As organised labour in the country is set for a major industrial strike over the N30,000 minimum wage, the Rivers State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), has called on both the federal and state governments to avert the strike by acceding to workers’ demand.
The NUJ warned of the dire consequences of the strike on the nation’s economy, saying “the country cannot afford to witness another round of industrial action at this period”.
The Council, in a statement signed by its Secretary, Ike Wigodo, said the N30,000 minimum wage “ is payable by all the states if they indeed prioritise the welfare of workers and cut down on cost of running government”.
The NUJ said the issue of minimum wage is constitutional and reviewable every five years, wondering why the state governors are foot dragging on it.
According to the statement, “the N30,000 requested by the organised labour is not even a living wage in a country where inflation is taking its debilitating tolls on workers.
“We challenge any governor in the country to name any member of his immediate family who can survive on N30,000 per month let alone N22,500 the governors are offering.
“It is only in Nigeria where a federal legislator goes home with a humongous amount of between N22million and N33million per month and yet, the governors are saying they can not pay a pittance of N30,000 to their workers. What a nauseating paradox”!
Meanwhile, the union has appealed to the State Government to consider the plight of civil servants in the state and approve the release of their promotions and fringe benefits.
The state council said it was unfortunate that members of the union who work in the state Ministry of Information and state-owned media houses had been stagnated for over three years without promotion, increment and other fringe benefits.
The council also called on the state government to upgrade all the state-owned media houses to enable them operate maximally and effectively.
The statement noted that the Rivers State Television (RSTV) and Rivers State Broadcasting Corporation (Radio Rivers) were still not digitalised, and therefore, called on the state government to ensure that the two stations were digitalised for efficient broadcasting.
The NUJ also called on the public, particularly politicians and security agencies, to always accord journalists due respect in the discharge of their duties.
The statement, however, advised journalists in the state to be security conscious at all times in view of the incessant attacks on members of the Press.
Traditional Ruler Empowers Widows, Others In Elele
A traditional ruler, Eze Okechukwu Okah, Eze Ali Omokpirikwu of Elele, in Ikwerre Local Government, Rivers State, has empowered widows, women and chiefs in his community.
Eze Okah, gave out five milion, five hundred thousand naira to over 5000 persons for empowerment.
The annual empowerment programme was held at the weekend in Elele, in his palace. The aim was to assist women and chiefs to cultivate their farms.
Speaking at the ceremony, the traditional ruler said the major aim of the empowerment was to make feeding in various homes easy.
”This annual empowerment programme was to enable our mothers return to their farms. It is the only way I can assist them feed their homes and society at large.
For now, this is what I can do to assist our precious mothers, widows and the less privileged in the society”, Eze Okah said.
He further promised to build a befitting market for Omokpirikwu women, as to improve the economic activities of the area.
“The market, if built would end transporting goods to other neighbouring communities for sale.
Consequently, I dedicate this empowerment programme to Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, because he is the pride of the state.
Governor Wike’s massive infrastructural and human capital development in the state deserves commendation”, he stated.
He used the forum to call on the governor to contest 2023 presidential race, saying that he has the capacity and support.
Earlier, an 89 year old woman, Edith Amadi, one of the beneficiaries expressed joy with tears, thanking Eze Okay for his benevolence, adding that since she lost her husband life have been so difficult.
The women leader of Ali Mama Omokpirikwu Chapter, Mrs Dorathy Ogbonna, Ezenne Justin Kinika, 79, and other beneficiaries’ thanked Eze Okah for the empowerment.
Why Ogoni Should Be Supported For Governor -VON
A politico-social group christened Vanguards of Ogoni Nation (VON), has canvassed for an Ogoni to be governor in 2023.
Chairman of the group, Favour Reuben, in a live radio programme monitored by The Tide in Port Harcourt said, Ogonis have potentials to lead the state.
He solicited for other ethnic groups to join in the quest for an Ogoni governor, noting that they cannot do it alone without support of other parts of the state.
In his words:” We are consulting and reaching out to other groups and we believe the Ogonis should be given a chance.”
Reuben dismissed the claim of riverine and upland dichotomy in the state guber race, stressing that current political developments have overtaken such position over the years.
Reuben, who is former chairman of Labour Party, also hinted that his party is ready to field any candidate from Ogoni in the party.
The former labour party chairman in the state urged all Ogonis to jettison their differences and ensure that they produced the governor in 2023.
He counselled against all forms of divisiveness and violence, emphasising the need for unity, compromise and sense of nationality among the Ogonis as a way of clinching the guber seat in next year.
By: Kevin Nengia
Soberekon Calls For Six Vice Presidential Slots For Nigeria
An elder statesman in Niger Delta, Rev Sokari Soberekon, has called for a provision for six vice presidential slog for the country. This is as he called for the restructuring of Nigeria before the 2023 general election.
In a memo titled “proposal for the restructuring of Nigeria for peace and stability, sustainability, rapid development and good governance”, made available to The Tide in Port Harcourt, the cleric said the political zones have been grossly neglected for years especially the villages that produce the resources that have sustained the country for 65 years, hence, the six vice presidential positions if put in place, would serve the interest of the autonomous geopolitical zones of the country.
Soberekon maintained that only restructuring will correct injustice and encourage healthy competition among the zones for rapid development since all the zones have resources that can be developed for growth and development.
Each of the six geopolitical zones include; south east, south west, south-south, north-east, north-central and north-west zones, he said, ”is naturally endowed with wonderful mineral resources that need be tapped and developed for rapid economic growth and development”
Soberekon in the same memo, warned against heeding to calls for the division of the country instead, he sued for “staying together as one indivisible entity”, as the best option for Nigeria, via restructuring.
Meanwhile, Soberekon has also called for the establishment of a petroleum and gas university in Oloibiri, Bayelsa State, as he invites President Mohammadu Buhari and other world leaders to visit Oloibiri to see the level of underdevelopment in the place.
Regretting the absence of a federal presence in the community, he said nothing less than the establishment of a petroleum and gas university would serve enough compensation to a people and land where crude oil was first discovered in commercial quantity in Nigeria.
By: Kalu Emmanuel
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