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Abdulwaheed Usamah

Kaduna under 24hrs curfew, government warns residents against disobedience

By NewsDesk,

Kaduna State Government has imposed a 24-hour curfew on Kaduna town and environs with immediate effect.

The Senior Special Assistant to the state governor on Media and Publicity, Mr Samuel Aruwan stated this on Sunday in Kaduna.

“This is a notice of a 24-hour curfew imposed on Kaduna town and environs, with immediate effect.

“Residents are advised to comply by this directive.
The decision has been taken in the best interest of the state,” Governor Nasir El-Rufai tweeted.

The curfew is a fallout of the violence in Kasuwan Magani in Kajuru Local Government area, where a market dispute between porters led to the killing of 55 people and the burning of many homes, between 18 and 19 October.

Aruwan said the 24-hour curfew on Kaduna metropolis and environs was a preemptive measure to avert breakdown of law and order.

He said the decision was based on the advice of security chiefs in the state.

A curfew was already in place in Kasuwan Magani.

Simon said that the church officials reported the matter to the police and the man was arrested and taken away by the police.

“However, around 3 pm we heard gun shots around the market area with people running in all directions, houses were being burnt and everyone was running for his life.

“Although military and police officers are all over the place, we heard gun shots all over the place,” she said.

Another resident, Julius John said: “I don’t know what is happening, I am in my house, but all I can hear is gunshots with people shouting and running.”

At Sheikh Abubakar Gumi Market, a trader, Ibrahim Ya’u said that it was a spontaneous reaction as people “just started running when they heard there is crises in town.

“Most traders quickly closed their shops to prevent hoodlums from taking advantage of the situation to steal our goods.”

Some youths who reportedly blocked the busy Nnamdi Azikiwe Expressway and Ahmadu Bello Way burning tires, were later dispersed by security agents.

“In the pandemonium, a car ran over my brother, a fruit seller at Lagos street. We are trying to get the police to help us take him to the hospital,” a resident, Malam Abubakar Abdullahi, told NAN.

In Janruwa community, a resident informed NAN that the youths there had barricaded the road, stopping and searching vehicles coming from both direction.

Stranded commuters from across the city were seen trekking to their destinations as vehicle owners kept off the roads.

Foreign minister on special envoy mission, to discuss political situation in Mali

By NewsDesk,

President Muhammadu Buhari, as Chairman, ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, has sent Foreign Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, as a Special Envoy to Bamako Mali to discuss the political situation in the county.

Onyeama was accompanied by President of the ECOWAS Commission Jean -Claude Kassi Brou.

Ms Sarah Sanda, the Special Assistant, Media to Foreign Affairs Minister, made this known in a statement on Sunday in Abuja.

She said the delegation was in Mali ahead of the country’s parliamentary elections.

The elections had initially been slated for Oct. 28, but they were postponed by the government till Nov. 25, followed by a run-off on Dec. 16 in constituencies where no candidate wins outright.

Last week, Mali’s constitutional court reportedly delayed the country’s parliamentary elections until 2019 by extending the mandate of lawmakers for six months.
According to Sanda, the team on arrival in Bamako met with Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General Mahamat Saleh Annadit.

The delegation, she said, met with the Representatives of the African Union and European Union, as well as Ambassadors of France and The Netherlands.

She said that the delegation also met with the main opposition leader and Presidential Candidate Soumaila Cisse, who lost to incumbent President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta in a second-round runoff vote held on August 12.

The delegation also met with Malian Prime Minister Soumeylou Boubèye Maïga, and President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita with some Cabinet Ministers in attendance.

She said that Onyeama delivered President Buhari’s message to all the stakeholders in all the meetings.

Onyeama said that Buhari as Chairman of ECOWAS called on Malian authorities to ensure “inclusivity in nation building and politics” as the country prepares for parliamentary elections.

”It has to be all about the country, people, development and good governance.

”We begin to have problems when it starts to be about individuals so he wanted us to communicate this message,” he said.

Onyeama said that Buhari’s message was very well received as the Malians have a lot of respect for him and want him to play a role in shepherding the country forward.

Oshiomole raises alarm over vote-of-no confidence gang-up

By NewsDesk,

The National Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, has alleged that conservatives within the party were ganging up to pass a vote of no-confidence on him.

In a long statement by his press secretary, Simon Ebegbulem, Oshiomhole said his sin was his refusal to allow continued impunity and circumvention of due process being perpetuated in some states.

He said he was not surprised by the gang up, as he never had the illusion that the process of reforming the party was going to be an easy on one.

The full statement:

“The All Progressives Congress, APC, under the national chairmanship of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, is in safe hands as the party marches, sure-footedly, to victory in the 2019 general election. This is the overarching mission of the national working committee, NWC, of the party under his leadership.

“To be clear, Comrade Oshiomhole did not become national chairman of the governing party to bring it down a notch from the pedestal of its 2015 electoral victory let alone to preside over its liquidation.

“Rather, his single-minded goal, from the outset of his declaration of interest in the position, was to deploy his capacity in helping to strengthen and reposition the party as a truly supreme and disciplined political entity.

“Although, it might appear fortuitous to some persons that he became national chairman at the threshold of the 2019 general election; the truth is that there is no accident in predestination. We must appreciate the fact that it has pleased the Almighty God to place him in the saddle of APC leadership at this time for a purpose.

“The purpose has begun to manifest in its vast flourish and ramifications: instilling discipline, ensuring party supremacy, promoting due process, dealing with impunity and executive arrogance wherever they manifest to undermine intra-party electoral processes in the states.

“From the outset, we never expected that those who cherished and supported the status quo, which Comrade Oshiomhole supplanted, would cave in easily under the magnitude of the current political revival that he spearheads. Indeed, while the progressives are enamoured of change, the conservatives find it difficult to embrace it. That is the current reality in the deliberate effort to rebrand the APC.

“Again, we were not, in the least, deluded that the process of rebranding or rewriting the narrative of the four-year old party would be easy. What we are witnessing in the APC today is Comrade Oshiomhole’s adroit management of the strains and pains that accompany the birth of a resuscitated governing party.

“The leadership provided in the recently-held primary elections and the large-scale integrity of the processes are developments that should hence serve as exemplars in the administration of governing parties.

“Indeed, the message therein is very clear that the party, and not pseudo political empires in the states, has the power to superintend the primary elections for the nomination of the party’s candidates in the general election.

While the party will not surrender its functions, which are constitutionally circumscribed, to any other entities, it will always be ready to moderate the divergent tendencies and mediate the disparate political camps in the interest of party cohesion.

“This is one of the hard-nosed truths that the Comrade Oshiomhole-led NWC preaches and practises with an apostolic zeal to the chagrin of some influential stakeholders in the states.

“Comrade Oshiomhole envisions an APC that is capacitated to pragmatically build a corpus of leadership and membership that do not only submit to the high ideal of party supremacy, but also the credo of party discipline.

“These-party supremacy and discipline- are two fundamentals that had been eroded even before the emergence of the Oshiomhole leadership. It is sad that while the national chairman is working round the clock, some stakeholders have thrown selfish political agendas into the mix to threaten the building of institutional capacity for the APC.”

“The suggestion in some quarters, especially by one of the presidential aspirants on the platform of the party, Alhaji Mumakai Unagha, that the APC cannot win with Oshiomhole is therefore unfair, denigrating and baleful of Comrade Oshiomhole’s personal commitment to a rejuvenated winning machine that the APC typifies.

“The totality of Unagha’s claims, without necessarily addressing them one after the other, tallies with cooked-up narratives being sponsored by some influential stakeholders in their respective states that Comrade Oshiomhole is responsible for all the problems in the APC at the moment.

“These influential stakeholders, according to grapevine, have begun to mobilise to pass a no-confidence vote in the leadership of Oshiomhole, having failed to impose their preferred candidates on the party in the nomination process.

“Rather than resort to needless perfidy at the threshold of a general election, we call on them to imbibe the spirit of sportsmanship, bolstered by the fact that the Oshiomhole leadership is propelled more by its interest in propriety in which victory for the party could be grounded.

“The crime committed by Comrade Oshhiomhole’s leadership is its disdain for impunity and circumvention of due process perpetrated in some of the states at the pleasure of some influential stakeholders.

“Overall, Comrade Oshiomhole has not, since stepping in the saddle, taken any unilateral decision in the running of the party affairs. All decisions, so far taken, passed through the mills of NWC deliberative sessions and enjoyed unanimous resolutions. The records are there. History will justify Comrade Oshiomhole and posterity will vindicate him.

“Therefore, with eyes firmly fixed on the general election, especially the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari in the scheduled February 16 poll, Comrade Oshiomhole assures all stakeholders in the APC of his respect for them. He assures them of his readiness to work with them for the good of the party.

“The comrade chairman also proposes a common front in the general election and believes that the APC, as a governing party, will do a commemorative post mortem next year to appraise and reappraise the political developments and decisions that presaged the election, which it would win emphatically.”

Sanwo-Olu assures religious, ethnic groups, others good government, participatory administration

By NewsDesk, 

The All Progressive Congress (APC) Lagos State chapter governorship candidate, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has assured leaders of various Islamic and christian bodies that he would not leave any stone untouched, should he get elected as governor of the state during forthcoming governorship election.

Besides, Sanwo-Olu also promised non-indigenous groups, including Hausa community, Ijaw group, Igbo, Nupe, Ibera among others who reside in Lagos, that his government would ensure that a participatory administration is put in place, such that would carry all groups along, in policy and program wise,

The Director General, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu Campaign Organisation (BOSCO), Tayo Ayinde, said that the need to recognize contributions of religious bodies, as well as that of other groups, must not be denied and that the governorship candidate has demonstrated strength for participatory government that would have all communities as entity of his administration.

Speaking during a meeting with Islamic and christian leaders of various groups in Lagos, yesterday, Ayinde explained that Sanwo-Olu’s administration, should he get elected, would recognize and give all bodies sense of belonging, and as well pay adequate attentions to needs of every members of non-indigenous groups who reside in Lagos.

He disclosed that the governorship candidate and BOSCO, under his leadership, had met with various groups including those considered as grassroot managers and that the motive behind the move was to ensure that all stakeholders were carried along on policy and program of Sanwo-Olu.

According to him, the governorship candidate’s priority has remain on how Lagos residents, religious bodies, other various groups will be well informed and carried along on policy of incoming administration and BOSCO has continued spreading the gospel.

“Sanwo-Olu’s aim is to inculcate needs of every communities into his policy and programs and that is why he has been meeting with groups since after he was announced winner of Lagos chapter of APC recently conducted governorship primary election”.

“The incoming governor has been communicating his readiness to run a participatory government because he has understanding on needs of people particularly that of religious bodies and indigene of other states who are residing in Lagos”.

The campaign group’s head stated that BOSCO would continue its recognition of groups and individuals who have been exhibiting interests and pledging supports for Sanwo-Olu’ candidacy, and that the office was opened to others communities who were yet to show up.

However, in a separate development, Ayinde informed leaders of students’ unions of various tertiary institutions in Lagos, who had also pledged support for Sanwo-Olu, that the campaign office would not hesitate to work with unions, should they extend supportive hands to the organization.

At an interactive session, the DG assured the leaders that the governorship candidate would recognize all Lagos tertiary institutions’ student unions and ensure they participate in his administration’s police and programs after 2019 governorship election.

Obi as Atiku’s gambit for unity

By Daniel Moses Achimugu

The choice of a former Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi is the wisest political move by the PDP Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.  It is particularly and symbolically significant because it comes at a time Nigeria is ever divided over the issue of power rotation, justice and equity. Given the increasing agitations across the country arising from complaints of political marginalization and exclusion, the selection of Mr. Peter Obi as running mate to Atiku would go a long way to reassure the people of the southeast that no section of Nigeria is too small or too insignificant to be ignored in the affairs of the country.

Frustrations feed agitations and these separatist tendencies in the southeast can only be addressed by elected leaders who are just and broadminded enough to understand and respect our diversity. Atiku Abubakar has demonstrated enough courage and sincerity by acknowledging the fact that justice and equity is the foundation of building and sustaining a strong political union or federation.

By appointing a broadminded Igbo politician like Peter Obi as his running mate, Atiku leaves no one in doubt that he means business in his commitment to restructuring. The Waziri Adamawa believes in creating a better and fairer society. He believes justice is the foundation for achieving sustainable peace, he believes in respecting our diversity and the importance of restoring trust and reducing tensions across the country. Therefore, the choice of Peter Obi is welcome because the two of them share the same vision for a better and prosperous Nigeria.

The timing of the choice and the quality of Mr. Obi cannot be faulted by any sincere Nigerian. At a time the Nigerian economy is gasping for breath, thanks to poor management, Atiku needs a running mate with a sound understanding of the economy and management of resources.

Mr. Peter Obi is not only a politician but also a technocrat and a businessman with sound experience. His intellect is unassailable, and his business and management experiences are important assets that can add value to the Atiku Presidency.

Atiku’s choice of Mr. Obi shows clearly that the PDP presidential candidate understands the challenges facing Nigeria. The success or failure of any leader depends on the quality of the team he puts together. As former President Obasanjo noted, “the economy doesn’t obey orders.” In other words, fixing the economy requires competence, imagination, vision and resourcefulness.

One of the greatest virtues of Atiku Abubakar is his passion for excellence. In this regard, the choice of Peter Obi as his running mate is a reflection of this passion. Fixing the economy is brain work. An economy is like a patient, if you left the patient at the mercy of incompetent doctors, he might ultimately die.

There is, therefore, a valid reason why Atiku always goes for the best and brightest. He always surrounds himself with men and women of excellence. He doesn’t have stomach for mediocrity. It is not by accident that he always assembles a good team in order to achieve optimum results. He has an eye for quality, hence his choice of Mr. Peter Obi.

With a combination of Atiku/Peter Obi ticket, the country can achieve a favourable business and investment environment that could boost the enthusiasm of foreign investors. No leader takes chances with the economy.

Like Atiku, Mr. Obi has a rich business background, which gives him a good advantage in the management of the economy. Modern governments are run like a business because of the sound emphasis on reducing waste in government and promoting efficient and prudent management of resources. A successful economy is the foundation of successful job creation initiatives.

It is against this background that we can understand the wisdom behind the choice of Peter Obi as running mate by Atiku Abubakar. No President can achieve much without a competent team. Obi’s choice is the early first signs that Atiku is truly commuted to giving Nigerian economy a shot in the arm.

Neither Atiku nor Obi wants to be in government to make money. Both of them are successful businessmen and therefore, the passion for service is their primary motivation for seeking public office at this time. You cannot fight corruption without adequately addressing the issue poverty and job creation. And you cannot achieve the goal of job creation when the economy is poorly managed.

With a combination of Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi, the Nigerian economy can be reinvigorated and put on a sound footing of sustainable growth. The economy is central to the success of democratic rule. A badly managed economy may leave the people ever poorer and make life more hopeless. No wise voter should vote themselves into misery.

A president’s success also depends on the quality of those he appoints to help him run the government. He needs a strong vice president with intellect, experience, vision and knowledge about the efficient management of resource. The choice of Peter Obi falls clearly in line with Atiku’s desire to build a robust economy and get Nigeria working again.

Daniel Moses Achimugu, a commentator on public affairs wrote from Lokoja

Beyond Fayose: The future of Ekiti

By Reuben Abati

I spent the better part of last Tuesday, October 16, focusing on developments in Ekiti State. It was the day of John Kayode Fayemi’s return to office as Governor of Ekiti State and his inauguration for a second-term, after an interregnum of four years, 2014-2018 during which former Governor Ayo Fayose reigned.

It was also on that day that Fayemi’s immediate predecessor reported to the Headquarters of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to submit himself for interrogation and investigation. For the people of Ekiti state, no other day could have been more melodramatic. I watched the Ekiti inauguration on television, beginning from the point where the new Governor, Kayode Fayemi arrived and he was taken round the stadium in an open van to acknowledge cheers from the people.

Fayemi had a unique style of greeting the people, throwing his hands in the air with some kind of bird-like movement. I really couldn’t figure out if he was waving or dancing. I was amused. I thought if his plan was to dance, he could have taken some lessons from you know who – the two Dancing Senators of the National Assembly!

Although the duo belongs to the opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), they would have obliged him. In any case, Governor Fayemi pulled it off nicely, considering the excitement from the crowd. He is obviously not planning to spend his time in Government House, dancing. The ceremonies soon got underway with a colourful police parade, with Governor Fayemi taking the stand. It was a beautiful parade, and quite refreshing seeing the mobile police, the anti-terrorism unit of the police and others marching with so much discipline and confidence, in very neat uniforms, with symphonic unity – and two officers running a commentary to guide us. If the Nigeria police were to display that same level of dedication, discipline and preparedness in the course of their daily work and engagements with the public, no one would have any reason to complain about the many failings of the institution.

Governor Fayemi enjoyed himself so much that even when the police commentator asked him to take his seat while the rest of the parade continued, he still spent a few minutes appreciating the men and women on parade.

The Governor eventually went up to the VIP stand, he took a cup of water, and APC dignitaries from around the country took turns to have photographs with him and his wife. I didn’t see members of the opposition party. Could it be that they were not invited? Or they were invited and they chose to ignore the ceremony? Or the planning committee chose to make the inauguration ceremony a strictly family affair? Or may be the cameramen chose to ignore the faces of opposition politicians at the ceremony.

The high point, however, was the taking of the oath of office, and then the speech by the newly-sworn-in Governor. It was a brilliant, thoughtful speech but it fell short in one major regard. It began on an evocative note with a prefatory poem written by Erelu Bisi Fayemi, the Governor’s wife and Chair of the Ekiti Transition Committee (some people are of the view that the people of Ekiti are likely to be getting two Governors for the price of one!- but that is just by the way, afterall, there is something called the doctrine of the unity of spouse.).

In clear, rhythmic and seductive prose, Fayemi set out the agenda for governing Ekiti state in the next four years, to wit: the restoration of values, people-centred social investments, promotion of a knowledge economy, infrastructure and industrial development, and agriculture and rural development. He paid homage to Ekiti ancestors, and called on the people to look toward the future with hope and confidence because the state under his watch, will be different.

Whereas the Governor made it clear that he is not on a “revenge mission” , his entire speech however was packed full of bitterness –clearly evident in the choice of words and imagery. Even the poem by Mrs Bisi Fayemi is suffused with telling metaphors. October 16 was meant to be a day of joy for the Fayemis but both husband and wife could not hide the pain and the feeling of hurt that they nurse. Their words gave them away. “This land is ours…” writes Bisi Fayemi, but the land has been overtaken, and “we see the blood on the lips of vultures who prod and peck at our throats/so they can suck even more blood.”

Apparently, the Fayemis are convinced that there are political vampires in Ekiti state but Fayemi has returned to “reclaim what is ours with our voices/with our blood and with our souls/This land is ours, and it shall be free.” This theme of freedom from despair and destruction and restoration of hope is sustained in the main speech. In six paragraphs sub-titled “NEVER AGAIN”, the newly sworn in Governor wrote off the last four years of Governor Peter Ayodele Fayose in Ekiti state, in words delivered with stinging brutality. And not once did he mention Fayose by name. He tells the people of Ekiti: “Our reputation as a people has been sullied and we have become the butt of jokes due to the crass ineptitude, loquacious ignorance, and ravenous corruption masquerading as governance in our state during this past administration”. This bitterness is further reflected in such phrases as “Ekiti has been through a horrible wilderness”; “innumerable white elephant projects”, “state assets unaccounted for”; “those who do not understand what governance or development is all about”; “painful wound.” Wound? The nature of that “wound”, at a personal level, has been famously addressed in an op-ed by Bisi Fayemi when she wrote previously, about how her family was deserted by those who had wined and dined with them as soon as JKF, as her husband is called, lost his bid for a second term on June 21, 2014. She wrote that“it was a very bad day, one of those days that I referred to recently as Ojo buruku esu bu omi mu – the day the devil came to drink water”. Those who came to visit, came to “mourn”, she told us, as if the loss of an election was the end of the world.

Fayemi is now back to Government House, and on October 16, I didn’t see anybody mourning. The guests at the inauguration – associates, friends, party chieftains, traditional rulers and the ordinary people in the stands, did not come to “mourn”, they came to celebrate with Fayemi and his wife. Life is like that. At the risk of sounding trite, in life, there is a season for everything: a time to laugh and a time to mourn. Fayemi has had his own share but as he returns, he should place greater emphasis on healing, reconciliation, forgiveness and the agenda that he has eloquently set out. He should be magnanimous and extend his call for support and collaboration, not just to the ordinary people of Ekiti, but everyone, including those he may consider his arch-enemies. To dismiss Fayose so brutally is uncharitable. Fayemi has stayed long enough in politics to know that the enemy today may be a friend tomorrow. Bitter words are like bitter kola, they leave a stinging and prolonged taste in the mouth even when you choose to drink water.

Fayose may have supported his protégé – Kolapo Olusola in the last Gubernatorial election in the state – I still insist that Olusola acted like a spectator at his own wedding and he did not deserve to win – but Fayemi himself must learn not to be over-triumphant. There was a hint of a threat that he will probe Peter Fayose. He doesn’t need that “revenge mission”. The new Governor of Ekiti State must eschew the APC mindset: the thinking that once you are given power, you must intimidate and humiliate people, or climb a holier-than-thou pedestal – as we have seen, constructed with ego, spittle and bitterness. The key take-away in Fayemi’s speech is that he is ready to work and he intends to move Ekiti state forward. He should focus on that.

While Fayemi was savouring that new moment in his life, at the Ekiti Kete Pavillion (which he also used to settle scores, reminding everyone that he built the Pavillion!), Fayose was busy on twitter announcing to the whole world that he was on his way to the EFCC headquarters to turn himself in. At a point, he informed us that he would be at the EFCC headquarters within an hour. Notably, on October 16, Fayose refused to attend the inauguration of Fayemi as Governor. Fayemi may claim that the snobbery was mutual but he should see himself in his new role within the context of leadership, and not partisan politics or personal grievances.

He should look at it this way: the day he returned as Governor, Fayose was on his way to a police station! He even went along with his clothes, knowing that he could be detained. It is now a matter of record that Ayo Fayose is the first Yoruba man to go to a police station decked out in “Aso ebi.” His supporters wore white T-shirts – “aso ebi” of sorts, even if they proclaimed that Fayose is “the conscience of the nation.” I was surprised that they didn’t have a musical band in tow! The unnecessary drama that Fayose has constructed around his invitation and detention by the EFCC is typical of him, but by the time he spends a few days in the EFCC underground cell, he will surely realize that he is not in a five-star hotel and that the EFCC has well-trained interrogators who do not look at people’s faces. They will try to break his will, wear him out, test him, humiliate him. Fayemi should not do the work of the EFCC.

And of course, Fayose is not useless as Fayemi tries to make him appear. He is a gifted, street-wise politician. He ran a folksy, populist government. He had the common touch. The people hailed him: “Oshokomole, Ekun oko Oke, afinju Irunmole to n je salad!” The EFCC will not offer him salad. I know that for sure. But the people of Ekiti will always remember him for the courage, the sass, the colour that he brought to governance, and the “stomach infrastructure” that he offered. The people may also not agree that his exit is “the end of error”. The difference between Fayemi and Fayose is in terms of substance, style and exposure and the people’s expectations. In terms of political destiny, both men also probably have something in common. In moving Ekiti forward, as he has promised, Fayemi should attempt a more dispassionate assessment of the past, the present and the future. He should not set an example that will come back to haunt him. Four years is a very short time. Ekiti kete, “the land is yours…”

Labor unions may shutdown economy over minimum wage

By NewsDesk,

Three major unions in Nigeria said they will call out workers on nationwide strike on November 6, if the Federal Government fails to meet its demand on the new National Minimum Wage of N30,000 agreed upon.

Mr Ayuba Wabba, President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) made this known on Sunday in a statement jointly signed with Mr Bobbio Kaigama, President, Trade Union Congress (TUC) and Mr Joe Ajaero, President, United Labour Congress (ULC).

The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) recalls that the unions had said that the Tripartite Committee on the New National Minimum Wage had concluded its negotiations and agreed on N30, 000 following an appeal made by Organised Private Sector (OPS).

Wabba said since the government appears unwilling to cave in to their demands, the unions have resolved to organise a one-day of National outrage and mourning, which would be used to sensitise Nigerians on the workers’ plight and on the issues at stake.

“This shall take place in all states of the federation including Abuja on Tuesday, the 30th day of October, 2018 and a meeting of various organs of the Unions will hold as appropriate.

“On Friday, Nov. 2, a Joint Central Working Committee (CWC) meeting of all the Labour Centres in Nigeria shall hold to receive reports and make final preparations for our ultimate engagement with the Federal Government on this matter.

“ This is the first time in the history of this nation in recent times that such meeting will take place and this goes a long way to show the seriousness with which Nigerian workers and its leadership hold this matter.

“If nothing is responsibly done by the Federal Government to meet our demands, on Monday, Nov.6 we shall embark on a nationwide strike,’’ he said.

He added that this would compel government to show more sensitivity to the plight of Nigerians and the suffering that is decimating our people on daily basis.

Wabba also called on Nigerians and workers not to be discouraged in the struggle for the new National Minimum Wage.

He explained that it was not true that organised labour had proposed N30,000 as the new national minimum wage.

“It is also not true that the committee did not agree on a figure during its last sitting. We accepted N30,000 as a compromise to demonstrate the willingness of Nigerian workers to make sacrifices towards nation building.

“ Anything to the contrary no matter the quantum and character of the din or how well couched it may appear cannot be true.

“ Resorting to Goebbelsianism at this time of national emergency, which requires men and women of integrity is rather unfortunate and cannot suddenly make the brazen falsehoods truths.

“’We believe that it has become necessary for the Organised Private Sector (OPS) as represented in the Tripartite Committee to speak up on this matter.

“ Keeping silent in the face of this apparent mischief does our nation no good. It can only help mischief, dishonesty and impunity to grow,” Wabba said.

The NLC president, however, said it was time for the OPS to rise to the occasion by telling Nigerians what transpired in that meeting.

Wabba added that they should tell Nigerians whether there was a consensus on a final figure.

“ If there was a document signalling this agreement that had already been signed by some parties?

“ If also the N30,000 figure was ours or a compromised figure based on proposed scenarios,”’ he said.

20 LAGESC officers’ jobs under threat after agency issue query

By NewsDesk, 

At least, 20 officers from Lagos State Government sanitation agency, Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Corps (LAGESC), may have to sacrifice their jobs should the department find them guilty on allegation of their involvement in a street combat in which a video on social showed showed the officers to be fighting members of the public with machetes and other weapons, last week.

The development, however, was coming barely a week after the incident occurred in Ilasamaja axis of the state and the agency promised to take action against the alleged displayed of the officers identified to be members of LAGESC.

The Guild, through a leaked queries separately issued by the agency over the weekend to entire officers involved, learnt that the state government was not happy with the action of the men from the department, who were said to had been warned against their misconducts in public.

It would be recalled that LAGESC had identified and listed the 20 men involved in the street as  Babatunde Segun,  Bature Muhammed, Supt. GL: 07., Whosu Clement, GL: 05. Shofolahun Ibrahim, GL: 05. Adeyanju Ibrahim, GL: 05.

It also listed Qudus Alao, GL: 05, Ojo Tosin,  GL: 05, Sulaimon Kazeem, GL: 05, Adeleke Omikunle, GL: 05. Olowoporoku Salawu, Koleosho Ayinla, GL: 07, Seun Ige, GL 05, Yusuf Tunde, GL: 05, Dibia Vincent, GL: 05, Lawal Fatai, GL: 05, Musibau Adebayo, GL: 05,Odunlami Samuel, GL: 05 (Injured)., Shokoya Adegbuyi, GL: 05,  Obagbenro Yinka, GL: 05, among the officers to be tried after the action.

Meanwhile, in a video circulating across social media, the officers were sighted attacking residents in Ilasamaja axis of the state with machetes and other weapons after claimed assault against the men of the LAGESC during the week.

But against the actions of the men, the Lagos state government took responsibility, with direction of severely punish toward the LAGESC officers over the public misconduct and after action that cost millions worth property.

From the latest development, the state government expressed its displeasure over the actions of the men, while it informed the accused men, through the leaked issued queries, to represent themselves in writing why a disciplinary action should not be taking against them.

Source from the agency, who confided in the The Guild but want his name kept from the public, disclosed that the officers would have to go and that LAGESC cannot keeping such bad elements in the system.

He added that before the incident occurred, the agency had been warning the officers over received complaints from public against their approach and others actions.

The source confirmed that the queries were served to affected officers and that all the men may have to sacrifice their jobs after agency’s investigation.

He explained that even though the officers were attacked first by members of the public, the display was not enough justification for the actions, just as the source expressed certainty that government would not tolerate indiscipline of the men.

 

 

Sanwo-Olu campaign group begins meeting grassroots’ political officers ahead 2019 guber election

By NewsDesk, 

In bid to ensure Lagos State chapter of All Progressive Congress (APC) records landslid victory in 2019 gubernatorial election in the state, the party’s governorship candidate, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, campaign group, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu Campaign Organisation (BOSCO), has began strategising on how the platform could provide adequate support to the party’s forthcoming governorship election course in the state, by meeting various stakeholders, regarded as work force and political grass-rooters.

Specifically, the campaign group had assigned responsibility of meeting grassroots political officers to one of the roles it is expected to be played as an organization, just as it had done prior to the party’s primary election conducted in the state recently.

However, it was gathered that the office had in last two days met with no fewer than 2,000 grassroots’ political officers including 57 vice chairmen from 20 Local Government Areas and 37 Local Council Development Areas, entire serving supervisory councils, local councils and party’s ward secretaries, who did not only pledge to work for Sanwo-Olu but also assured delivery of three millions votes.

The Director General, BOSCO, Tayo Ayinde, stated that the strategic gathering of the grassroots of the Lagos state chapter of APC by the organisation was needed to assist the party and prepare minds of stakeholders over task ahead.

Speaking after a meeting yesterday at the BOSCO office, Ayinde disclosed that the campaign group had mapped out approaches that would be deployed for reaching out to members of the party at grassroots and that one of such move was it embarking on series of meetings with stakeholders, regarded as machinery,  immediate after the party’s primary election was concluded.

He explained that the objective of the group’s strategic meeting was to give entire stakeholders a sense of belonging from side of governorship candidate, just as the party has been doing in the past.

The campaign group’s boss confirmed that the group had met with various stakeholders within few days it rolled out the planned move and that such meeting would continue.

According to him, in line with Lagos chapter of APC’s template, the aim remains provision of adequate support to the party course of ensuring Sanwo-Olu records victory during 2019 governorship election.

“We have met with no fewer than 2,000 people who are stakeholders in APC and the meeting would continue alongside consultations with leaders of the party.

“In the last two days, the office had met with  57 vice chairmen from 20 Local Government Areas and 37 Local Council Development Areas, entire serving supervisory councils, local councils and party’s ward secretaries, who pledged to work for Sanwo-Olu, with assurance to deliver three millions votes, ” he added.

Meanwhile, one of the vice chairman, who spoke after the meeting, indicated that the governorship election in the state was entire stakeholders’ course and that the project was tired to their carrier.

She stated that the mandate was a cross all party members must shoulder together as united house and that the group had brilliantly done well by carrying stakeholders along in championing the course,

 

 

 

 

 

“The spirit of error” in Nigerian politics

By Reuben Abati

About this period, four years ago to be precise I had gone to visit a notable politician and a member of the Peoples Democratic Party. Politics was very much in the air then as is the case now, and my host was neck-deep in it all. He was a major grassroots politician and a man of experience who brought into party politics so much enthusiasm and elan. I observed him at very close quarters and it was right to conclude that he was one of President Goodluck Jonathan’s unwavering supporters. Publicly, he gave the impression that he had held down his state, and even a substantial part of his region for both the party and the President.

He reportedly ran a strong grassroots political structure which included traditional rulers, students, market women, religious leaders and the ordinary people who on election day were expected to vote en masse for the ruling party and put the then emergent and assertive All Progressives Congress and its leaders to shame.

During election season, there are persons like that in every political party. They are the people on the field. They take reports to Abuja, give feedback to the party at the national level and shuttle between their states and Abuja.  They attend every major campaign. They say the right things. They pump up party leaders with adrenaline. When they do a calculation of the party’s chances and how happy the electorate are with the leadership, you would feel like celebrating even before the polls. The really talented ones among them are for the want of a better term, charmers or perhaps illusionists.  This particular politician, who shall remain nameless, is experienced and talented.

We got talking.  He asked me: “Reuben, what do you think of the PDP’s chances in the 2015 elections?” I told him everything looked good and that the Party will retain its majority status in power. I reeled off the achievements of the Jonathan administration. The APC Challenge? I dismissed the APC as a party of propagandists. “Those people? They will win in a few states, no doubt but they can’t take the Presidency…” When you are around politicians and you listen to them everyday, you are very likely to believe them and even begin to sound like them. Loyalty is also important, but this was not just about loyalty. I felt the President’s good performance deserved to be rewarded by the Nigerian people.

“I don’t see us winning”, my host responded. I was shocked. I almost fell off my seat. I wasn’t too sure that I heard him well. I asked what he meant by that. The party primaries had been concluded. Turn-out at campaigns was beginning to build up. The state Governors were all upbeat, or so it seemed. The traffic of politicians to-ing and fro-ing the Villa was so much there were hold-ups at the gate.

“We are going to lose”, my host repeated.

“How?”

“I will tell you”, he said.  “I have been in politics for years, and I have learnt to study the art very well. I can tell you that five months before any election, you can easily tell if your party is going to win or not. It is not even a matter of analysis. As a politician, you will know – from what the people say, from listening carefully to your followers, from watching the body language of the international community, and by just generally looking beyond the façade. I don’t see us winning.”

“But the ruling party looks good to me or am I missing something?”

“Yes, you are,” he affirmed.

He then proceeded to offer a state by state analysis of the party, painting a picture of grievances over party primaries, the imposition of candidates by the party’s National Working Committee, a growing pattern of deceit, the ethnic and religious division between the North and the South, and how the PDP had lost many of its faithful members. He went on:

“I don’t deceive myself. Many of those Governors you see who are promising heaven and earth, you will see that when the time comes, they will not deliver. There are many aggrieved persons staying back in the party who will not lift a finger to help the party. The people who have been badly treated during the primaries, and they have been ignored, nobody is listening to them, they will claim to be working for the party, they may even collect money but from what I see, it is only if a miracle happens.”

“This is serious”, I said. “But sir, why don’t you take this up at the highest levels, since you are convinced that the enemies are within”.

“I won’t call them enemies. I think it is something even more serious. When people join political parties in Nigeria, they expect to gain something in return. They want to be rewarded. They may follow a leader but you have to settle them.  I think the party and the government have been overtaken by the spirit of error.”

“Spirit of error?”

“Yes, spirit of error. I have been around long enough to know when a political party begins to fail and when it begins to lose the people, and even its own members. That is where we are, everybody is just making mistakes.”

A few weeks later, I saw the same man, back-slapping at party campaigns, hailing the President and other party leaders. I was confused. Obviously, I thought the spirit of error had disappeared and there was renewed hope for the party. I called the man aside out of curiousity: “Sir, what happened? Is there hope now?”

“I am a politician,” he said. “Every politician is an optimist. It is not over until it is over.” I didn’t get a chance to ask him again about the spirit of error.  But his prediction turned out to be prophetic.

I believe that history is about to repeat itself in Nigerian politics. The ruling party, the All Progressives Congress is exactly where the Peoples Democratic Party was in 2014/2015. APC leaders are making exactly the same mistakes. The PDP which appears to have learnt some lessons, is suddenly a re-energized party and with the emergence of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as its standard bearer and Peter Obi as running mate, the same Nigerian people who thought the PDP was bad are now turning around to say the PDP should be forgiven.  All sleeping cells of the PDP across the country are suddenly awake. The umbrella is up again, the rope that tied the broom together is loosened.

The success of the PDP in the last few months does not necessarily owe itself to any ingenuous strategy on the part of the leaders of the party, however, but more to the many unforced errors, and own goals, by the ruling party and its government. The government at the centre has lost the plot. When these days, its foot-soldiers and spokespersons argue that members of the PDP are corrupt, the quick response by even the worst critics of the opposition party, PDP, is that they can’t see any difference between the APC and the PDP. Some even insist that the PDP is better. In three years, the APC has frittered away its goodwill.

The same international agencies and platforms that used to promote the administration have turned their back on it. Internally, the party has been overtaken by all kinds of little Hitlers who have no qualms imposing their will on others and trampling upon the letters of democracy.

This much was put on embarrassing display during the recent Gubernatorial elections in Osun, and the party’s primaries across the country, but notably in Lagos, Osun, Rivers, Delta, Imo, Zamfara, Ogun, Oyo and so on. In 2014, five Governors walked away from the PDP. In 2018, many leaders of the APC have also taken a walk. The PDP told its disaffected members – “good riddance.” The APC is also singing the same song in 2018.

In 2014/15, the APC’s selling point was President Muhammadu Buhari. He was promoted as a nationalist, man of integrity and a reformed democrat. He promised to fight corruption and the people hailed him. They were tired of the PDP. They wanted change.

Many believed in him as the messiah who will turn Nigeria around. Close to four years later, President Buhari is now at that point where most Nigerian leaders find themselves, covered by that standard, unscientific excuse: “the good man who is surrounded by bad people, bad advisers and bad politicians.”

The economy under his watch is slow and unproductive. In three months the country’s debt profile has jumped from N22. 4 triilion to $73.21  billion and the country wants to borrow more. His administration usually blames the previous administration. Many Nigerians no longer consider that a good strategy. They are similarly skeptical about the war against corruption.

This last point is well illustrated by the recent announcement of a plan to effectuate Executive Order No 6, under which the government proposes to place a travel ban on some yet unnamed and undisclosed Nigerians. Under the Order, the government seeks to stop persons indicted for corruption from travelling abroad, and to attach their properties. The argument by government spokespersons that they are relying on a judgement by Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Abuja Federal High Court has been exposed for what it is: a lie, a ruse, an attempt to misinterpret the court, knowing that the judge is not likely to engage in a market-place explanation of its own ruling. That was the same thing they did at the 2018 NBA Conference, when they said the rule of law could be violated and that the Supreme Court had given them the right to do so in the Asari Dokubo case. This is not good for the state of our law.

The Court was clear: the Attorney General of the Federation can apply Executive Order No 6, only through the instrumentality of a Court Order. By by-passing the Court, the Executive arm seeks to be the judge, the jury and the executioner in its own case. It usurps the roles of the judiciary and the legislature, and serves notice of a return to dictatorship. The Order as proposed has been correctly described as a reincarnation of the notorious Decree 2 of 1984 and a violation of Section 41 of the 1999 Constitution.

The newspapers published a list of 50 names but the Executive has since announced that it has not published any list, but the people concerned know themselves. How? The combined effect of this opaqueness is that the government has imposed a regime of fear on the people. A secret watch list which can be applied at will is an act of intimidation against the Nigerian people. It is reckless and unwise, because political intimidation is the worst, most brazen form of rigging! In an election season, it is scary. As a strategy, it makes no sense. At a time when the President and his party need the people’s votes, an open subversion of the rule of law is not a good method of votes solicitation.

Whoever chose this time to take Nigeria back to 1984, has only strengthened the resolve of those who are already whispering that a second term for President Buhari would translate into misery for Nigerians. Executive Order No. 6, rather than further advance the anti-corruption war, has merely promoted fear and intimidation as instruments of governance. This is one more major error by the Buhari government.  I may see the need to visit that senior politician again to give me the benefit of what old men see sitting down, which younger men may not see even when they are standing.