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Kogi workers vow to deploy PVCS against Government over minimum wage

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Kogi workers vow to deploy PVCS against Government over minimum wage

By John Akubo

Organized Labour in Kogi State have vowed to deploy their PVCS to reply the Government of the day in 2019, if they continue to play politics with the issue of their N30, 000 minimum wage

Hundreds of the State workers in compliance with the directive of the national body took to the streets yesterday to protest and press home their demand for the payment of N30,000 as national minimum wage.
Led by the state chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Onuh Edoka, the workers threatened Government to overlook minimum wage and risk being voted out.
They spoke as they marched through major streets in Lokoja and ended the protest march at the Government Lokoja.
At the Government House gate they submitted a letter for onward transmission to president Muhammad Buhari to accede to the demand of labour for the minimum wage.
The state Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Onuh Edoka while delivering the letter said workers are not slaves and government must pay what is due to them.
Edoka stressed the need for the federal government to see to the implementation of the minimum wage, even as he alleged that the Minister of Labour, Dr. Chris Ngige is frustrating the good intention of the Buhari led administration.

He further pointed out that the intrigues and antics being deployed by the labour minister was anything but encouraging, insisting that N30, 000 was nothing compared to what some top government officials were spending on monthly basis to feed their dogs.

According to the NLC chairman, even if other campaign promises made by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 cannot be realized, the issue of minimum wage must be a reality, even as he stressed that some government officials are frustrating the noble intention of the federal government
According to him, the Minister of labour and productivity, Chris Ngige was the one frustrating the efforts of labour on the issue saying the N30,000 demanded as minimum wage was not enough to feed the dog of a top government functionary.
Responding, the chief of staff to the governor, Edward Onoja who received the protesters on behalf of governor Bello, commended the workers for their orderly disposition, promising to convey their message to the appropriate quarters.

He said the state government will soon pay four months salaries for staff of tertiary institutions in the state while other categories of workers will be paid three months .

He said the payment will be made from the proceed of the 15. 1 billion Paris club received of which #13.8 billion is remaining after all deductions

The chief of staff further assured workers of the commitment of the present administration in the staff to their welfare, even as he called for their support and cooperation in taking the state to enviable heights.

He stressed that the threat by the organized labour to shut down the entire system in the country on the 6th of November, may never happen as efforts are being intensified by governments at all levels to reach an amicable settlement on the matter.

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EndSARS Protests: NGO urges FG to deploy legal, constitutional means

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EndSARS Protests: NGO urges FG to deploy legal, constitutional means


By Friday Idachaba

Patriots for Growth and Development Initiative (PGDI), a Kogi-based Non‐Governmental Organization has called on Federal and State Governments to deploy every legal and constitutional means to end the nationwide EndSARS protests.

Mr Isaac Salami, Executive Director of PGDI who made the call at a Press Conference on Monday in Lokoja.

Salami said the call had become necessary to protect lives and livelihoods of Nigerians in view of the escalating acts of disruption, attacks and killings in recents days in parts of the country.

He said that the trend, if not quickly arrested, could plunge the nation into a state of anarchy as he attributed it to efforts of Fifth-columnists.

He described it as “A careful planned effort and hardwork of Fifth-columnist and enemies. If you see crises coming into peaceful agitations like this know that the 5th Columnists are at work to subvert the relative peace and unity in Nigeria.

Salami noted that President Muhammadu Buhari in his October 12, national broadcast, stated that the disbandment of SARS was only the first step in government’s commitment to police reform.

He held that the government had started implementing all the five-point demands of the protesters and did not see any justification for the escalation of the protests.

“We therefore see no reason why the protesters should continue to be on the streets thereby creating opportunities for negative characters to perpetrate anarchy leading to threat of lives and livelihoods of Nigerians.

“We clearly understand that the original intentions of the protesting youths is for an end to SARS, and Police reform. We also affirm the constitutional and democratic rights of every patriotic Nigerian to protest.

“But the violent dimension that the supposed peaceful protest has taken in the past few days has shown that some enemies of the State are marauding as protesters to unleash mayhem and confusion on the peace and unity of Nigeria.

“We ask the government at the Federal and State levels to use every legal and constitutional means to protect lives and livelihoods of all”, he said.

Salami also called on all patriots and leaders to lend their voices and support to end the protests across the country while the citizens await and monitor implementation of the demands “to a logical conclusion.” (NAN)

FDJ/

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Gov Tambulwa commends President Buhari for flood intervention

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Gov Tambulwa commends President Buhari for flood intervention

Governor Aminu Waziri Tambulwa of Sokoto state has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his intervention after floods that ravaged Gwadabawa, Ilela, Sokoto North, Wammako, Bondinga and Tambuwal Local government areas, destroying farmlands and crops in the state.
The Governor gave the indication at the weekend when the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development Sadiya Umar Farouq visited the state to distribute relief items to flood victims and also flag off the Rural Women’s special Grant Project .


“I must thank President Muhammadu Buhari for his goodwill message, empathy and sympathy earlier, on the natural disaster that ravaged a number of our communities, as well as his support to the victims affected.
He said they are working on a supplementary budget to be presented to the State House of Assembly, to see how we can rebuild houses, hospitals and schools affected by the flood.
He also commended President Buhari for the Social Investment Programs.
“There are so many of them and we appreciate the much that Sokoto state has benefited from these programs. We assure you that the people and government of Sokoto state are willing to partner with you on any program that will benefit the people”. 
The Governor who described Sokoto state as women friendly also promised to do more to empower women especially those in the rural areas.
Earlier, the Minister Sadiya Umar Farouq sympathised with the state government on the flood incident.

She said President Buhari is concerned about the devastation caused by the flood and has directed her ministry to activate the National Emergency Management Agency to respond in providing necessary support to the affected persons.
“I am here with the Director General of NEMA to present relief items approved for distribution  to assist the affected persons”
Food items delivered to the state include 1,502 bags of Maize, 1,502 bags of Rice 1,502 bags of Beans, 107 kegs of palm oil, 43 kegs of Vegetable oil, 202 cartons of seasoning , 141 cartons of tin tomatoes and 22 bags of salt. 
Other relief items given to Sokoto state include 3868 blankets, 3868 mattresses, 3004 mosquito nets, 3780 bags of cement, 3780 bundles of roofing sheets, 723 bags of nails, 200 packets of zinc nails and 72 cartons of detergent.
The minister noted that before the distribution of the items, the flood affected persons in Goronyo Local Government Area had already received support from the Federal Government through NEMA. 
“NEMA Sokoto Operations Office has conducted an on-the-spot assessment in the Local Government Areas of Binji and Silame and the following relief items have been approved and due to be delivered before the end of the week. 
455 (12.5kg) bags of rice,  455 (12.5kg) bags of maize, 455 (25kg) bags of beans, 76 cartons of seasoning, 46 kegs (20 Litres) of vegetable oil, 38 cartons of tomato paste, 910 blankets, 910 mattresses, 910 mosquito nets, 600 bags of cement, 600 bundles of roofing sheets, 200 packets of zinc nails, 67 bags of 3 inch nails
Minister Umar Farouq also announced the payment N5,000 monthly to 3,465 poor and vulnerable households in Sokoto state, while 29,676 vulnerable households awaiting enrollment.
She appealed to the governor to assist the state to enroll more people for the intervention programs. 

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Martins warns FG against deployment of army to quell #ENDSARS

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Marthins warns FG against deployment of army to quell #ENDSARS

Archbishop of Lagos Catholic Archdiocese Alfred Adewale Martins has warned the Federal Government against the deployment of the Nigerian Army to quell the unending #ENDSARS protest.

This was contained in press Statement the cleric personally signed and was issued on Saturday.
The Archbishop was speaking against the backdrop of a BBC News report on 15th October that insinuated that the Nigerian Army may be deployed to quell the protests by force.
He observed that such action if carried out would be counter productive henceforth he expressed the hope it does not happen.

Such a measure he said if adopted, can only lead to injuries and possible deaths, and an escalation of the protests.
“It has the tendency of turning the largely peaceful protests into a violent one.”
He said Nigerians must all remember that the whole world is watching to see how they handle this situation.
“We, therefore, call for dialogue and mutual understanding in addressing the situation at hand for the benefit of our young people and the future of our country.”
He expressed the believe that a sincere and transparent response to the demands of the young people would go a long way in resolving the present impasse.
“The youths, on their part, must continue to go about their protests peacefully and not allow themselves to be led into any act of violence, no matter how small.”
He however commended the government for acceding to the demands of the youth. According to him, now, the whole country looks forward to practical steps that would be taken to implement them.
“We therefore urge the Federal Government to toe the line of engagement in dialogue, listening to the demands of the youth and other well -meaning Nigerians.
Martins indicated that the disbandment of the dreaded Special Anti -Robbery Squad (SARS) and subsequent replacement with the Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT) has not assuaged the demands of the youths, who have consistently trooped out on the streets in rain and sunshine, even at nights, to show their dissatisfaction with the solution offered by government to their demands.
“The issues are clearly more fundamental than the replacement of one police unit with another. The youths, and indeed most well-meaning Nigerians, are calling for justice for the individuals and families affected by the brutality of the policemen attached to the disbanded SARS unit.
“They are also using the protest to bring to the fore the systemic failures which have led to widespread corruption, lack of accountability and massive youth unemployment, among other ills.”
Hence he concluded by asking the Government to dialogue with the protesters rather than the use of force.

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