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New minimum wage: What will happen to Governors, political party that refuses to pay N30,000 – NLC

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The president of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, has said that Governors who feel they cannot pay the N30,000 minimum wage should resign.

He said such Governors are not worthy of holding public offices, adding that the consequences of workers retrenchment will be too grievous for any political office holder.

Speaking in an interview with Tribune, Wabba stated that Governors should also subject their humongous salaries and allowances since they want to enslave Nigerian workers.

The Labour leader said that workers have been educated to vote out any individual or political party that refuses to pay the new minimum wage.

He said, ‘Since a few of them are bent on enslaving Nigerian workers with peanuts as salaries, they must subject their humongous salaries and allowances, which available facts and figures have shown are among the highest in the world, pro rata with the minimum wage they want to force down the throats of Nigerian workers.

“Yes, we have insisted that the governors should go to their respective states and inform workers and their families of their individual positions on the new national minimum wage of N30,000.

“They should tell their workers and their families that they cannot afford N30,000 as their monthly salaries.

“Alhaji Yari should desist from using the platform of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum to seek political relevance.

“His tactics of blackmail against workers are already timeworn and the stench is already offensive.

“The leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress and Organised Labour urge workers to remain steadfast and firm on our rights to decent wages and improved living conditions. To the oppressors, we have only one answer for you – we will never sleep on our rights.

“We are now reiterating our directive to Nigerian workers to vote out any politician or political party that refuses to pay the new national minimum wage of N30,000.

“We shall continue to consolidate our efforts to strengthen already existing platforms and structures to give teeth to our resolve to vote out anti-labour governors and other politicians in the forthcoming 2019 general election.

“This is why as Organised Labour and Nigerian workers, we have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to be wary of some people, especially in the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, who, because for their selfish and personal reasons, are presenting him as an anti-worker president and orchestrating anti-Buhari sentiments in the populace.

“We have also called on him to speedily transmit the bill on the National Minimum Wage to the National Assembly for appropriate amendment and implementation.

“Even after the submission of the report, you heard people like [Governor Nasir] el-Rufai saying that states should pay what they could afford.

“But he has forgotten that in the case of the political elites, it is not what they can afford that they are paying to themselves.

“In fact, they are paying higher than what is prescribed by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission.

“Most of them are paying higher than what the commission prescribed for political officeholders. Their severance package is so humongous; it is not contained in the provision of the commission.

“We will also follow up on this argument. It is a national minimum wage, not a state minimum wage. It is under the Exclusive List of the constitution and as such, no state can go outside of it to pay ridiculous a salary.

“It will be a violation of the constitution and we will be ready to take them up. Any governor that cannot abide by the constitution should step aside.

“If you can’t conform to the constitution, you should not hold a public office. Holding a public office suggests that you have sworn to uphold the constitution, so if you violate the constitution, you are not worthy to hold that public office.

“The threat by the governor of Zamfara State that the governors would sack workers before they can pay N30,000 national minimum wage cannot be used to intimidate labour. Threat to sack workers is not new in the struggle for a review of the national minimum wage in Nigeria.

“However, they must know that the consequences of workers retrenchment are too grievous for any political officeholder truly elected by the people to contemplate.

“In any case, we have made it known that the Governors Forum is illegal. The 1999 Constitution (as amended) only recognises individual states in the Collective Bargaining Process and not Nigeria Governors Forum.”

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BREAKING: Arrested PDP thugs moved to Police Headquarters Abuja

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Some hoodlums who were hired by PDP chieftains to unleash mayhem during last Saturday botched Presidential and National Assembly elections have been moved to the Police Headquarters in Abuja for interrogation.

This is as the sponsors of the violence may have gone underground to evade Police arrest even as the Police have vowed to redouble their efforts and track them down and arrest them to explain their roles in the burning of vehicles which conveyed electoral officials and materials.

Top Police sources said three key members of the Governor Udom Emmanuel administration in Akwa Ibom State, have been linked to the mayhem that was visited on the people of Obot Akara Local Government Area of the state on the eve of the rescheduled presidential election.

According to confessional statements made to the Police by some of the  thugs at the Police Area Command in Ikot Ekpene on Saturday, the hoodlums have indicted three top officials who are wanted to shed more light on their roles in sponsoring militants.

The mayhem, which left four people dead and vehicles completely burnt on the eve of the rescheduled presidential election in the council was carried out by hoodlums imported into the state by three top officials who are indigenes of the senatorial district.

The Police in Akwa Ibom state had arrested over 400 thugs and militants imported into the state by chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party to assist them in ballot box snatching and intimidation of voters.

Parading the suspects at the Police Area Command in Ikot Ekpene, a Police man who pleaded not to be named, disclosed to newsmen that the hoodlums were rounded up at Nto Ndang, Obot Akara after they got hint of their activities at the INEC office.

The Inspector General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu is said to have ordered a crack down on perpetrators of election violence and their sponsors. We gathered that those arrested with arms would be treated as terrorists and would be eventually arraigned in court.

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NEWS

House Okays N30,000 as New Minimum Wage

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The House of Representatives has finally approved N30, 000 as the New national Minimum Wage.

President Muhammadu Buhari had sent a N27, 000 minimum wage bill to the National Assembly last week Thursday.

But the lawmakers adopted the report by the ad-hoc committee set up on the New Minimum Wage Bill which held a public hearing Monday and presented the report to the National Assembly.

The bill has already been passed for the third reading.

The lawmakers were unanimously in support of the adoption of the N30, 000 recommendation by the committee, which labour leaders insisted was approved by the tripartite committee set up by the President.

Details later….

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Governors express concern over increase in arms ahead of elections

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The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has expressed concerns over the proliferation of arms and ammunition in the country ahead of the February 16 general election.

The Chairman of the forum and governor of Zamfara state, Abdul’aziz Yari, said the governors were also alarmed over the spate of kidnapping across the country.

Addressing journalists at the end of an emergency meeting held with the Office of the National Security Adviser and head of security agencies on Tuesday in Abuja, Yari said the governors have recommended a stronger collaboration and intelligence sharing amongst security agencies to ensure that lives and properties are protected.

According to him, the governors have further resolved to collaborate with security agencies to ensure that the elections are free, fair and credible.

He said: “Governors as major stakeholders, they seek our cooperation so that their job would be easier. We promised to do our best and ensure the election is free and credible. Not only that, we came through the ballot box and we are going through the same process to seek reelection and make sure that the election is free and is commended by the international community as they did in 2015.”

Yari further absolved the presidency of the allegation that the present administration was planning to rig the election saying the president has promised that he is not taking the “election in any way as do or die”.

While speaking, the Acting Inspector General of Police (IGP), Muhammed Adamu reassured Nigerians of a violence-free poll.

He assured further that the security agencies are ready for the election and would ensure that they mop up illegal arms in the system while saying the neutrality of the police shouldn’t be in doubt.

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Atiku writes UK, US others over Onnoghen’s suspension

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The opposition People’s Democratic Party presidential Candidate and former Vice president of Nigeria Atiku Abubakar has petitioned the United Kingdom, United State of America, France and Germany over the suspension of Walter Onnoghen as Nigeria’s chief justice.

“I have chosen to write this letter to Your Excellency for the enviable role that your country plays as champion of Democracy and the Rule of Law,” Abubakar wrote in the letter on Tuesday.

“As a Presidential Candidate in the forthcoming General Elections that will be conducted and supervised by the Government of President Muhammadu Buhari.”

“I feel the urgent need to share with you some of these key violations of the provisions of our constitution and to demand that you pile pressure on the Federal Government to desist from these violations and ensure a level playing field for the General Elections that are only a couple of weeks away.

Nigeria president Muhammadu Buhari on Friday swore in Ibrahim Tanko Muhammed as the new acting Chief Justice of Nigeria to replace embattled Onnoghen.

His swearing-in followed Onnoghen’s suspension by the president, who acted based on an order by the Code of Conduct Tribunal.

Onnoghen is facing a six-count charge of non-declaration of assets when he became the chief justice of Nigeria. Buhari said the allegations against Onnoghen were “grievous enough”.

Onnoghen’s suspension sparked reactions from Nigerians including the U.S. and Uk government

Uk noted that the “timing of this action, so close to national elections, gives cause for concern.”

“It risks affecting both domestic and international perceptions on the credibility of the forthcoming elections,” the statement read.

“We, along with other members of the international community, are following developments closely,” the statement read.

While the United State, on the other hand, said it “is deeply concerned by the impact of the executive branch’s decision to suspend and replace the Chief Justice and head of the judicial branch without the support of the legislative branch on the eve of national and state elections.”

“We note widespread Nigerian criticism that this decision is unconstitutional and that it undermines the independence of the judicial branch. That undercuts the stated determination of the government, candidates, and political party leaders to ensure that the elections proceed in a way that is free, fair, transparent, and peaceful.”

The Nigerian government said the reactions of the two countries were hasty.

The government said it would welcome partnerships for successful 2019 general elections but would not condone unfair interference in matters that are specifically internal.

“Nigeria reserves the right to be insulated from suggestions and or interference with respect to wholly internal affairs and commends international laws, customs and norms that mandate and require nations and the comity to respect this prerogative to all,”  presidential spokesman Garba Shehu said in a statement on Monday.

“Nigeria is confident of its electoral processes and her preparation for the imminent elections and the federal government has supported the independent electoral umpire in both its independence and resources needed to accomplish our desire and insistence on free and fair elections,” he added

But the former Vice president in his letter insisted that the “attempt to muscle out the Chief Justice of Nigeria using phoney charges at a time when His Lordship was primed to play a central role in the fast-approaching nationwide electoral process represents the boldest steps in the march to undermine our democracy,”

“This is undoubtedly an anti-democratic act which my political Party and I reject without reservation and for which I urge Your Excellency to condemn unequivocally,” he added

Abubakar affirmed that the “brazen authoritarian and imperious stride of the President Buhari is the latest action in a series of carefully planned onslaught on our nation’s hard-earned democracy by an extremely power hungry and anxious President and the cabal that feeds fat around him as February 16, 2019, draws nearer.”

Nigerians will be heading to poll less than a month from now to vote in a new president.

Buhari is seeking re-election with Abubakar mounting a strong challenge.

Abubakar, a former vice president during the Olusegun Obasanjo administration from 1999 till 2007, is contesting the office of the president for the fourth time.

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