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Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, has said he has no plans of deposing the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji.

Ajimobi, who spoke on Wednesday, said no matter the level of provocation and opposition to the recent installation of new obas in Ibadanland by Oba Adetunji, he would not depose him.

He also appealed to members of the Obas-in-Council and all other newly installed obas in Ibadanland to extend the olive branch to the Olubadan by visiting him as a way of assuring the paramount ruler that they bore no grudge against him.

The governor spoke at a meeting he held with the traditional council of the 11 local governments in Ibadanland, which are being headed by the Obas-in-Council, formerly known as members of the Olubadan-in-Council, at the House of Chiefs, Secretariat, Ibadan.

The meeting was also attended by senior chiefs in Ibadanland, members of the Ibadan Elders’ Forum, chairmen of the 11 local governments and 14 local council development areas in Ibadan as well as members of the state executive council.

Despite being vested with enormous powers of suspension and deposition of erring monarch as enshrined in Cap 28, Section 26 (1) of the Chiefs Laws of Oyo State 2000, Ajimobi said he would not invoke such powers over the Ibadan monarch.

The section reads: “The governor may suspend or depose any chief (oba) whether appointed before or after the commencement of this law if it is satisfied that such suspension or deposition is required according to customary law or is necessary in the interest of peace or order or good government.”

Governor Ajimobi, who reiterated that Oba Adetunji was his father, said he would not do anything that would diminish his status or bring his exalted stool into disrepute.

He said: “Let me state that the existing chieftaincy law gives any governor power to remove any traditional ruler who engages in activities that can jeopardize the peace of his domain.

“I should also add that Kabiyesi, the Olubadan of Ibadanland, has of recent been engaging in certain activities that are inimical to the peace and tranquility of Ibadan.

“Only recently, Olubadan embarked on a roadshow across Ibadan, waving horsetail to bystanders in an apparent attempt to incite the people against the government.

“Such actions could have pitted the antagonists and protagonists of installation of new obas against one another.

“This is capable of plunging Ibadan metropolis into a crisis of unimaginable proportion, if not for the understanding and support of the people for the government.

“But no matter what happens, I assure you I will never depose the Olubadan.

“He remains my father.

“His palace is just being used by failed politicians, especially the Accord Party leader, Chief Rashidi Ladoja, to relaunch his faded political career.

“I hold the Olubadan and his stool in high esteem.

“This is why I will also want to beg the obas-in-council to visit Baba and mend their relationship.

“If I can’t fight the Olubadan, please you should not fight him.”

Ajimobi, who described the royal father as a good man, with liberal disposition, however, expressed the regret that he had allowed his palace to be hijacked by those he called failed politicians and serial losers.

He said their plans were not only to heat up the polity, but also to return Ibadan metropolis to the dark days when arson, violence and brigandage reigned supreme, all targeted at the 2019 general elections.

The governor added: “Reports at our disposal indicate that the crisis that had trailed the appointment of new obas in Ibadan and the gun attack on the Olubadan palace on Monday might have been masterminded by these failed politicians.

“They have taken advantage of Kabiyesi’s advanced age to carry out their nefarious activities and use the palace as the centre of opposition to the government.

“What they failed to achieve through the ballot box, they want to achieve through the back door.

“Our government is not for violence.

“We don’t encourage brigandage.

“It is people like Ladoja who have been promoting violence that were behind the attack on Olubadan’s palace.

“It was during Ladoja’s regime that gunmen shot into the late Baba (Lamidi) Adedibu’s house because of his opposition to him.

“Ladoja’s supporters caused mayhem in Akure (Ondo State) when he lost out in his bid to be endorsed as the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party.

“During his administration, even the governor’s office became a theatre of war.

“All these are on record.”

Ajimobi, however, vowed not to be intimidated by what he called Ladoja’s pull-him-down syndrome and self-centredness.

Speaking earlier, the Balogun of Ibadanland, Oba Owolabi Olakulehin, expressed appreciation to the governor for the matured way he had handled the provocative activities of the opponents of the recent review of the Olubadan Chieftaincy Law.

Olakulehin recalled what he called the overwhelming support members of the then Olubadan-in-Council gave Oba Adetunji during his nomination as Olubadan-designate and his eventual colorful coronation by the state government.

He, however, alleged that the foremost traditional ruler had treated them with disdain and embarked on activities that could tarnish the revered Olubadan stool.

The royal father particularly cited the “unilateral removal of Alhaja Abake Lawal as the Iyaloja of Ibadanland by Oba Adetunji” allegedly on the excuse that she was not an Ibadan indigene in spite of the opposition by the Olubadan-in-Council.

Also, the Ashipa Balogun of Ibadanland, Oba Gbadamosi Adebimpe, rejoiced with Ajimobi on what he called the successful completion of the Olubadan chieftaincy law review, adding that the Olubadan stool had further been elevated to the imperial status.

Adebimpe said Ladoja’s major grouse with the governor was that he had no opportunity of carrying out the reform during his own tenure as governor.

Oba Adebimpe said: “I will appeal to the citizens of Oyo State to be praying for good health and strength for the governor because of his many good intentions.

“I rejoice with him for seeing the reform through.

“He has succeeded where his predecessors have failed.

“I also want to say that the main grouse of my friend is that he was unable to carry out this reform when he was governor.

“I salute Ajimobi’s doggedness and courage.

“He has taken many valiant and commendable steps since he became governor.

“Maybe, Kabiyesi the Olubadan did not know that the governor had elevated his status by this review.

“He is also a beneficiary because he is now the imperial majesty.

“Our role now is to be enlightening the people on the many advantages of the chieftaincy review.”

BIG STORY

Sanwo-Olu Declares Emergency On Lagos Roads As Work Begins

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Work begins today(Monday) on the deplorable city roads in Lagos State as Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Sunday declared an emergency on the situation.

The governor gave the directive for the commencement of repairs to construction companies. It followed his promise last week to start fixing the roads immediately after the rains.

Lagosians have been groaning under the state of roads and the attendant traffic situation. The extended rainfall has not helped matters.

According to the governor, all the construction companies had been mandated to mobilize their tools to the sites assigned to them.

He said: “This (Sunday) afternoon, we have just concluded meetings with various reputable construction companies and all of them have been given the brief to immediately commence major construction work in various parts of the state. The exercise will begin tomorrow with palliative work on the selected roads, which are on the Island and the Mainland.

“The contractors have been given the mandate to start mobilizing their equipment to their respective sites without further delay. Their activities must first give our people immediate relief on the affected roads so that there can be a free flow of traffic even during the rehabilitation work.”

To complement the major construction work on the highway, Sanwo-Olu said Lagos State Public Works Corporation (LSPWC) would be carrying out repairs on 116 inner roads across the state.

This, he said, would be in addition to the over 200 roads already rehabilitated by the corporation in the last three months.

Sanwo-Olu said his administration was not oblivious of the pain experienced by road users in the past few days, which was compounded by the persistent downpour.

He appealed to residents to bear with the government while efforts were being made to assuage their pains and bring permanent relief to them.

He said: “We expect the rains will begin to subside in this month of October and this is why we are mobilizing our contractors to immediately start the major construction work on the identified highways and bring permanent relief to residents. I am giving all Lagosians the assurance that the contractors will start the construction in earnest and will deliver on the terms of agreements reached with them.”

Sanwo-Olu said officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) would be working round the clock to control traffic on the areas where the construction would take place.

The Special Adviser on Works and Infrastructure, Aramide Adeyoye, listed some of the critical areas to include Ojota stretch of the Ikorodu Road; Motorways – Kudirat Abiola Way; Apogbon Highway; Babs Animashaun Road; Agric/Ishawo and Ijede roads in Ikorodu as well as Lekki-Epe Expressway from Abraham Adesanya to Eleko Junction.

She added that there would be massive re-construction on a network of roads in Ikoyi, Ikeja GRA and Victoria Island.

The contractors deployed by the government are: Julius Berger, Hitech, Arab Contractors, Metropolitan Construction, Slavabogu Construction, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), Rajaf Foundation Construction and RCF Nigeria Limited.

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BIG STORY

Minimum Wage: Prepare For Strike, NLC Tells Workers; Issues 4-Day Ultimatum To FG

Gbemileke Ajayi

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The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Sunday gave a four-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to accept its demand for the consequential adjustment of salaries, based on the new minimum wage, or risk a nationwide strike.

The ultimatum ends Wednesday, the umbrella union said in a letter to the Federal Government by its General-Secretary, Emmanuel Ugboaja, urging the state councils to prepare for dispute.

But, to douse the brewing tension and avert the strike, Labour and Employment Minister Senator Chris Ngige has called for a meeting between NLC and the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council (JNPSNC) tomorrow.

The minister said: “NLC and TUC leadership know the rule and what the ILO statutes say on such situation. So, we will continue our effort on Tuesday.”

Also, the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi, appealed to workers to shelve the proposed strike.

Warning that the strike may amount to an exercise in futility, he cautioned workers against uncritically confusing minimum wage increment with general wage review.

Fayemi, who shed light on the scope of the new minimum wage, urged workers to take into consideration the country’s economic situation before embarking on industrial action.

He told reporters in Lagos that increase in minimum wage does not translate into a general wage review.

After the first phase of negotiations collapsed due to percentage differences between the two parties, the Federal Government’s negotiating team and the JNPNC, which is representing labour unions, are expected to meet again tomorrow.

Labour is demanding 29 per cent salary increase for officers on salary level 07 to 14 and 24 per cent adjustment for officers on salary grade level 15 to 17 as against the Federal Government’s offer of 11 per cent for officers on grade level 07 to 14 and 6.5 per cent for workers of grade level 15 to 17.

The NLC letter to the state chapters reads: “You will recall that a joint communiqué was issued by the leadership of the NLC, Trade Union Congress and the Joint Public Service Negotiating Council stating that after two weeks from the date of the said communiqué, industrial harmony could not be guaranteed in the country, should an agreement not be reached with the Federal Government on the consequential adjustment of salaries as a result of the new minimum wage of N30, 000.

“You are hereby directed to coordinate preparations with TUC and JPSNC in your state for necessary industrial action should the time expire without an agreement as contained in the communiqué.”

Organised labour also faulted comments by Ngige that they misinterpreted minimum wage to mean general salary review.

The Secretary-General of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN), Alade Lawal, described the minister’s comment as a political gimmick meant to distract the union ahead of the expiration of the ultimatum.

Ngige had told members of the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) last Thursday that the Federal Government had not commenced total implementation of the N30,000 new minimum wage because organised labour mistakenly perceived consequential adjustment in salary as total salary review.

The ASCSN secretary-general said labour understood its demands from the Federal Government for workers.

Lawal said the NLC had earlier written to the government for general salary review for workers.

He said: “From the memo on general salary review, which we had earlier submitted, we were asking for N777, 000 for Grade level 17 step one and for Grade level one step one we are asking for seventy-something thousand.

“If we are asking for that and we are negotiating for 29 per cent and 24 per cent, is that the same thing? So, it shows you that we understand what we are saying.”

Lawal said that the minister’s claim that the government’s personnel budget had risen astronomically to N3.08 trillion from N1. 88 trillion between 2016-2020 was not true.

Lawal added: “What he (Ngige) said is not correct. We understand what we are saying and we have told him that. These are distracting strategies. We have passed that stage. Our eyes are on the ball.

“We have passed that stage of misinformation. They should tell us what percentage of personnel cost is really coming from the wages of workers as opposed to political appointees.

“They should do a breakdown and publish it in the newspapers for everybody to see, that is if they are really serious. We know their gimmicks and antics and we will not go by that one. We have passed that stage.”

Asked how far labour has gone with its mobilisation for a nationwide strike, he said: “We are mobilising. It is not everything you discuss. These are strategies and you don’t reveal your strategies. They should let us test it and see what is going to happen.”

Urging labour to have a rethink, Fayemi, who sued for peace, said it is not the wish of government for workers to down tools.

He said: “We don’t want workers to down tools, but you will recall that the governors’ proposal in the course of the tripartite negotiation was N24,500. But, after negotiation back and forth, we ended up with N30,000 and the governors,’ in principle, said ‘we will pay.’

“However, in private discussions with the President, we made it clear that this is another recipe for the future bailout. To be frank with you, I don’t even consider N30,000 a living wage in today’s Nigeria. But, you cannot promise what you don’t have. It is also a fundamental principle of labour relations because you get into trouble if you do that.

“No doubt, we settled for N30,000, but we all agreed to look for ways to boost revenues going to the states and we are working on that. We are doing reconciliation with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). All these pipeline vandalism, we have a committee headed by Kaduna State Governor Mallam Nasri el-Rufaiworking on that.”

Fayemi added: “We don’t want workers to down tools. But, we made it clear during the tripartite negotiation that an increase in the National Minimum Wage is not tantamount to a general wage review.

“The fact that we moved people, who are below N30,000 to N30,000 and wherever they should be on the scale, should not automatically mean that we must increase the salaries of people on Level 17, who are on N400,000. It is a minimum wage law; it is not a general wage law.

“Yes, if you promote levels 05 or 06, they may go over what the current level 07 is earning. So, that calls for consequential adjustment, but that adjustment should not go over levels 08 and 09. The Federal Government has even agreed to do nine per cent for levels 07 to 12 and five per cent for levels 13 and above, but they said no and insisted on 45 per cent.

“Where is Nigeria going to find the money? I mean the economy is in the doldrums. Whether we openly admit or not, everyone knows. If you have an economy that earmarks N2.4 trillion for debt servicing; then, what are we talking about? So, I hope good sense will prevail and that people will be able to convince labour that it is a futile effort if they do so because Nigeria cannot pay what it doesn’t have.”

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BIG STORY

Yahoo Boys Are A Curse To The Country, Avoid Wonder Banks and Money Doublers —- EFCC Issues Strong Warning To Nigerians

Gbemileke Ajayi

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has again warned Nigerians over money doublers.

The anti-graft agency on Sunday warned Nigerians to avoid wonder banks and money doublers.

EFCC also advised Nigerians to stay away from businesses without offices, adding that no one; even politicians are not exempted from being arrested if found committing any economic and financial crimes.

The anti-graft agency issued the warning during a question and answer section on its verified Twitter page on Sunday.

The post read: “Nigerians beware of wonder banks, beware of “Money doublers”!

“Flee from business entities with no office location! Don’t be pushed by greed!

“It is better to act wisely than to regret the action. We also have what it takes to arrest and prosecute ANY Nigerian politician who has committed economic and financial crimes.”

EFCC added that Yahoo boys are a ‘Curse’ to Nigeria henceforth will continue to be hunted until they desist from the fraudulent act.

“Yahoo boys are actually A “CURSE” to the country and need to be stopped spreading at once

“For the purpose of education and information, internet fraud is a form of cybercrime punishable under several Sections of the Cyber Crimes (Prohibition Prevention, etc) Act, 2015.

A jail term of 7 years awaits the convict or a fine of N5m,” the post added.

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