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Nation wide strike: FG jittery, calls Labour to emergency meeting on Sunday

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Nation wide strike: FG jittery, calls Labour to emergency meeting on Sunday



The Federal Government having weighed the implications of a showdown with the organised labour, may have beaten a retreat as it has softpeddaled on its earlier tough stance against the strike.

This is just as the organised Labour seemed to have been fully mobilised for a total showdown with Federal Government over increase in the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) and Electricity Tariff in the country.
The meeting which Government scheduled to hold on Monday with Labour was shifted to 7.00 p.m on Sunday.
At the last negotiation meeting on Thursday, which was deadlocked, they agreed to re-convene on Monday.
Government has been adopting what seems like crude strategies having procured two court orders from the National Industrial Court by the same judge to stop the strike at all costs.
However, NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, told journalists after a meeting with House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, that Labour has not recieved the court orders stopping it from going on strike.

“We have not received any court order restraining us from embarking on tomorrow’s strike and so we are giving the Federal Government till midnight to reverse pump price and electricity tarrif or face the scheduled strike.

He accused even government of disobeying court order: ”The Federal Government failed to obey a court injunction restraining them from increasing electricity tarrif”.

The court orders seem not to be working as it has fallen on deaf ears, with Labour mobilising abd calling out at least 16 core unions for a rally and a strike; while the Federal Government has been moving men and mobilising to stop the strike, even warning its own staff to report at their duty posts on Monday, the “mother of all strikes”.
The Governors seemed to be having something off their sleeve as they are trying to play to bring about a new negotiation.
In communique on Saturday, the Nigeria Governors’ Forum claims it is holding talks with the Nigeria Labour Congress and they are on the path to resolving the impasse occasioned by the threat by workers to embark on industrial action if the Federal Government does not rescind the recent decisions to increase the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) and Electricity Tariff in the country.

This is the outcome of an early morning dialogue between representatives of the Forum and workers which took place at the residence of the Chairman of the NGF, in Abuja, early on Saturday.

The Chairman of the NGF and Governor of Ekiti State, Dr John Kayode Fayemi spoke for the Forum while the NLC President Comrade Ayuba Wabba who was accompanied by the TUC President Quadri Olaleye and the NLC General Secretary, Emmanuel Ugboajah, to the meeting. Also at the meeting was the Director General of the NGF Mr Asishana Okauru.

The Chairman explained that Governors decided to wade into the on-going negotiations with a view to broadening consultations and assisting to bring the impasse to an end, thus averting the impending strike action. He pleaded with the NLC that the timing of the action was inauspicious and could aggravate an already worsening situation if not averted.

Dr John Kayode Fayemi emphasised that the plight of workers in the country was already in dire straits and that any action embarked upon by the union at this time would further worsen their situation as contained in the communique issued by governors after their first emergency meeting on Thursday, 24th September, 2020, since the outbreak of the pandemic and eventual lockdown of the country, last March.

The NGF Chairman said, no one that is conversant with the prevailing situation in the country would disagree with labour and its demands, as it were, but pleaded
that Governors be given time to consult more broadly with the various stakeholders, including the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, the vice president and the president. This he said would be top priority for the NGF and promised to head straight to the presidency once the meeting was over.

The Governors Chairman expressed the hope that this gesture from the governors would also energise the leadership of labour to put a hold on their planned action.

On his part, the President of the NLC said the Federal Government violated the time-tested global process of dialogue and thanked the NGF Chairman for his efforts at ensuring that sanity returns to the negotiation table.

When the cost of PMS rises, the cost of everything in the country rises with it, the NLC President explained.

He agreed with the NGF Chairman and also praised him for agreeing to broaden the mechanism for consultation on the matter saying “I praise you for showing a good grasp of this matter and I believe that if they had widened the mechanism for consultation and involved people like you, we wouldn’t have come to this pass.”

In conclusion, Dr. Fayemi stated that Government and Labour are not that far apart in the negotiation and the differences are not irreconcilable. According to NGF Chairman, “our President who is always on the side of workers will not be averse to the issues being raised and I’m hopeful for an amicable settlement on the issues highlighted.”

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IPAC cautions on deployment of Military against peaceful protesters

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IPAC cautions on deployment of Military against peaceful protesters

**condemns infiltration by criminal elements

The Acting President of the Inter Party Advisory Council of Nigeria, Chief Ralph Okey Nwosu,
has urged Federal Government to reverse its decision to deploy the military during the pendency of the peaceful protest being carried out by Nigerians across the federation.
This was contained in a press statement that he personally signed and was made availlable to the Guardian.
He said, “We want to state categorically that the Nigerian Police and not  the military, remains the rightful agency saddled with the responsibility of attending to Nigerians during such legal protests.
“The Inter Party Advisory Council of Nigeria is deeply concerned over the activities of hoodlums who continue  to infiltrate the peaceful protests with the aim of undermining its very essence and causing harm to the Nigerian society.”
He called on the Inspector General of Police to remain vigilant and focused on the roles of officers and men deployed to provide protection for Nigerians,  as they exercise their rights during the protests.

“More than ever before, the services of the Nigerian military are needed now in the north eastern part of the Country and should be so deployed to tackle the menace of Boko haram and ISWAP terrorists ravaging the northern Nigeria.

“We maintain that Nigerians have a constitutionally guaranteed right to freely assemble and express themselves and such inalienable rights must be protected by law enforcement agencies.

“We expect Nigerian governments at all levels to, as a matter of urgency, look into the demands of Nigerians,  which remain the subject matter of the lawful protests, and provide immediate solutions thereto.”
He said, the political parties are agencies of the Nigerian society and elected persons remain agents and servants of the people hence all political players must respect the collective will of  the people.

“Nigeria remains the very light on the African continent and must be seen as such through the entrenchment of best democratic practices.”

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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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