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Despite War Songs, You Failed To Deliver Buhari In Rivers – Wike Mocks Amaechi

Peter Okunoren

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The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has declared that people of the state overwhelmingly voted for him during the 2019 governorship election because of his outstanding performance and project delivery.

In a response to an allegation made by the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi during his appearance on Channels Television Sunrise Daily on Tuesday, Governor Wike said that the former Rivers State Governor failed in his quest to truncate his second term because Rivers people were happy with his work.

He said he wouldn’t have responded to the falsehood being peddled by the Minister of Transportation, but he owes the public the duty to set the record straight.

He said: “It is unfortunate. I extended the Olive Branch and I meant every word of it. It was on that basis that the State Attorney General filed a nolle prosequi to withdraw the charge against Flag Amachree.

“If I did not do well in my first term, PDP wouldn’t have given me the party’s flag to fly. In 2015, the same man vowed that over his dead body would I emerge victorious.

“I have done well for my people. It is for the people of Rivers State to decide. It is not the in the place of Amaechi to decide.

“We have over 6million people and over 3million registered voters. Therefore, Amaechi cannot say I cannot go for a second term. He has only one vote.

“In the past, he said an Ikwerre man cannot succeed another Ikwerre man. Today, he is saying his grouse is that I cannot go for a second term. At every step, he has one story or the other”.

Governor Wike said contrary to the story that Amaechi peddled whilst he was on Channels Television, kidnapping raged during his tenure. He said it was so bad that the State Chairman of Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission under Amaechi was kidnapped.

The Governor noted that despite the National High-Rate of insecurity, Rivers State is relatively peaceful, with very high ratings.

“Our internally Generated Revenue has improved due to the peace and security of the state”.

Governor Wike said that the political misfortune that befell the APC during the last general elections in Rivers State was principally due to the impunity of Amaechi .

He said: “It is because of this impunity that his party was not on the ballot. Because of this impunity he has denied so many people their political future “.

He said that the plots by Amaechi to manipulate the Tribunal will fail like other previous plots. The Governor noted that Amaechi’s boast that he appointed the members of the tribunal and they would work for him remains one of his empty boasts.

Governor Wike said that Amaechi’s plot to use the police to illegally certify fake results as he did for Rivers East Senatorial District during the rerun elections tribunal would fail.

“The game he played in Rivers East of using the police to certify fake results will not work. During the rerun Police certified fake results. That game will not work again. We have gone beyond that. We are waiting for the police to certify fake results for Amaechi “.

He stated that there was no way that the defeated AAC Governorship Candidate, Engr Awara would have been coasting to victory when he neither campaigned or printed posters.

He said: “Awara ran for the PDP councillorship in 2018 and lost. For this election, he did not Campaign and never printed posters.

“Look at that kind of impunity. He brought a man that the people of Rivers State never knew three days to the election.

“The AAC had no House of Assembly Candidates, they had no House of Representatives candidates and no senate candidates for the elections. There is no way that such a party would have been coasting to victory “.

He added that the AAC Governorship Candidate could not have been coasting to victory and still approach the Federal High Court for the cancellation of the Governorship Election Results.

On the allegation that the INEC Chairman , Professor Mahmood Yakubu influenced the suspension of the Collation process because he worked under him at the Federal Ministry of Education, the Rivers State Governor said that the position of Amaechi was baseless. He said that at the Ministry of Education, he superintended basic Education, while the INEC Chairman served as TETFUND Executive Secretary under the Minister of Education. He said that the INEC Chairman was appointed by the APC Federal Government and since his appointment, there has been no links

Governor Wike said despite the evil machinations of the Minister of Transportation, he was unable to deliver 25 percent of votes for President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 and 2019

“In 2015, as a sitting Governor, he failed to deliver 25percent of votes for President Buhari. He claimed that Jonathan helped us. In 2019, with all the security agencies, he still couldn’t deliver 25percent for President Buhari.

“He sang war songs, but couldn’t deliver 25 percent of votes for the President “, he said.

On the incident at Obio/Akpor LGA Secretariat, Governor Wike said that the GOC of the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Jamil Sarhem sent soldiers to invade the Collation Centre and cart away results .

“I went there to stop the Army from carting away results from my Local Government Area “, he said.

Governor Wike said that the illegal activities of the Nigerian Army all through the Governorship Election were well documented by the media and the International community.

He said that the videos of the Army invading the Rivers State Governorship Election Collation Centre has since gone viral.

He said that even the Rivers State Commander of F-SARs has since written him a congratulatory letter on his well deserved victory.

He said that his administration continues to fund all security agencies in the state, including providing needed logistics. He said that the Israelis that Amaechi introduced were only used to siphon State resources .

He wondered why Amaechi finds Pleasure in de-marketing Rivers State, when the State made him Speaker, Governor and Minister of the Federal Republic.

Governor Wike said after four years as a Minister, Amaechi cannot boast of attracting a single project to Rivers State. He noted that as Minister of State for Education, he attracted several projects to the state.

He denied attempting to bribe the GOC, saying that he has never met him at any point. He said by Amaechi’s logic, it means that the Minister bribed the GOC 6 Division to subvert the Electoral Process.

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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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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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