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Minimum Wage: Senate Begs NLC To Shelve Strike

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The Senate on Monday pleaded with organised labour to shelve its planned nationwide industrial action over a new minimum wage in the interest of the country.

The upper chamber said that Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and its sister organisations should drop the proposed strike because findings showed that President Muhammadu Buhari is working to convince states to pay the new wage.

Chairman Senate Committee on Labour, Senator Abu Ibrahim, who spoke on organised labour’s strike threat over the N30,000 minimum wage agitation, said that the federal and state government on one hand and organised labour, on the other hand, should work to strike a balance in the interest of the country.

The Katsina South lawmaker noted that the negotiation for a new salary structure is basically for the federal and state governments to conclude since they are to implement resolutions.

He said that the Senate can only intervene if there is serious disagreement that required the input of the legislature.

He insisted that it is obvious that President Buhari is working round the clock trying to convince the states to agree to pay the proposed new minimum wage.

The committee chairman added that labour unions are Nigerians who could also appreciate the financial state of the states.

He noted that it is equally evident that “there is no way, a state like Lagos can pay an amount and you expect some other states to pay like Lagos.”

He suggested the need to look at the system of the minimum wage, especially a change in the variations to allow the states to determine their minimum wages.

Ibrahim who took over the Senate Labour Committee shortly before the Senate went on Christmas and New Year break, noted that “what is important is for the government to sit with labour and proffer solution and labour should know that Nigeria is a federation and the federal government had to give assistance to the states to be able to pay even the current N18, 000.”

Both sides in the negotiation, he said, should be reasonable in order to seal an amicable solution in the interest of the country.

According to him, “President Buhari has been a salary earner and he knows how the workers feel and I am sure he would be on the sides of the workers.”

He noted that what is needed is harmonization and understanding on both sides to reach a middle ground.

On the transmission of a new minimum wage bill to the National Assembly for passage into law, Ibrahim said that it should not lead to strike since the federal government can transmit the agreement “but must carry the states along.”

He noted that the federal government cannot act unilaterally especially if states refused to go along with the federal government on what to pay.

He said, “The federal government can pay, but how many of the states can pay? Will the federal government continue to assist the states to pay the N30, 000?

“Even if the agreement is transmitted, it has to pass through the committee and the committee would work on it and follow all the processes before the Senate can finally decide and pass the law,” he said.

On the 2019 Appropriation Bill, Ibrahim said that as far as he is concerned, the National Assembly can conclude work on the budget within three weeks after resumption next week.

BIG STORY

#JusticeForUwa: Students Protest In Benin, Demand Death Sentence For Sex Offenders

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Members of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) on Thursday occupied major streets of Benin City, the Edo state capital in protest.

The students demanded justice for Uwaila Omozuwa, an undergraduate of the University of Benin who was recently raped and killed.

They also demanded that a death sentence be pronounced for sex offenders.

The President of the students’ union, Danielson Akpan, spoke with Channels Television during the protest demanding justice for their late colleague.

The lawmaker representing Ovia Federal Constituency, Dennis Idahosa, who also joined the students in the solidarity march vowed that he would move a motion to support capital punishment at the floor of the house.

Meanwhile, the new Commissioner of Police in Edo State, Johnson Kokumo had earlier on Wednesday promised that efforts would not be spared in ensuring that the culprits involved in the circumstances that led to Uwaila’s death are apprehended and made to face the law.

Kokumo made the promise when he paid a condolence visit to the family of the deceased.

Uwa, a 22-year-old student of UNIBEN was reported to have been raped inside a church where she went to read at the Ikpoba Hill area of Benin City, Edo State Capital.

The hoodlums were reported to have struck her in the head with a fire extinguisher after raping her and left her for dead. She was rushed to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital where she later died.

The news of her death has continued to spark outrage with trends on social media demanding justice and an end to rape.

(Channels TV)




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BIG STORY

Buhari Is Not In Charge Of Aso Rock —- Wole Soyinka

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Wole Soyinka, Nobel laureate, says he does not believe that President Muhammadu Buhari is in charge of the country.

Speaking on Thursday during an interview on PlusTv Africa, the renowned writer said the answer to the nation’s problem is decentralization, adding that there’s a need for the people to be historically conscious.

Soyinka was reacting to an open letter written by Umar Dangiwa, retired colonel and former military administrator of Kaduna, to Buhari over the president’s knack for appointing people from his section of the country into office.

“First of all, I was appalled by the silence that followed this revelation. I think those who are responsible for this criminal lopsidedness should be punished. It is not sufficient just to discuss it. It’s criminal,” Soyinka said.

“I have said this before. I don’t believe there is really anybody in charge in Aso Rock. I’m sorry to say this. I’ve been studying the trend over the past year and a half and I believe this president is not in charge of this nation, in so many aspects and directions. I’m convinced he’s not really and totally with it.

“It’s so serious. It is not the fact alone, we know the history of this. We know what it has caused the nation and we know it isn’t over yet. And you say are launching an enquiry. That’s not enough. This man is not in charge.”




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BIG STORY

Police Arrest 3 Brothers For The Kidnap and Murder Of A Mother Of 5 In Abuja, Exhume Corpse Of The Deceased For Forensic Examination [GRAPHIC PHOTOS]

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Police operatives attached to the Intelligence Response Unit of the Nigeria Police Force have arrested three (3) suspects namely; Johnson Emmanuel – 38yrs, Gideon Emmanuel – 31yrs and Success Emmanuel – 27yrs for the kidnap and gruesome murder of one Mrs Janet Nnenna Ogbonnaya on 14th May 2020.

The suspects, born by same parents, all-male and native of Isiekenesi, Ideato LGA of Imo State were arrested by the Police in their home town where they had taken refuge after committing the crime in Abuja, in order to evade police arrest.

Investigations that led to the arrest of the suspects is a sequel to complaints received from one Chinedu Ogbonnaya who alleged that his mother, Mrs Janet Nnenna Ogbonnaya, 55yrs, a native of Ozuitem in Bende LGA of Abia State had been kidnapped and a 5-Million naira ransom demanded before she could be released. A comprehensive and painstaking investigation by the police operatives resulted in the arrest of the three (3) suspects, whom, in the course of interrogation, revealed that the victim had long been murdered and buried. Further findings revealed that the victim, a widow, who had been a Facebook friend of the principal suspect – Johnson Emmanuel, was lured from her home in Gwagwalada to visit the suspect. The suspect thereafter took advantage of the visit, served her yoghurt laced with drugs and subsequently had her murdered. The suspect had killed the victim and buried her remains in a septic tank, went ahead to reach out to the family of the victim using her phone and demanded 5-Million naira ransom as pre-condition for her release. ​

Meanwhile, on 4th June 2020, the suspects led a team of investigators alongside pathologists to a residence at Wumba District, Lokogoma, Abuja where the victim’s decomposing body was exhumed from a septic tank. The exhumed body has been taken to the University Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada, Abuja for forensic examination.

A Toyota Highlander Jeep belonging to the deceased has also been recovered by Police operatives at a mechanic workshop in Apo where it had been repainted into a different colour, vehicle documents fraudulently changed and ownership of the stolen vehicle criminally transferred to one of the masterminds of the crime – Johnson Emmanuel.

Investigations also revealed that the house where the deceased was killed and buried originally belonged to one of the suspects but was hurriedly sold-off to a third party apparently to obliterate evidence.

The Inspector-General of Police, IGP M.A Adamu, NPM, mni, while commending the operatives for a job well done, reassures that perpetrators of any form of crimes in the country will not go undetected and unpunished. He, however, enjoins citizens to be more security conscious and report any suspicious activities within their neighbourhood to the nearest police station.





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