The Trade Union Con
gress (TUC) in Rivers State has threatened to embark on strike if security agencies in the state within the next two weeks fail to make positive and appreciable progress in prosecuting persons involved in the recent vandalisation of the secretariat of the Nigeria Civil Service Union (NCSU) in Port Harcourt.
The State Chairman of TUC, Comrade Chika Onuegbu, who issued the threat during a solidarity visit of the executives of the union at the NCSU secretariat in Port Harcourt last Thursday, said shutting down the state through an industrial action by the union would drive home the point that Rivers State is not a lawless state, as there are laid down rules of resolving grievances and disagreements within trade unions.
He noted that the vandalisation of the NCSU secretariat in the state had become one attack too many going by the recent destruction of NLC secretariat in the state by hoodlums.
The TUC boss said this time around, security agencies in the state, particularly the police must show that they are serious with the protection of the rights of workers, trade union secretariats and union leaders in the state, describing union leaders in the state as one of the most vibrant in the country.
According to him, “if trade union leaders are not safe in their secretariats to operate, then, we can not say that our workers are safe.”
While expressing dismay and shock over vandalisation of the NCSU secretariat, the TUC boss, however, thanked the executives of the union for not embarking on a vengeance mission, and urged the NCSU leaders and members to continue to be patient and law-abiding.
He also urged the union leaders to remain resolute in bringing the perpetrators of the criminal act to book, adding that “tomorrow, we don’t know which trade union secretariat will be vandalised and which union leader will be assaulted, insisting that, “we cannot continue to swallow these things and pretend that all is well”. According to him, the first responsibility of any organisation is to protect itself.
In his remarks, the Rivers State Chairman of NCSU, Comrade O. T. Lilly-West thanked the TUC executives for their demonstration of love and lamented that it was a tragedy for persons who have committed crimes to go scot-free.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Civil Service Union (NCSU), Rivers State council, has commended the State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike for keeping faith with civil servants in the state and for the payment of outstanding salaries owed by the immediate past administration including pensions to retirees.
The union made the commendation in a statement signed by its state Chairman, Comrade O.T. Lilly-West and the Secretary, Comrade Dan Otakpo.
PHED Intensifies Fault Clearing Amidst Rising Threats By Afam Youths
The management of Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Plc., PHED, says it has commenced intensive fault clearing in its franchise area, particularly in Rivers State amidst rising threats by Afam youths.
In a statement released to the media, The PHED management said the move became imperative as the company intend to keep its commitment to customers notwithstanding the prevailing restriction in movement that may impede fault clearing at odd hours, especially in Rivers State.
The PHED management declared that, “We therefore wish to use this medium to publicly discountenance the fake story clogging the media space about PHED destroying its own equipment.
Contrary to the report, the aforementioned community is known for its violence and intimidation towards PHED staff”.
The statement pointed out that the habitual hostility towards the staff of the company informed management’s decision to engage security operatives in its drive to clear faults on the lines over the weekend.
It added that the hostilities of Afam Community and the eventual shut down of PHED business operations on three occasions: January 2017, January 2018 and August 2020, amidst threats of bodily harm to our staff, were widely reported through different media
The PHED management, however, frowned at such destructions and threats to their operations, stating that the company will not hesitate to invoke the law to bring perpetrators to book.
The company advised its esteemed customers to use the 24/7 call centre on 070022557433 and verify social media handles @PHEDconnect to channel their specific complaint, and encourage its customers to partner with PHED by paying their bills promptly to enable the company deliver on its promises.
Police Move Against Use Of Unauthorised SPY Number Plates In Rivers
The Police have started the enforcement of the ban on use of SPY number plates by unauthorised persons in Rivers State.
They have also suspended the issuance of permits to use tinted glasses in vehicles.
Inspector-General of Police, Alkali Usman, directed the moves to check rising wave of insecurity across the country.
Commissioner of Police in Rivers State, Mr Eboka Friday, directed the enforcement in the state, according to a statement issued in Port Harcourt yesterday by the command’s spokesman, SP Nnamdi Omoni.
Omoni stated that CP Friday ordered strict compliance with the directive by the command’s heads of tactical units, divisional police officers and heads of departments.
“The command has started the retrieval of spy plate numbers from unauthorized users as well as suspended the issuance of new tinted glass permits.
“Members of the public, particularly residents of the state are expected to immediately re-adjust and comply with the directives, as machinery has been put in place to ensure total compliance.
“To this end, officers have been deployed in this regard, and they will be going round to monitor compliance,’’ he stated.
Omoni quoted CP Friday as saying, however, that vehicles with permits issued before the IGP’s directive remained in the clear and could continue to enjoy their permits.
According to him, the issuance of new permits is currently halted pending the release of a new protocol that will regulate permits in accordance with extant law.
He added that the commissioner of police said: “officers are sternly warned to be courteous, polite and professional as well as by all means necessary, avoid acts inimical to the police force.
“Officers are expected to conduct themselves professionally in the discharge of this all-important national assignment aimed at strengthening our internal security.’’
Monarch Seeks Policy To Checkmate Illegal Mineral Extraction
The Chairman, Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers, and the Amanyanabo of Opobo, King Dandeson Douglas Jaja, has called on the Federal Government to promulgate a policy that would checkmate illegal extraction of resources in the North and South of the country.
Jaja made the call while playing host to the participants of the Senior Executive Course 43, of the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) during an interactive session at the council’s auditorium in Port Harcourt recently.
The monarch opined that a general policy to checkmate the illegal extraction of mineral resources in the country should be put in place, rather than prohibiting those in the South and allowing those in the Northern part of the country without check.
According to him, any society that fails to ensure equity and fairness amongst its citizens is bound to face agitations and threat of all kinds, adding that what is good for the goose is good for the gander.
The monarch noted that before the amalgamation of Southern and Northern Protectorates into the Nigerian nation, animal herding had been a popular farming system without any form of hostility, pointing out that it is unfortunate that herders now abandon their bush tracks through which they bred their animals in the past and prefer to go through farmlands.
He therefore urged the herders to stick to the peaceful practices of the past so that the citizens of the country would continue to live together in peace as one people.
He frowned at frantic efforts being made by some disgruntled elements to destroy the peace of the nation, stressing that irrespective of the many man-related problems currently plaguing the nation, all hands must be on deck for a friendly dialogue that would help the people of this great country to forge ahead than killing and destroying lives and property.
Jaja called on the participants to help persuade the management of multi-national oil companies to consider creating job opportunities for the teeming youths of Rivers State, regretting that the companies, instead of carrying out their corporate social responsibilities to their host communities, create factions among the youths to foment trouble in the communities.
In his speech, the leader of the delegation, who is also the Director of Staff, Prof Fatai Aramu, said the group decided to visit the council in order to tap from the wealth of experience of the traditional rulers who are the custodian of the traditions and customs of the people in order to enhance policy and programme implementation in Nigeria, pointing out that Rivers State was chosen because of its outstanding performance in policy programme and project execution.
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