and a passenger bus along the same route.
The State Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Mr Solomon Aghure, who confirmed the incident to newsmen in Lokoja on Friday, indicated that three vehicles; two trucks and a passenger bus, were involved in the accident.
He said that the three vehicles were travelling on the same lane enroute Anyingba when a truck suddenly hit the bus from behind and as a result of the impact, the Bus skidded and hit the truck in its front.
Aghure said that the bus was trapped in between the two trucks with all the passengers before his men arrived the scene to carry out rescue operation which lasted for hours.
He disclosed that 14 out of the 23 persons involved in the accident died on the spot, adding that nine others sustained various degrees of injury.
Aghure said that three men, one woman and five children (two males and three females) survived the accident with some injuries.
He said that the injured were taken to Holley Memorial Hospital, Ochadamu for treatment while corpses of the dead were deposited at the morgue of Grimard Hospital, Anyingba.
Aghure,who attributed the accident to possible break failure,said further investigation would be carried out to determine its actual cause.

 

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Presidency tells Muslim group to exercise restrain even though Kukah actually injured Islamic faith

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Presidency tells Muslim group to exercise restrain even though Kukah actually injured Islamic faith


The Presidency has indicated that, though it agrees with Muslim Solidarity Forum that Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto actually injured the Muslims in his Christmas day homily it’s unconstitutional for them to issue him quit notice.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu spoke in reaction to the threats for the Bishop to quietly pack and leave Sokoto should he fail to apologise over the controversial sermon.
The Muslim Solidarity Forum had issued what seem like a subtle threat to Bishop Hassan Kukah to tender an unreserved appology or quietly leave the seat of Caliphate.

The spokesman for the President in a statement said, Kukah has truly injured the Muslims, but he should be guided in his utterances and take into cognisance, Sokoto’s heartbeat of Islam in Nigeria.
Shehu said, it’s unconstitutional for an individual or group to issue quit notice to a citizen under whatever circumstances, saying, father Mathew Hassan Kukah must be allowed to practice his religion.
Nationalupdate reports on Tuesday indicated that the Sokoto based Islamic group, “Muslim Solidarity Forum”, at a press briefing said the Bishop is known for his perchance to speak in parables and innuendos against Islam in a provocative manner.

The spokesman for the President in a statement said,
“Father Kukah has greatly offended many with his controversial remarks against the government and the person of the President, with some even accusing him of voicing anti-Islamic rhetoric.
“On matters such as these, responsible leadership in any society must exercise restraint. Knee-jerk reactions will not only cause the fraying of enduring relationships, but also the evisceration of peaceful communities such as Sokoto, the headquarters of the Muslim community as beacon of pluralism and tolerance.
“The reported ultimatum by a group based in Sokoto, “Muslim Solidarity Forum,” calling on the Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Most Rev Matthew Hassan Kukah to tender an unreserved apology to the entire Muslim Ummah over his recent “malicious comments” against Islam, or quietly and quickly leave the state, is wrong because it is not in line with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Under our Constitution, every citizen has the right to, among others, freedom of speech and expression, the right to own property and reside in any part of the country, and the right to move freely without any inhibitions.
“Nigeria’s strength lies in its diversity. The right for all religions to co-exist is enshrined in this country’s Constitution.
“The duty of the government, more so, this democratic government, is to ensure that the Constitution is respected. But all must respect the rights and sensitivities of their fellow Nigerians.
“The Sultanate has historically had good relations with followers of all faiths. That is why Father Kukah was received on his arrival in Sokoto with friendship and tolerance.
“Under our laws, groups or factions must not give quit notices, neither should they unilaterally sanction any perceived breaches. Where they occur, it is the courts of law that should adjudicate. Unilateral action is not the way to go.
“Groups such as the Muslim Solidarity Forum must be seen to share and uphold the country’s multi-religious principles. And individuals like Father Kukah must respect the feelings of his fellow Nigerians in his private and public utterances.”

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Group tackles Bishop Kukah, demands immediate arrest

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Group tackles Bishop Kukah, demands immediate arrest

The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) has described Bishop Mathew Hassan Kukah’s recent controversial statement as unguarded and open incitement to military coup and insurrection against the democratically elected government of Muhammadu Buhari.

In a statement signed by its National President, Alhaji Yerima Shettima on Monday, the group
condemned “Kukah’s use of nepotism as weapon of calumny against government and people of Nigeria.”

The AYCF demanded the immediate arrest and prosecution of Bishop Kukah for what it described as treasonable felony against the Nigerian state.

In the alternative, the group called on Federal Government to place Kukah on special watchlist for this open attempt to “set the South against the North in order to destabilize our country and further complicate matters.”

Shettima, in the statement, took exception to what his group described as “Kukah’s latest role in devil’s advocacy, as the North struggles to restore peace and enduring security in the region and indeed Nigeria.”

The statement noted that “such a reckless statement by Kukah betrays something much more sinister against both the North and the nation as a whole because Nigeria is at a stage that it requires responsible advice for attaining peace and stability, not deliberate attempt to mischievously compound our problems.

“If Kukah wants to play politics, he should not do so in the pulpit and he should keep the Bishop’s office aside and chose any Nigerian political party platform to contest President in 2023 and stop all the pretences,” the statement said.

It reminded Kukah of the rough road tread by democracy heroes to rid the nation of military dictatorship at a time when he was nowhere in sight.
“We will not allow opportunists who did make any contribution to scuttle the democracy achieved through the our sweat and toil and the sacrifice of our liberty,” Shettima said in the statement.

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