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Priests of Lokoja Catholic diocese pleads with Bello to pay workers salary

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Priests of Lokoja Catholic diocese pleads with Bello to pay workers salary

The Nigeria Catholic Diocesan Priests Association (NCDPA/LD), Lokoja Diocese has decried over one year economic hardship being experienced in Kogi State due to unpaid salary of some workers.
The State has been enmeshed in prolonged workers verification and screening exercise for the past 13 months, though some have taken their salaries but many are yet to get salary for over 12 months.
This was contained in a communique tagged a message of hope to the lay faithful of the catholic diocese of Lokoja, signed by Very Reverend Fr. Cyril Fanaiye and Rev. Fr. Daniel Sule chairman and secretary respectively and was made available to the Guardian in Lokoja yesterday.

It stated,
“That we are fully aware of the yoke of poverty as well as its stench prevalent among our people for over a year now.
“In fact, we are all in the same fragile Titanic ship being tossed here and there by the whirlwind of economic recession almost to its sinking point.
The communiqué likened the plight of the people to the narrative of Chinua Achebe’s two popular novels: “No Longer At Ease” and “Things Fall Apart”.
It pointed out that a good numbet of Parents, aging poor pensioners, and the vast majority, workers, have gone without pay for over a year.
“Business men and women are affected as well and have become dejected because potential and regular customers – (the same unpaid workers and pensioners), have no money to make purchases from them.”
Continuing it stated that even the innocent children and students whose schools may or may not be on strike, are forced to go on empty stomachs during the course of their studies and while at home.
The communique indicated that the agonies and pains are being felt by most families in the state. “We are even aware that some have even died in the course of this one year of untold hardship.”
It reiterated the position of the clergy of being prophetic in tandem with our collective calling; to be the voice of the voiceless and rise to the defense of the oppressed.
“The Lenten message of the Holy Father, Pope Francis based on the story of the rich man and Lazarus in the gospel of St Luke 16: 19 – 31, said among other things that, although “‘the other person is a gift,’ but ‘sin blinds us’ enough not to see poverty in the faces of the many ‘Lazaruses’ created by our pomposity, opulence, greed, avarice, wastage and negligence”.
The communique called on all stake holders especially Catholic faithful who are in privileged positions to advise the government to pay attention to the plight of the people.
It appealed to the government to pursue and seek the desired change with a human face.
“We ask that they show pity and concern for the citizens of the state since by law, the primary role of any well meaning government is the well being and security of her citizens always.
“Good as infrastructural development is, only those who are alive can benefit from them.”
The communique however said there is hope in that Government has put modalities in place to pay workers all their salary arrears as well as pensioners benefits.
“We want this speedily done because our people have suffered enough already. We have never stopped praying for all our people and the government too.
“We are a people of hope and just as Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah of Sokoto Diocese says, “hope is never in recession”. So, we believe that things will be better again.”
It stated that there will always be a resurrection after death for those who are in Christ Jesus and for all people of goodwill.

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#ENDSARS protests: Senators become soft targets for hoodlums

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#ENDSARS protests: Senators become soft targets for hoodlums

Senators Teslim Folarin (APC-Oyo Central), Senator Gershom Bassey, representing Cross Rivers South Senatorial District and Former Senate Leader, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, got their dose of the #ENDSARS protests that has been taken over by hoodlums on Saturday.

The hoodlums in Ibadan invaded Sen. Folarin’s residence, where they carted away items worth N200million
The rampaging youths made away with empowerment materials worth N200 million.
The ugly incident was confirmed by Folarin during a radio programme, monitored on Saturday in Ibadan.
The stolen items were meant for constituency empowerment programme of the lawmaker, scheduled to take place in December.

Among the items carted away are about 300 motorcycles, deep freezers and food items.
Folarin, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Content and former Senate Leader, said he was relieved that no life was lost.

In Calabar the hoodlums also invaded the mansion of Senator Ndoma-Egba, where they broke into his premises and that of senator Bassey and carted away properties that include set of chairs, Television sets, matrasses, toilet seats and car batteries before setting the country home of Ndoma-Egba ablaze.

It was gathered that the hoodlums easily overpowered the security personnel protecting the houses and even wanted to collect their guns before the security personnel took to their heels after which the hoodlums carted away valuables.
It was also gathered that a lounge (Bulavard) allegedly belonging to an APC stalwarts Hillard Etta were also vandalised just as a petrol filling allegedly belonging to Governor Ben Ayade was destroyed.

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‘Your voice has been heard loud and clear and we are responding’

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‘Your voice has been heard loud and clear and we are responding’

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has called on Nigerian youths to discontinue the street protests and constructively engage the government in finding solutions.
The president in a recorded national broadcast told the youths that their voice has been heard loud and clear and his administration is responding.
He therefore called for calm amidst the arsons and clashes that have ended the peaceful street protests of young Nigerians protesting against police brutality.
“I would like to appeal to protesters to note and take advantage of the various well-thought-out initiatives of this administration designed to make their lives better and more meaningful and resist the temptation of being used by some subversive elements to cause chaos with the aim of truncating our nascent democracy,”
The President however, downplayed the attack on protesters at Lekki toll gate in Lagos as he failed to mention the episode in his speech.
The government security forces, including the army, alledgelly fired live ammunition on protesters in Lekki toll-gate on Tuesday with fatalities.

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Group clears Bauchi Governor of Corruption allegation

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Group clears Bauchi Governor of
Corruption allegation

From Ali Sara, Bauchi

Corruption allegations against the Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Mohammed Abdulkadir are false, blatant lies being orchestrated by his political enemies, the Bauchi State Coalition Against Financial Crimes and Injustice (BACAFCI) has said.

The National Chairman of BACAFCI Mallam Bibi Dogo stated this on Sunday while fielding questions from newsmen in Bauchi in reaction to the recent petition  filed by alleged stakeholders from Bauchi State.
The group had accused the Governor of corruptly enriching himself and mal administration in the State as reported in some media.
Dogo indicated that the coalition received a copy of the petition which it has studied but found no tangible evidence but blatant lies with the sole aim of bringing the government to disrepute out of envy of his track records and successes.

Dogo who brought dozens of documents in defense of Governor Bala said the anti graft group BACAFCI cleared Bala on all the allegations after they studied the petitions filed by the socalled stakeholders before the Economic Financial Crime Commission EFCC.
Dogo explained further that the allegations of loans for the Purchase of 3.5bn official vehicles for the Political office holders are unfounded as all due processes were followed in the award of the contract.
He said the contract for their purchase was approved by the State House of Assembly through House resolution via a letter sent by the government and duly signed by the clerk of the House Umar Yusuf Gital with reference number BASHA/POL/S/13/VOL.XIX/203 dated 17/July/2019.
He said  the contract was awarded to an indigene of the State after it followed the normal scrutiny where certificate of no objection was issued to the company before it was awarded the contract.
Dogo observed that from their findings, all cars were supplied and put to use by the beneficiaries in the best interest of the State.

He said the allegations that Governor Bala is a director in one of the companies which Bauchi Government patronized is not true as the Governor had resigned his position in the company on 1st May 2019 adding that he was not a Governor at that time because he had not taken the oath of office.
He said their findings were confirmed through Corporate Affairs Commission CAC form no 51180 on the particulars of Directors.

The Chairman also indicated that allegations of awarding road contracts, Building of Palaces, Workshops, assistance to pilgrims, supply of School Uniforms to out of School children, children meals by the government, are all genuine projects that everyone with sincere mind can see.
“Where anyone is in doubt he can go to the relevant government agencies to confirm and verify.
On the issue of School Uniforms and meals for out of school children he said the contract for the supply of uniforms was awarded to the indigenes of the State after due process and the uniforms was supplied.
Dogo indicated that the project was aimed at reducing the number of out of School children, while the Workshop was carried out in the best interest of the state at minimal cost. 

Even the issue of ghost workers, he pointed out that it was Governor Bala who held a public hearing with all stake holders on the issue he is working hard to bring sanity to the system to free some resources and employ more people in to the state Civil Service. 

He said the petitioners were either ignorant of how government operates or it was born outof malice.
“They just decided to paint the governor black due to the large number of physical projects he has execute that has developed the state.

Bibi Dogo said many of the allegations are not directly linked to the Governor but some Civil Servants whom the petitioners didn’t care to accused but the Governor that is making effort to rebuild the State through the provision of genuine infrastructures.

He advised them to always cross check their facts and offer only constructive criticisms not blatant lies.

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