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SAD! Taxify Driver Awaiting Youth Service Loses Sight To Lagos Traffic Robbers

Gbemileke Ajayi

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A graduate of Physics from the Kogi State University, Tomi Waziri, 27, has lost his eyesight to an armed robbery attack while in traffic in the Apongbon area of Lagos.

Waziri, who was waiting for his call up letter from the National Youth Service Corps for the mandatory one year service, was said to have approached his sister’s husband to engage him as a Taxify ride-hailing service driver until he would be mobilized for the scheme.

It was learnt that on September 12, two armed robbers attacked him while in traffic and shot him in the face.

Waziri was said to be conveying a female passenger to the Papa Ajao area of Mushin around 8.00 p.m., when the robbers attacked him.

They were said to have left immediately they shot him.

The victim narrated his experience, “I live at No. 35 Daudu Street, Mafoluku, Oshodi. I was robbed in traffic on the Apongbon Bridge, Lagos, on September 12, 2019, by two young men around 8pm. I was a Taxify (now Bolt) driver and I had a female passenger in the car. We were going to Papa Ajao, Mushin.

“One of the robbers pointed a gun at me; I was about giving him my phone, when he shot me in the face and collected the phone. The pellets shattered the window and hit me in my two eyes.

“The robbers ran away immediately I was shot. My passenger became scared and panicky. The next thing I noticed was that she disembarked from the vehicle and began calling for help as she was running away.

“I was bleeding profusely without help. I came down from the vehicle and shouted for help; nobody answered. After about five minutes, two policemen showed up.

“They were the ones who took me to the Military Hospital, Yaba, in my vehicle. One of the policemen drove us to the hospital. While driving, the other was busy holding me and saying kind words to me so that I wouldn’t give up.

“When we got there, I was given first aid to stabilise my condition.

“I lost vision immediately I was shot. After treatment, it is still the same, we are only hoping for God’s intervention. The vehicle belongs to my sister’s husband. I used to remit money to him pending when I would get the NYSC call-up letter.”

According to him, his brother-in-law has been supportive and is always around for him.

Waziri noted that the doctors at the Eye Foundation, Isaac John Street, Ikeja GRA, told him that if he had been treated earlier, he would have regained sight in his right eye.

He added, “I went for surgery at the Eye Foundation. Before then, I was being treated at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, and I was about to do the surgery at LASUTH, but there were delays there.

“It was through God’s help that we were able to do it at the Eye Foundation. And when we got there, we were told that if we had come for the surgery earlier, I would have been seeing with at least my right eye. LASUTH was just negligent and wasting time.

“What the doctors are saying now is that we can only hope for the best; what I know is that there is no vision now.”

Waziri noted that his nose was treated at LASUTH, adding that there were still pellets in his face and two teeth, as there were pellets logged in the gum.

He said the doctors told him that if he wanted to get permanent treatment for his damaged teeth, he would have to pay N350,000 for each.

Concerning the pellets in his face, he said the doctors advised him that any attempt to remove them would result in more damage, adding that his body would expel them naturally.

BIG STORY

Squeeze Old Political Leaders Out Of Office, Obasanjo Tells Nigerian Youths

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has called on the youths to make conscious efforts in taking over political power from the older generation.

Obasanjo made the call on Wednesday while delivering a keynote address at an interactive session held virtually to mark the 2020 International Youth Day.

He asked the youth to take over leadership positions by “squeezing older generation out of office”, adding that the leaders would not vacate their offices except they are forced out.

He further enjoined the youth to demand affirmative action with “positive discrimination in favour of youth” enshrined in the constitution of political parties.

According to him, it is easier to influence changes at the party level.

“Unless you squeeze out those who are in the office and those who want to remain in office perpetually, some after the age of 80. Unless you squeeze them out they will not want to be out,” Obasanjo said.

“The type of change I am talking about, that I believe we can all embark upon is to subscribe into the constitution of political parties in favour of youth. Or if you like it you call it affirmative action in favour of youths. For instance, if you say, in the constitution of a political party, not less than 50 per cent of those who hold executive office within the party will be less than 40 years of age.

“You’re just making sure that people that are 40 years of age will hold 50 per cent of executive offices within the political party. “You can even go beyond that and say that people who will be put up for election, not less than 50 per cent of them, will be less than 40 years of age. That’s affirmative action. That’s positive discrimination in favour of youths.

“I am saying this because if you leave it entirely for people to do it for you, nobody will do it for you. You have to do it for yourself.”

The session was organised by the Youth Development Centre, an arm of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), and attended by participants from Nigeria, Mali, USA, Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa.

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Petrol Supply Disruption Imminent As PENGASSAN Begins 3-Day Warning Strike

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Members of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) in the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources and some of its agencies on Wednesday began a three-day warning strike that could disrupt petrol supply across the country.

It was gathered that the senior workers downed tools at the Abuja headquarters of the FMPR in protest against the non-payment of their salaries for the past three months.

It was also learnt that the strike was embarked upon by PENGASSAN to kick against the Federal Government’s inclusion of its members in the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System.

It was reported on June 22 that Nigeria could face petrol scarcity if oil workers made good the threat of withdrawing their services nationwide should the Federal Government insist on registering employees in the oil sector on IPPIS.

PENGASSAN and the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers had made the threat in a letter addressed to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva.

Following the seeming silence of government over the matter, PENGASSAN’s National Public Relations Officer, who doubles as the Rivers State Secretary of the Trade Union Congress, Fortune Obi, told our correspondent on Wednesday that the industrial action had commenced.

The striking senior staff, who staged a protest in Abuja, displayed various placards with inscriptions such as “IPPIS is a pandemic worse than COVID-19; the President should act fast,” “IPPIS office respect your agreement and come for negotiations,” among others.

Obi said, “PENGASSAN members working for government agencies under the supervision of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources are embarking on a three-day warning strike.

“The strike is for the lack of payment for the past three months, plus due to the inclusion of workers in the IPPIS. The strike started (Wednesday) this morning.”

He further outlined the agencies where members of PENGASAN had downed tools to include the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority, Petroleum Training Institute, and Department of Petroleum Resources.

Officials of the FMPR said they were aware of the protest and the three-day warning strike but declined to comment on what the ministry was doing to address the situation.

The spokesperson of the ministry, Eneffaa Bob-Manuel, said she was relatively new at the FMPR and knew little about the matter.

The Special Adviser on Media to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Garba-Deen Mohammed, said he could not speak on the matter when contacted.

He promised to revert to our correspondent but had yet to up till the time of filing this report.

PENGASSAN and NUPENG had kicked against plans by the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation to register oil workers on the IPPIS platform.

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BIG STORY

Nigerian Govt To Reciprocate Any Visa Ban, Travel Restrictions By US, Other Countries — Immigration CG

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Muhammad Babandede, comptroller-general of the Nigeria Immigration Service ( NIS), says the government will reciprocate travel bans and restrictions on Nigeria by any country.

Babandede was reacting to the inclusion of Nigeria by the US to its list of countries with visa restrictions.

In February, President Muhammadu Buhari unveiled a new visa policy for the country which provides for three categories of visas: short visit, temporary, and permanent residence and 79 visa types.

Babandede told TheSignature50 magazine that the new visa policy is reciprocal in nature, adding that like the US, Nigeria has the right to dictate who it allows in or restricts entry from.

“I can tell you that US is a country, it is a nation like Nigeria. They have the right to restrict who will enter their territory or not just like we can restrict US citizen or whomsoever from entering Nigeria,” Babandede said.

“So they have the right, but I want people to know that Visa restriction is not a Visa ban, it is a ban for people who want to take residency not people who want to go for short visits.

“You are aware that President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR just launched a new visa policy for Nigeria, the visa policy has 79 classes of visa. So, we will be in a position to say to countries, if you allow us for short visits we will allow you for short visits and if you stop us from other visits, we do the same, because the new visa policy is based on reciprocity.

“So, we will test this for a year and see those who reciprocate and we take actions for those who do otherwise.”

Speaking on his management of the agency, Babandede said he has been able to execute projects with transparency.

He said when he assumed office, he made it a duty to inaugurate two new command buildings so that the agency could act independently without any interference.

“When I came on board, I was really ashamed to find Immigration office, especially commands been kept in federal secretariat, we are law enforcement agency, we ought not to be in a Federal Secretariat. So i made a commitment to myself that every year, I want to commission two new buildings – commands,” he said.

“And we have developed a model for each command. I am glad to say that 2017, we did two – Kano and Jigawa, 2018 we did two – Plateau and Abia, and 2019 we did three – we commissioned Adamawa, Zamfara and Uyo.

“This year 2020, God’s willing we will commission around five or eight, depending on the availability of fund.”

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