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Jailing Looters: Start With Your Party Members, PDP Tells Buhari |RN

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“Mr. President has been pursuing perceived political enemies, and innocent opposition members while dining and wining with corrupt persons…”

Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday said it welcomed President Muhammadu Buhari’s renewed declaration to jail treasury looters.

However, the opposition party challenged the president to show integrity in his anti-corruption fight with the immediate investigation and prosecution of the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole for alleged corruption.

The PDP in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, also challenged President Buhari to permit an investigation into alleged graft by the sacked Director General, Department of State Services (DSS), Lawal Daura; former Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal, as well as the Executive Secretary, National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS),Yusuf Usman.

Besides, the party challenged the president “to allow an investigation into the alleged squandering of over N11 trillion in the petroleum sector, under his direct supervision as minister, including the alleged N9 trillion illegal oil contract as detailed in the leaked presidency memo, the alleged N1.4 trillion corrupt subsidy regime and alleged diversion of N1.1 trillion worth crude oil using 18 illegal companies allegedly linked to Presidency cabal and APC chieftains.”

It added “the president should also allow the investigation of his ministers, who as former governors, were indicted of stealing billions of naira belonging to their states, particularly, a former governor, who was indicted by his state for allegedly diverting over N40 billion to finance APC’s 2015 Presidential campaign.

“Mr President must also investigate how billions of naira allegedly moved from parastatals under his Petroleum ministry to finance the failed attempt to change the leadership of the National Assembly as well as the certificate scandals among his ministers and special advisers and jail all those involved.

“These are the people Nigerians have been expecting President Buhari to investigate, prosecute and if found wanting to be sent to jail. Unfortunately, Mr President has been pursuing perceived political enemies, and innocent opposition members while dining and wining with corrupt persons, a development that has completely called to question the integrity of his anti-corruption fight.

“Since President Buhari came into office, he has not allowed any investigation into the corrupt activities under his Presidency, instead he has been attracting to himself, all manner of corrupt persons and giving them the perfume of sainthood, once they identify with his APC.”  (The Sun)

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Lawmakers To APC: Saraki Not Cause Of Your Failure To Fulfil Promises|RN

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“They have devised another propaganda stunt to start heaping the blames of their failure to bring positive change to Nigeria on Saraki.”

Chairmen, Senate Committee on Navy and the Committee on Banking, Finance and Other Financial Institutions, Isah Hamma Misau and Rafiu Adebayo Ibrahim, respectively, have advised the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its leaders to desist from looking for scapegoats for the failure to fulfil their promises to the electorate.

Misau and Rafiu in a statement stated that the APC leaders have continued to whine about what Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki did or did not do to ensure the Buhari government failed without caring whether it was reasonable to believe that one single individual who had been continuously assailed by the government would at the same time be in a position to ground the government.

“APC leaders are being clever by half. They have spent most of the last 38 months harassing Saraki and sponsoring media attacks against him. Now that the man has been vindicated by the courts and he has decided to leave their party, they have devised another propaganda stunt to start heaping the blames of their failure to bring positive change to Nigeria on Saraki.

 

“For three years of the APC administration, former president Goodluck Jonathan was the scapegoat they blamed. Now that it dawned on them that nobody is listening to that tale by moonlight again, their propaganda machinery has shifted focus to Saraki as the new man to blame. These are characters who cannot take responsibility for their inability to provide good governance as they promised.

“Must these people blame somebody all the time?

 

“Were they elected to bring in positive change or to shift blames? It is irresponsible for people invested with a popular mandate to always look for somebody to be held responsible for their failure to fulfil their promises and give expression to the mandate they were given.

“Instead of concentrating on how to use the next six months before the general elections to hasten the completion of infrastructure projects, enunciation of policies and initiation of programmes which can improve the standard of living of the people and ameliorate the consistent failure of the last three years, the APC is now led by demagogues who seem not to care if they bring the entire country down.

“The new leadership of the APC have continued to advertise the inability of the party to manage a victory, their penchant for violence as a way of saving their faces and their lack of the much-needed temperament to wield together a country with diverse culture, ethnicity and religion like Nigeria.

 

“When they continue to blame Saraki for their failure, was the man responsible for their failure to appoint ministers for the first five months of the administration when the economy was just straying without direction? Is he responsible for the constant demarketing of the economy in international circles by the President of the country? Is Saraki responsible for the refusal of the government to prosecute its members indicted of corrupt practices, thereby destroying its anti-corruption campaign?”   (The Sun)

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Saraki, Tambuwal Left APC Because They Wanted Automatic Tickets – Tinubu

Bola-Ahmed-Tinubu

APC national leader, Alhaji Ahmed Bola Tinubu

The defectors “left the party to return to a motley agglomeration that would promise them what true democracy could not: automatic tickets…”

Senate President Bukola Saraki and Sokoto State Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal and others defected from the All Progressives Congress (APC) because the party could not offer them an automatic ticket and unfettered access to the public till.

National Leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who made the claim in a statement he personally signed, entitled: “They Go Away Because We Go the Right Way,” said the defectors “left the party to return to a motley agglomeration that would promise them what true democracy could not: automatic tickets, sharing of the national wealth and other offices and privileges.”

The former Lagos State governor asked the people to go beyond the debate on the numbers in the Senate and the House of Representatives, saying, “we must pull back from the shallow headlines to recognise that something fundamental is at stake.

“Nigeria is undergoing a historic transition. Sometimes awkwardly, tentatively, yet inexorably, we nurture political and governance reform. We steadily close the door on the old malpractices that have caused a rich nation to reside in the tenement of the global poor.”

Speaking specifically on the Sokoto governor’s defection, the APC leader said: “Governor Tambuwal’s exit can be distilled to one cause. He covets the presidency. However, he had not the stomach to challenge President Buhari in a primary. Tambuwal felt further insulted that he would be compelled to face a direct primary just to retain the governorship nomination.

“But for the promise made by PDP headliners like Rivers State Governor Wike that he would have the PDP presidential nomination, Tambuwal would not have left. His exit had nothing to do with the governance of the nation. It was about forging a personal ambition predicated on the defeat of progressive reform not the advancement of it.”

On Senate President, he said: “Much the same for Senate President Saraki. Returning to the PDP, he harbours dreams of the presidency but Tambuwal’s ambition will dwarf Saraki’s when the two collide. If Saraki had remained in the APC, he would be unable to reclaim his Senate seat let alone the Senate Presidency. He thus bolted because he lusts for the presidency but was promised by the PDP, at least, a return to his position in the Senate. “For Saraki to talk about lack of governance is for him to deny who he is and the position he holds. This man stands as Nigeria’s Number three citizen. Clothed is he in ample power and influence. If he saw areas where the government and the nation needed help, he could have easily applied his energies to these areas. He could have drafted legislation and easily got laws passed.

“However, no progressive enactment bears his name for he cared not for progress. He has been more focused on changing the rules of the Senate to favour himself and changing the order of elections so as to coincide with his selfish designs.”

Part of the statement read: “The defections of some people from the APC have generated sensational headlines and exaggerated talk as to what their departures foretell for the APC, the party to which
I belong. Some have predicted the demise of the APC. Those who hope for our decline will be disappointed by the inaccuracy of their desires. The days, months and years ahead will bury such errant forecasts for these predictions are born more of bitterness than of objective analysis.

Much of the attention has centred on which party now controls this or that state and which party maintains a majority in the National Assembly. These considerations are important to members of the political class and the electoral calculations of the political parties. But these calculations cannot be all there is. We must be careful not to reduce our horizon to a mere accounting of elected officials moving from one party to another.

Many in the political class believe this scorekeeping between the parties encompasses all that is important. For such people, the mere holding of office is the sole objective. The quality of governance they provide means little to them. Yet, there are greater things at stake than the fortunes of individual politicians. The people of Nigeria focus their attention on something materially different than this narrow political game.

The people are more deeply concerned with the quality of governance they experience than with the intense cunning by which the political game is played. They are more interested in helpful policies than in the tempests created by politicians in pursuit of personal ambitions. That which provides a better life in a more prosperous nation is what beckons to them. That which shines in the eye of the political opportunist is dross to the average person.

We must pull back from the shallow headlines to recognise that something fundamental is at stake.

Nigeria is undergoing a historic transition. Sometimes awkwardly, tentatively, yet inexorably, we nurture political and governance reform. We steadily close the door on the old malpractices that have caused a rich nation to reside in the tenement of the global poor. The corruption of the past is ending; for it must end if we are to fulfil our collective purpose. With this correction, less public money will be diverted to private benefit. More will be afforded to the causes of the people. The economy is being transformed so that the average person will have a better chance of finding a better life.

We move toward a more democratic union. The old days where a handful of uninformed men and those with deep pockets decided everything for everybody are being swept away. The will of the people can no longer be ignored. Those who would be the masters over the people must now be public servants. A party or elected official may no longer rule over the people. They must govern for the benefit of the people.

By so doing, the arc of our national progress is shaped. Not everyone is happy with this trajectory. As a whole, the political class must relinquish some of its power and wealth so people can enjoy a more equitable portion of the national enterprise.

This is the correct and perhaps inevitable course Nigeria must pursue.

To their credit, many politicians see the need for reform and even champion it. Yet, there are those in the political class who scheme against collective improvement. They seek to halt progress toward a fairer nation. They seek to hold to the old ways. The difference between the two parties and why some people returned to their PDP conclave must be seen in this light.

This is more than the competition over numbers. What rests in the balance is not whether one party has more elected officials on its roster, but which party has the right mindset and policies to reform Nigeria that she may become what goodness demands of her. We are in a locked battle to define the future of this nation and the quality of its governance. This battle pits one party, the APC, with all of its imperfections, that seeks national reforms against another party, the PDP, which symbolizes the perfection of the most selfish designs of the most selfish politicians among us.

This moral battle informed the recent defections. Those who belong to that PDP mode of thought could find no permanent comfort in walking the path of progressive reform and progress. All the things we have inaugurated such as school-feeding programs for poor pupils, social security for poor families, affordable housing programs, greater access to credit for small businesses and greater access to education and health care, these things the defectors could not well abide. They detested President Buhari’s Treasury Single Account (TSA) innovation because it barred them from misdirecting funds into a maze of unaudited accounts from which they could syphon as they pleased. Buhari cut off their clandestine illicit spigot.  (The Sun)

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SHOCKING: Mother, Two Teenage Twin Daughters Impregnated By Same Man |RN

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“I almost fainted when I read the text. It was my daughter telling him ‘mummy has discovered I’m pregnant and you know the baby is your own, what do we do?’”

– Mother and her 2 teenage twin daughters pregnant for one man

Linus Oota

Life has become a conundrum for Janet Agbazu, 45 and her 16-year-old twin daughters who found themselves in a mess that beats even the absurdities of the Shakespearean drama. That the widow and her daughter are all pregnant is not the issue, but that they were all put in the family way by the same man.

 

What’s worse, the villain, a character called Pius Salihu was literally a member of the family––the mother’s live-in lover and for two years, a father figure to the 16-year-olds. Presently, the three women, forced by fate to play actors in this drama of the absurd, are covered with shame. As for the villain in the plot, he is free and abroad, at large.

Pius Salihu moved through the family like a hurricane and reduced the lives of the three women to ruins, leaving them with regrets and recrimination and a very big problem that is now a Gordian knot for the family.

The woman at the centre of the storm

Janet Agbazu, the central figure in this incident, hails from Doma Local Government Area of Nasarawa State. Alago by tribe, she was educated at Government Science Secondary School Lafia and married at 19.

Her husband, Sylvester Anangba, an Eggon from Lafia Local Government Area of the state, died in the 2013 Ombatse crisis that engulfed Nasarawa State.

Until his death, he ran a thriving transportation business. The holder of National Certificate of Education (NCE) from the College of Education Akwanga had met his wife at her secondary school when he did his teaching practice. He married her shortly after she wrote her final examination.

The couple had their first childbirth two years after their marriage and after the ‘double blessing’ of twins, they never had another child––not for lack of trying, though––until the tragic death of Anangba in 2013.

At the time of their father’s death in the Ombatse upheaval, the twins were already in secondary school.

But the family found themselves in a precarious position when relatives of their late breadwinner confiscated his properties––including a house and three cars as well as cash and other belongings.

Left in the lurch by her in-laws, the widow got a lifeline from the associates of her late husband who raised her some money so she could start doing business and therefore was able to sustain the education of her two daughters in public schools.

The family seemed to have found their feet. They were ‘gently rowing their boat down the stream of life’ until a wolf in sheep clothing found his way into their fold and capsized their boat. Today, mother and daughters are at a nadir.

Enter the villain

It was in 2016 the widow met Pius Salihu. An Igala from Kogi State, Salihu, 42, was in Nasarawa State to run a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) that focused on women and health. They met at the Lafia township stadium where both of them went to watch a premier league match.

Their relationship started from there and in six months blossomed to the point whereby Salihu, who was squatting with a friend, was encouraged by Janet Agbazu to move into her rented two-bedroom apartment. They began cohabiting in one bedroom, leaving the other room to the twins.

In the next two years, Pius Salihu became the head of the family, playing the role to the letter. He bonded with the twins, constantly taking them out for relaxation. Unknown to their mother, once out of sight, he shed the toga of a father figure and transform into a lover.

As she told Saturday Sun later in an interview: “I was not always around due to the nature of my business. I always leave him at home with them, thinking they were in safe hands. I never for once thought he could do a thing like that.”

Agbazu thought Salihu used charm on the twins, saying: “How he got them so cheaply beats my imagination. Both of them took oaths not to expose the secret affairs. He got them cheap through the use of Babalawo (herbalist) charm.”

She raved further: “It is unthinkable and unbelievable. He was sleeping with me and my daughters at every opportunity. It was a bad thing. After he succeeded in impregnating me and the two of them, he ran away. I can’t find him.”

The whole truth, nothing but the truth

Saturday Sun got a hint of the development on August 13, 2018, and effort to interview the family brought the reporter in contact with Mr Clement Nuanga, an uncle to the beleaguered mother of the twins. Nuanga lives in Toto and the three victims had relocated to his house in their quest for a solution to their problem.

On August 14, the reporter travelled to Toto Local Government Area, a six-hour drive away from Lafia. The reporter had an interview with Janet Agbazu, who narrated the ugly, sad development to Saturday Sun in the presence of her uncle.

Her story: “I’m 45 years old. I lost my husband to the Ombatse crisis in 2013. I am yet to be fully remarried. I live on my own with my two daughters. My husband’s brothers kicked me out of their brother’s house as a widow. It was my late husband’s friends who assisted me with some cash to start a business where I can take care of my children and myself.

“In 2016, I went into a blind relationship with one Pius Salihu, an Igala man. I was blinded by love, deceived by his fine face. I did not bother asking him to take me to his place. Though three years younger than me, he appeared to be an honest and a humble man, I accommodated him and moved him out of his friend’s house to come and stay with me. I had not met a man sexually since the demise of my husband years back, that also contributed to him getting me so cheaply.

“My daughters were old enough to appreciate that I needed a man in my life. I also assumed they were responsible enough to see him as their father. I thought I could trust him, so I gave him all the liberty he deserved in my house. Unfortunately, I miscalculated. Unknown to me, while he was sleeping with me, at the same time, he was having affairs with my two daughters separately. These are small girls that were not exposed sexually. He enticed them with petty things and he got them easily. He was very close to them, so he got them cheaply by taking them out regularly. He also involved them deeply in the activities of the NGO he was running in the state. Sometimes, he would bring up a fake journey to Makurdi or Abuja. He would not travel with the two of them at the same time. Unknown to me, he was secretly enjoying my daughters right in my own house, and my daughters foolishly bought into his deceit”

The endgame

“Two weeks ago, the twins persistently complained of weakness of the body and malaria fever. They complained of stomach pains too. When I asked them when last they had their periods, I was shocked to hear from them that their menstrual flow ceased in May. Meanwhile, I was four-month pregnant for Pius, which is what I had always wanted, because I need a baby boy and the test shows my baby is a boy. The test at the hospital confirmed that Rose was two months pregnant and Mercy, a month pregnant.

“I was shocked because, at 16, my daughters who are students are not supposed to be pregnant. All my efforts, including threats, to force them to reveal the identity of those responsible for their pregnancies ended in vain.

“Back at home, I was outside the house trying to explain to Pius the shame the twins have caused when I heard his phone ringing inside the room. I went in to bring it for him, but the call ended just as I picked the phone, and a text message came in. I almost fainted when I read the text. It was from my daughter telling him that ‘mummy has discovered I’m pregnant and you know the baby is your own, what do we do?’

I saw another unread text from the other twin (Mercy): ‘I can’t keep this baby for you, what do we do.’

I asked Pius about the meaning of the text messages. He became restless and claimed to have received a phone call from his office. He left the house hastily.”

That was the last she saw of him till date.

“I only needed an explanation from him so that we can decide how to solve the problem. It was guilt that sent him on the run. Now, this is the third week. His phone numbers are switched off.”

In this latter part of the interview, Janet Agbazu relapsed into a monologue: “I am really confused, if God has not taken away my husband, I wouldn’t have found myself in this shame. How can somebody be so heartless as to sleep with me and my two daughters? This is an abomination.

I’m sure he used charms on them. I don’t even know his place. I am very confused. I am tired of life. How can somebody useless me and my daughters? God will not spare him wherever he is. How do I explain to people that my twins and I are pregnant with the same man and that he is nowhere to be found? My mind is blank. I looked at life and asked, was it really worth it? I hope for death every day. I never wished to see the next day.”

The reporter asked her: Do you intend to keep the three pregnancies?

Agbazu was confused. That is why she came to her uncle to help provide the way forward.

“Before the week runs out, we will arrive at a solution, but certainly my daughters can’t keep their pregnancy for the same man,” she said.

The family’s decision

While it is imperative to get the twins’ accounts of the incident, to shed light on why they got in between the sheet with a man they knew was their mother’s lover, their uncle, Mr Nuanga, however, would not permit the interview.

He has had a closed-door interrogation with them separately, he told Saturday Sun and his findings indicated that the present quagmire is “a mistake.”

“The sexual intercourse they had with him was as a result of ignorance and lack of sex education; if they know better, they won’t have done it,” said Nuanga.

They could not actually explain what came over them, he affirmed.

The twins, according to him, had no doubt Pius Salihu was responsible for their pregnancies.

“They even told me when, how and where they had met him severally, separately and unknown to each other,” said the troubled uncle.

He also avowed that Salihu perpetrated his crime with the aid of charms.

“Because they are also confused, it is not ordinary,” he insisted.

Clement Nuanga promised to consult some of his people for advice on how to handle the problem, though he hinted that the twins’ pregnancies could be aborted while their mother keeps her own.

“This is a serious matter that I cannot rush in taking a decision,” he said.

Efforts to reach Pius Salihu on phone failed. His phone numbers were switched off.  (The Sun)

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We’re Elected To Develop Infrastructure, Not Share Money – Lai Mohammed

 The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed,

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed says the promise of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to Nigerians is to develop infrastructure that will uplift living standard but not to share money.

The minister said this in Tatabu village, near Mokwa in Niger state while inspecting the reconstructed and rehabilitated Ilorin-Jebba- Mokwa road project.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the 93.6 km road project, now completed, included the total reconstruction of Ilorin to Jebba axis and rehabilitation of failed portions from Jebba to Mokwa.

NAN also reports that the Ilorin-Jebba road is part of the Lagos- Algiers road called Trans Sahara roads which cut across West and North Africa.

In Nigeria, the road connects the South-West geo-geographical zone to the Northern part of the country.

Addressing newsmen who accompanied him on the inspection, the minister said that the government was aware of complaints of no money by many Nigerians.

He said the administration preferred to invest in infrastructure that would have ripple effects on the economy than sharing money to people and political stooges like the previous administration did.

“Yes, people are complaining of no money and high cost of living, but I want to tell you that it would have been worse today but for the massive infrastructure development this government is investing on.

“When people make these complaints, they easily forget that for 16 years, one political party was in power, sharing money when this road became completely failed.

“APC in three years has fixed this road to this level. I think it speaks for itself.

“Before now, it takes about five days for trucks to move from Ilorin to Jebba. Today, it takes only two hours.

“Today on this road, you can see free movement of goods and services which is the beginning of the revival of the economy,’’ he said.

According to him, we are not a government that will share money like what others did which put the country in a mess.

“This government believes in investing in infrastructure because if you get this right, it will translate to wealth creation.

“Let us take for instance if this road contract costs N10 billion and we share it to political stooges in this area at N1 million each, we will only give 1,000 people and there will be no road.

“At the long run, those that we share the money to will join in abusing the government of non-performance.

“On our part, we will rather slowly and painstakingly revive our economy through infrastructure development and we have a lot of stories to tell on this.’’

According to Mohammed, Nigerians should thank God that they have an administration that is focussed and investing in infrastructure.

He said the government would not be distracted but remained focused in the development of infrastructure to better the lives of the people.

The minister recalled that the road project was awarded by the previous administration in 2013 and work was supposed to have commenced in 2014.

He said when the Buhari administration came into power, the project was only 15 per cent completed.

Asked whether the government would toll the road to raise money for its completion to Birnin-Gwari in Kaduna and for its dualisation, Mohammed said, not all roads could be tolled.

“This matter came up at the last Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting and we agreed that not all roads could be tolled.

“The idea of tolling roads is to recoup the expenses on the construction and make them sustainable.

“A study is being compiled and at the end of it, it will be decided on what roads to toll and which not,’’ he said.

Earlier, Mr Atitebi Wasiu, who conducted the minister and his entourage on the inspection said the substantial part of the heavy traffic on the road was caused by heavily loaded trucks due to the import and export of goods through Lagos port.

Wasiu, the Federal Controller of Works, Kwara, said the average daily traffic for trucks only on the road was about 7,500 while light vehicles accounted for about 7000.

He said most of the vehicles abandoned the road before the rehabilitation took place.

“The road which was constructed since over 30 years ago was abandoned by motorists for not less than 10 years due to its complete collapse.

“Those trucks which had no alternative were spending three to five days to transit this 93,6km road from Ilorin to Jebba before the eventual intervention of the Federal Government,” he said.

The engineer said the quality of the project carried out by Messrs CGC Nig. Ltd was of international standard and the lifespan was 20 years.

He also disclosed that the contract for the dualisation of the road had been awarded and work would commence in the next three weeks.

“The dualisation is awarded to the same contractor from Ilorin-Jebba-Mokwa at the total contract sum of N130 billion.

“The Kwara state section of the dualisation is awarded at N80 billion, while the Niger state section is about N50 billion,” he said.

(NAN)

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We’re Not Elected To Only Pay Salaries – Governors’ Forum |RN

  • Resign if you can’t pay, workers tell govs

 

Olusola Fabiyi and Eniola Akinkuotu

Governors under the auspices of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum have said that they are not elected to only pay salaries of civil servants.

They argued they were also elected to provide good roads, electricity, education and other necessary amenities for the people.

They said there was no way they could perform magic if there were no funds to work with.

They, therefore, called for the examination of the national income in the last 14 years to enable them to agree on the contentious issue of minimum wage implementation.

Chairman of the NGF, who is also the Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari, made their position known to journalists after the meeting of the governors in Abuja on Wednesday night.

One of our correspondents reports that the committee working on the minimum wage is almost concluding negotiations on the matter.

The Federal Government had set a September date to roll out a new minimum wage for workers.

The Nigeria Labour Congress is proposing a minimum wage of N65,000 for workers, but the governors are insisting on the gradual implementation of the new wage if eventually approved.

Yari said it was a pity that state governors had been limited to the payment of salaries alone in their respective states.

He said the lack of funds had hindered them from carrying out their responsibilities in other sectors such as health, electricity, education, roads, among others.

On minimum wage, he said, “We have a committee of six which represents us in discussions in the committee headed by the Minister of Labour, Dr Chris Ngige.

“The committee has yet to give us the final report. They have given us an interim report that at the Federal Government level, over 82 per cent is being spent on overheads which cannot move the country forward in terms of infrastructure development and development that we need now.

“So, on our own part, we are saying we are going to look at how our income is taken from our final account from 14 years ago so that we can come up and stay in the middle.”

He added, “I don’t think you people voted us only to pay salaries. You are looking for good roads, electricity, education and others. So, we can’t do magic. It’s only when we have the funds that we can do all those things.”

He disclosed that the governors also deliberated on the way the anti-graft agencies had been handling the war on corruption in the country.

He said that the governors resolved that both the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent Corruption and other Related Offences Commission must adhere strictly to due process.

He said the agencies must not engage in illegalities.

He said while the governors supported the present administration’s effort to curtail corruption, they were however not comfortable with some of the actions taken by the nation’s anti-corruption agencies.

He berated the EFCC for freezing the accounts of both Benue and Akwa Ibom states, adding that even President Muhammadu Buhari will not support the illegalities perpetrated by the agencies.

“We believe strongly that the government of President Muhammadu Buhari would not sit down and supervise this illegality in the system.

“What we are saying is that we all support the government to fight corruption because it is endemic and has retarded the nation for over six decades. Definitely, it was part of what we discussed.

“What we are saying now is that we are going to support the government in terms of what it is doing to fight corruption, but due process must be respected in whatever action the agencies are going to take in the name of fighting corruption. That is the position of the governors,” he said

Resign if you can’t pay, workers tell govs

In response to the governor’s position, the Secretary-General of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Peter Ozo-Eson, has lambasted the state chief executives.

Ozo-Eson, while speaking with one of our correspondents on the telephone on Thursday, said it was ironic that governors who were mismanaging the resources of their states still had the guts to complain that they did not have enough funds to pay salaries.

The NLC official said governors should be mindful of the fact that payment of salaries was not a favour but a sacred obligation.

He said the civil service remained the vehicle through which any government could fulfil its campaign promises.

Ozo-Eson said that without the payment of salaries, it would be almost impossible for any governor to meet his campaign promises.

He added, “The issue that they were not elected to pay salaries alone is unfortunate. Salaries are not a gift to people; salaries are compensation for workers helping to deliver governmental services. So, let them not talk as if salaries being paid to people are gifts.

“Salaries constitute part of the cost of delivering government services. Some of these governors fly chartered planes even within the country all from the state’s purse. Are they elected to drain the coffers of the state they are meant to govern? It will be rather unfortunate if they start playing politics with salaries and if they so do, Nigerians should be wise enough to also meet them at the polls.”

On the issue of the N65,000 minimum wage, the NLC secretary-general said no figure had been agreed on by the organised labour.

Ozo-Eson called on the governors not to take decisions based on rumours.

He added, “So, the question of reviewing the N65, 000 downwards doesn’t arise. People are bandying figures and we do not know where they emanated from but if the governors who are represented on the tripartite committee by six governors act on a rumour that is outside of the committee and using it as a basis to take a position, then that is rather unfortunate.”

Also speaking, the National President of the Trade Union Congress, Boboi Kaigama, said any governor that was not capable of paying salaries should resign.

Kaigama said payment of salaries was the most basic form of good governance.

The TUC boss said the organised labour had been advising governors to be imaginative by increasing the Internally Generated Revenues of their states but many of them were too lazy to think outside the box, preferring to go to Abuja cap-in-hand for handouts.

Kaigama added, “It is not an issue of having other responsibilities. Why are they not talking of good governance, blocking of leakages? This will enable them to pay the minimum wage and deliver the dividends of democracy to their citizens.

“We are the wealth creators and we believe we are entitled to our wages which are subject to periodic review because the inflationary trend has taken its toll on the people. In fact, in the public service, no worker’s salary can last more than a week.

“We keep saying that if any governor feels he cannot pay salaries, it means he cannot govern the state and he should tender his resignation letter. We know some governors are doing extremely well in the area of IGR but we know of some others who are waiting for handouts from FAAC.”  (Punch)

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My Abductors Butchered Their Victims For Rituals – Rescued Woman |RN

Precious-rescued

Rescued victim: Precious

 

Chukwudi Akasike, Port Harcourt

 

A woman, who was rescued by men of the Rivers State Police Command on Sunday, August 12, 2018, has narrated how she escaped from a group of ritual killers, who shot and killed one of their victims for ritual purpose.

The woman, who identified herself simply as Precious, said though she initially thought that she was abducted by kidnappers, it was when they killed the lady and made a call that she knew that they were ritual killers.

Precious, who spoke with newsmen at the state police command in Port Harcourt, said she saw many persons, who were abducted earlier, including children, adding that all of the victims begged for mercy to no avail.

She disclosed that after killing the lady, the kidnappers put a call across to a person they described as Alhaji and told him that some of the parts were ready.

“There was confusion among them when they noticed that some security agents were trailing them inside the forest. They (ritual killers) had earlier told us that they sell human parts and not just kidnappers and I noticed it.

“I saw the other lady that was with us being shot and they started butchering her body while some were calling one Alhaji on the phone, telling him that some parts were ready.

“It was the police raid in some of their camps that made the kidnappers be afraid. The kidnappers, out of fear, took us to another place and in the process, they started arguing and fighting one another. That was how I managed to escape,” Precious, who was still frightened from the experience, narrated.

On how she got into the ritual killers’ vehicle, she narrated, “I was returning from a church service and after the service, I moved to attend a child dedication at Chokocho. So, I walked to Igwuruta Junction in the Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State to board a bus, which would take me there.

“When a bus came that afternoon, I looked carefully and saw four women and three men already in the bus before I joined, thinking that it was an ordinary bus.

“Immediately, we passed a police checkpoint, the driver parked the bus by one side of the road and they ordered everybody to alight from the bus. They blindfolded us and the next thing I realised was seeing myself and others in the forest.”

She said her captors kept moving her and the others from one place to another in the forest when they noticed that the police anti-kidnapping unit had begun to raid the forest.

Precious urged the police to raid the forest where she escaped being killed by the ritual killers, saying that many victims, including children, who were kidnapped by the hoodlums, might still be in the bush.  (Punch)

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