By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja
The Organised Labour in Kogi has called on government to match words with actions in tackling insecurity in the country as it has reached a crescendo, capable of plunging the country into eternal crisis.
Comrade Gabriel Amari, Chairman of Kogi State chapter of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) made the call at the 2023 May Day (Workers’ Day) celebration at General Muhammadu Buhari Square, on Monday in Lokoja.
He said that time was running out and the clock ticking fast towards imminent danger as the hydra-headed insecurity monster had engulfed the country in all forms and all parts.
Amari observed, “ISWA/Boko Haram in the North East, banditry and kidnapping in the North West, Fulani herdsmen attacks mainly in Middle-Belt and other regions, IPOB secessionist killings in the South East, inter-tribal wars communal clashes, kidnapping for ransom all over Nigeria, the list is endless.
He said that Nigerian Workers and their families were most affected directly or indirectly in all insecurities and violence adding that prior to the reign of insecurity, Nigeria was a hub for foreign investments and a tourist destination.
“Sadly, most industries and factories have closed and relocated to neighbouring countries where their safety is guaranteed. The few remaining industries operate at minimal capacity leading to staff lay-offs and pay cuts”, he said.
In Kogi, the Labour leader said it was disheartening and painful to note that despite all the Governor Yahaya Bello’s efforts in the area of insecurity, there were still security infractions in the state.
“It is a fact that Kogi state is an agrarian society; farmers depend on cropping and other agricultural practices to earn a living. Therefore, the frequent attacks by herdsmen on farmers constitute a huge threat to the social and economic stability of the state.
On the forthcoming governorship election in the state, the Organised Labour urged politicians to guard against the danger of turning elections into “a must-win adventure.”
The NLC Chairman therefore called on politicians and their supporters to imbibe the culture of tolerance and respect for the rule of law and implored INEC to conduct a credible election in Kogi.
He said that the theme for this year’s celebration, “Workers’ Rights and Social Economic Justice”, was appropriate, considering the nation’s current Nigerian economic depression in the face of its transition into a new administration on 29th May, 2023.
Speaking earlier, Mr Daniel Alhassan who represented the Federal Ministry of Labour at the occasion, commended the Organised Labour in the state for adoption of collective bargaining which had culminated in industrial peace in the state.
He appealed to the Federal Government to look into the issue of autonomy of Local Governments and the state government to address the plight of Local Government workers and teachers on percentage salaries.
In her remarks, the State Head Of Civil Service (HOS), Mrs Hannah Odiyo said many of the issues raised by the NLC Chairman had already been addressed by the government.
Odiyo said revealed that Governor Yahaya Bello had been working hard to make life better for workers in the state adding the government had entered into partnership with a private estate developer to provide more owner-occupier houses for the workers.
A Human Rights activist, Mr Idris Miliki in his goodwill message urged labour to always engage leaders and duty bearers on leadership saying it was disheartening that in spite of the presence of Rivers Niger and Benue, there was hardly potable water to drink.
Miliki who is also the Executive Director, Conscience for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution (CHRCR) urged government should look into the welfare of workers beyond salary payments.
He also urged the government to tackle the issue of perennial flooding of the state by waters from the Rivers Niger and Benue to avert further hardship on the people.
The Nigerian Pilot reports that the May Day celebration also featured colorful march past by workers from affiliate bodies of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in the state. (Ends)
Group threatens to occupy govt house if Akeredolu fails to hand over to his Deputy
A group, under the aegis of Peoples Democratic Party Forever Initiative (PDPFI) has threatened to occupy government House if Governor Rotimi Akeredolu fails to handover to his Deputy, Lucky Aiyedatiwa without further delay
The group insisted that if the ailing governor fails to handover within 72 hours, they will occupy the government house on Monday.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja on Friday, the National Coordinator of the group, Obande Gideon declared that though, they will continue to pray for Akeredolu’s quick recovery as human, but his incapacitation should not affect governance.
The group said that there is a provision for a deputy who shall discharge his duties in an acting capacity as empowered by the law, adding that the All Progressives Congress (APC) is yet to provide the kind of leadership expected of it by Nigerians.
The group decried the ineptitude of APC government, adding that APC has failed to manage the political crisis in Ondo State.
PDPFI said: “The worst of it is the political vacuum in Ondo State where the APC led Federal government used in showcasing its ineptitude towards governance in the Country.
“It also happened in Taraba State when the late Gov Danbaba Suntai had an air crash, we resolved the crisis but the ruling APC has failed woefully in managing the political crisis in Ondo State. This is a sign that the APC led Federal government is insensitive to the plights of Nigerians.”
The group further pointed out that APC has abandoned the constitution to serve some personal interest.
It wondered why it is so difficult to call the State Assembly to order and ensure smooth working relationship between the Deputy Governor and the sick Governor’s family.
The group warned that they can not fold their hands and watch the nation been sank, adding that their action is to guide the ruling party.
The group said: “Once upon a time, our party, the peoples Democratic Party attempted to protest against the leadership vacuum in Ondo State but the security agencies prevented us. We are not giving up, we are resilience in propagating good governance at all time.
“It has become ridiculous and indeed a laughing stock the activities of non state actors, who display their overbearing influence on the management of affairs of Ondo State in view of their relationship with the ailing Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu.
“The Governor has been around in the Country but obviously not fit enough to manage the affairs of the State. The question is, since the Deputy Governor is not allowed to act, and the Governor has refused to resume, who is administering the State at the moment.
“We hereby call on Governor Olawarotimi Akeredolu to resume within 72hours or hand over power to his Deputy for effective management of Ondo State.
“We make bold to say that, if the Governor fail to resume or handover power to his Deputy within 72hours, we will have no option than to occupy Ondo State Government House to press home our demand, he stated.
Adamant NLC, TUC declare nationwide strike starting Monday midnight
Despite restraining order by the National Industrial Court (NIC) against the Nigeria Labour Congress, (NLC), and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), counterparts from embacking on strike, the unions have resolved to commence the planned nationwide strike from midnight today (Monday)
In a statement on Monday, the unions ordered workers nationwide to withdraw their services at midnight.
“In furtherance to the decision of the Joint National Executive Council (NEC) of NLC and TUC, all workers in Nigeria are hereby directed to withdraw their services effective 12:00 midnight today, 13th November 2023,” the unions said in a joint statement.
“Consequently, all affiliates and state councils of NLC/TUC are directed to issue circulars for maximum compliance and these circulars be made available to the National Secretariats or posted to the NEC and CWC Whatsapp Platforms.”
While assuring members of further updates about the nationwide strike, organised labour urged them to “remain assured of our commitment to Nigerian workers and people”.
The strike is part of labour’s moves to push for justice after the National President of the NLC Joe Ajaero was malhandled in Imo State last week. Ajaero and other NLC members were in the South-East state for a protest over “non-payment of salaries and pensions for 44 months and violation of other labour rights”.
However, the NLC chief was treated as a criminal in the state with the union accusing Imo state of arranging the attack to stifle protests over workers’ rights. Ajaero was badly hurt, bundled into a van and briefly detained, according to the union.
Following the incident, NLC and TUC threatened to go on a nationwide strike on November 14 if the government failed to meet its demands, which included the resignation of police officials.
“We are worried that it has become criminal for workers in Nigeria to gather for a peaceful protest,” they said.
Last week, the unions picketed the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja to press home their demands, leaving travellers stranded.
Recent strikes have had a mixed turnout. Last month the unions agreed to call off a planned strike in protest over rising living costs after the government offered a package of measures to cushion the impact of its economic reforms.
NUJ FCT Chairman buries beloved wife amid tears, wailing
The remains of Late Mrs. Anthonia Attah Osadebamwen, wife of the Chairman, Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Council, Comrade Osaretin Patrick Osadebamwen were laid to rest amid tears and wailing in the ancient city of Benin, Edo State on Wednesday.
Comrade Osaretin is also a senior correspondent of the Tribune Newspapers in the FCT.
Among those who sent condolence messages to the Chairman, NUJ, FCT Council included the Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory, Dr. Mariya Mahmoud.
In a statement she personally signed, Mahmoud stated that: “It is with a deep sense of loss and sadness that I convey to you my heartfelt condolence on the death of your amiable spouse, Mrs. Anthonia Attah Osadebamwen.
“I can’t imagine the pain you are going through, but in this time of sorrow, may you find peace and solace in the loving memories you shared with your dear wife.
“As you comprehend this profound loss, my heart goes out to you, and the rest of your family, and I wish you nothing but comfort and strength.
“On behalf of the Office of the Honourable Minister ot State, FCT, do accept my deepest sympathies for this great loss.
“May the Almighty GOD grant her eternal rest.”.
Speaking after the burial, Comrade Osaretin Patrick Osadebamwen maintained that the late Mrs. Osadebamwen was a virtuous and supportive wife whose demise was a great loss to the entire family.
He said: “My sweetheart, the 6th wonder of Igala-nation, my pride, my love, our love story is taking a new turn. One that would take a very long time to agitate my mind. It is about your sudden exit. You played me, my love. You sent me on an errand, and before I came back, you were on your way to heaven. Not my wailing could hold you back. So sweet was your heavenly sight you always talked about. You saw it, liked being there, and disregarded my call to return. And you were excited.
“Today, the beautiful moments seem to have all gone. Wait, not gone. Efeosa Eseosa is here, so is Omosefe Ufedoh and Osarhiemen Ojone. They are the products of our union. The blessings of God that added no sorrow. I love you, my darling.”.
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