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May Day: Don’t Victimise Workers Over N30,000 Minimum Wage -PDP …Calls For Collaboration To Sack APC …As NCSU Tasks FG On Employment

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday said the N30,000 minimum wage should not be a justification for any form of bullying or victimisation against the workers by President Muhammadu Buhari’s government.
PDP made the remark while saluting all Nigerian workers on the occasion of the 2019 Workers Day, for their service towards the stability and development of our dear nation.
In a statement by its spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party also acknowledged the “patriotism and resilience of the workers, particularly for remaining steadfast to the course of nation building, in spite of the harsh economic conditions foisted on them by the overtly corrupt, incompetent and grossly insensitive President Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) administration.”
“It is rather unfortunate that Nigerian workers found themselves operating under an inept administration that does not appreciate their inputs; that has no tangible strategy for their much-needed capacity building and reward system, but only relishes in Greek gifts and official bullying.”
PDP cautioned against “such unproductive tendencies, adding that the N30,000 minimum wage should not be a justification for any form of bullying or victimization against the workers.
“The Buhari-led APC administration must elevate its discourse in understanding that workers welfare is not tied to a minimum wage but in creating conducive working environment, established capacity building and reward system as well as a secure and economically viable environment that enable the workers, and indeed all Nigerians to meet their social and economic needs without stress; as contained in the AtikuAbubakar Master Plan.
“It is however unfortunate that at the time Nigerian workers should have been getting ready to enjoy the benefits of a new order under Atiku Abubakar, the nation is being set back by the ills of electoral manipulations,” the party stated.
The PDP urged the “Nigerian workers not to be despondent, as the mandate, which was freely given to Atiku Abubakar, will be retrieved at the tribunal.”
The party called on the workers, as patriotic Nigerians, to continue to put in their best in serving the nation even as it wishes them a happy Workers Day.”
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called for collaboration of all political parties in the country to “rescue Nigeria from alleged misrule of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC)”.
The Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the party, Prince Diran Odeyemi, in a statement, yesterday, explained that three incidents that happened recently had shown that APC would never change its style of governance, which he claimed had brought Nigeria to her knees.
Odeyemi said the 10-day trip undertaken by President Muhammadu Buhari, without formally informing the National Assembly, goes beyond disregard for the legislative arm of government but remains gross violation of the Constitution.
He stated that Buhari and APC were hell-bent on foisting a leadership on the National Assembly so as to annex that arm of government, force a docile leadership on the parliamentarians and continue illegality that hallmarked the present administration since it came on board.
The PDP deputy spokesman also wondered why a party that had not justified a mandate it allegedly stole, would be talking about 2023 presidency, insisting that Nigerians must be ready to rescue the country and join hands with the PDP to stop APC and redirect the ship of the country to a safe harbour.
The statement reads, “Is it not sad that a party that stole mandate many Nigerians freely gave to the PDP, using all illegal means to perpetrate itself in office, even with its baggage of woes, misdeeds, missteps, jaundiced policies and wanton plundering of the nation’s treasury, would be talking about 2023 presidency in 2019?
“Has the party justified the temporary stay it is currently occupying let alone seeking another term in far away 2023? APC must have concluded that Nigerians are gullible.
“Only a president that has no regard for the governed would disregard for the law of the land and travel out of the country ‘on a private visit’ without delegating governance to the Vice President as stipulated in the constitution.
“We in PDP have demonstrated over and over again our readiness to lead the rescue mission that would safe Nigeria from her tormentors and safe once blossoming country made ‘poverty headquarters’ by APC. We are only calling on other parties to join hands with us to defeat our common enemies”, he added.
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of replacing electronic servers in its headquarters and state offices.
The party, which has gone to court to challenge the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari in the February 23 election, said INEC was replacing the servers to obliterate the actual presidential election results transmitted from the polling centres.
A statement by PDP’s spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, described the development as “completely reprehensible”, saying it further exposed INEC’s culpability in the alleged manipulation and rigging of the 2019 presidential election.
The statement reads: “The PDP has been well briefed on how INEC’s leadership and officials of the Buhari Presidency became jittery and resorted to the desperate measure, after they realised that the servers have information of Atiku Abubakar’s victory at the election.
“Our party also has details of how INEC leadership and the Presidency agents procured and detailed computer experts to the commission’s offices to switch the servers, mutilate vital information in the system and attempt to erase all trails of transmitted results to the main server.
In a related development, as workers in the country troop out in their numbers to celebrate this year’s May Day today, the Nigeria Civil Service Union (NCSU), Rivers State Council, has called on the Federal Government to put mechanism in place to create employment opportunities for Nigerians to stem the tide of criminality across the country.
The Rivers State Chairman of NCSU and State Auditor 1 of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Opuoyibo Lilly-West, who made the call in an exclusive interview with The Tide in Port Harcourt yesterday said in keeping with the theme of this year’s May Day celebration, ‘Another 100 Years Of Struggle for Jobs,’ the Federal Government should create employment opportunities for the teeming youths of the country, contending that the rate of criminality has increased tremendously in the country because of lack of jobs.
“We are using this opportunity to call on the Federal Government to ensure that jobs are created at all cost. When our youths are gainfully employed, nobody will think of criminality, “he said, adding that the May Day celebration would be anchored on social justice and job creation within the context of the country’s 100 years existence as a nation.
Lilly-West further indicated that the celebration, as it were, was expected to be a wake up call on government at all levels to begin to engage stakeholders, with a view to preparing the platform and process for the implementation of the N30,000 new minimum wage across the country, stressing that by virtue of the signing of the Minimum Wage Bill into law by President Muhammadu Buhari, state governments across the country were expected to automatically key in and begin the payment of the new wage to their workers.
He expressed delight that the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike would be at the venue of this year’s celebration as he did last year and celebrate with the workers, adding that the event was expected to be a colourful one, by virtue of the fact that the NLC in the state had just emerged from election of its new officers which he described as very peaceful.
Lilly-West disclosed that this year’s May Day celebration was expected to be his last as State Chairman of NCSU, having meritoriously served the union for a second term in office in that capacity.
He enjoined civil servants in the state to continue to support the Wike administration to achieve set goals, and expressed optimism that the governor would in turn do everything within his powers to improve the welfare of workers.

 

Donatus Ebi

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C’River Economy Crippled As Banks Join Striking Workers

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Even as the Cross River State Government had issued a ‘no work no pay directive to striking workers in the state’s civil service, it may of no effect as commercial banks have joined in solidarity to workers’ demand.
State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Benedict Ukpekpi, had in a bulletin at issued a call on all workers in the state to commence an indefinite strike.
He disclosed that its decision followed the state government’s failure to effect payment of the new minimum wage, four years promotion arrears, non- reinstatement of over 1,000 sacked workers in September last year and non-payment of gratuity, among other issues.
Consequently, most government offices were deserted as workers stayed at home on Monday and yesterday, thereby crippling government’s activities.
Worried by the development, Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Head of Service, Emmanuel Eke said, “The Head of Service has directed  all public servants to ignore the strike at the behest of NLC, saying it was illegal and ill-timed.

“Workers are reminded that the labour unions responsible for the affairs of the State Civil/Public Servants Joint Public Service Negotiating Council (JPSNC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) have disassociated themselves from the industrial action.
“The state government has implemented the new minimum wage and has commenced phased implementation of other agreements reached with labour, even amid the COVID-19 pandemic with the attendant economic challenges,” the circular reads.
It also charged workers to adhere strictly to government’s safety directives, insisting that the no work, no pay policy was still in force and any worker who failed to report for duty would not be paid.
It stressed that a team headed by the Head of Service would visit all ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) and workers who failed to report for work would be sanctioned in line

with the provisions of the Public Service Rule.
But the NLC had asked workers not be deterred by government’s threat and should continue to stay at home saying, “We believe our actions are just.
“How is it a crime that we asked that our dyeing retirees are paid their gratuity? How is it a crime that we asked for implementation of our promotions, which have been pending for about 10 years?
“Is it is a crime that we request reinstatement of workers removed from payroll illegally for 10 months or that we asked that workers employed for two years now be pay rolled? Are promotion letters now certificates of service?  He queried.
From Friday Nwagbara, Calabar
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COVID-19: Fear Grip Deltans, As Gov. Okowa, Wife Contract Virus

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As Corona virus cases climb steadily in Delta, the State Governor, Senator (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa, and wife, Edith, on Wednesday tested positive to COVID-19.
The development is sequel to tests conducted on them after a few days of self-isolation, which they went into on Friday after one of their daughters tested positive to the virus.
The two heads of the First Family in the state, according to a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, are stable and have commenced necessary treatment, and further isolation.
The governor thanked Deltans for their prayers for his family, and called for continued supplications for all patients undergoing treatment for the pandemic.
He assured that his administration would not relent in its efforts at combating the virus in the state, and urged the public to support the government in that regard by complying with prescribed protocols by Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
Okowa reiterated that “COVID-19 is real. The rate is increasing in our state and the virus is taking the lives of some of our people.
“I, therefore, again call on every Deltan to

observe the protocols on the virus while in public, to curb further spread of the virus, especially in the communities.’’
From Albert Ograka,  Asaba.
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Bayelsa: NDLEA, NAFDAC Partner Against Drug Abuse.

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Nigerian drug law enforcement agency, NDLEA, National agency for food,drugs administration and control, Nafdac in Bayelsa state have promised to partner against drug abuse.

This was revealed to The Tide in Yenagoa, on Tuesday, in separate interviews conducted on the sidelines of the 2020 international day on drug abuse and illicit trafficking.

Fielding questions from our correspondent,the Bayelsa state commander, NDLEA, Kupi Maulsei reiterated their resolve to get rid of illicit drugs in the state.

The commander mentioned that outside the use or possession of illicit drugs that is incriminating,the taking of these drugs in itself makes addicts act contrary to expected societal norms,as these drugs move hand in hand with other crimes.

Maulsei caution against the menace of drug abuse,maintaining that some of the reasons adduced by illicit drugs users as to why they take these drugs unknown to them are actually the negative effects associated with  drug abuse.

He called on employers to make remuneration of workers attractive just as he noted that some drug abusers the NDLEA has interacted with in the cause of carrying out their legal duties confided in the agency that they take these drugs in order to put in longer hours to work just to earn extra wages due to poor take home pay.

The drug law boss who also spoke on a trending odourless illicit drug called Arizona cannabis in the state warned that all illicit drugs are destructive, advising parents and guardians to watch the company their children and wards keep as peer group influence over the years has continued to play a higher negative role in the abuse of drugs.

“Arizona cannabis is a new odourless hard drug that is trending now.You won’t even know when a drug user is taking it because it doesn’t smell,but it’s very dangerous and destructive”, he said.

“I advice employers to increase wages for their employees. Some persons we’ve encountered confessed having been involved in illicit drugs taking so that they can work longer hours for additional income due to poor salaries”, he added.

Theme for this year’s world drug day according to the state NDLEA helmsman is “Better knowledge for better care”.

He noted that the state command has a rehabilitation centre for drug addicts,restating that the command between January-June 2020 confiscated 63kg of illicit drugs while 193kg were seized in 2019,just as he said the age bracket of hard drugs users in the state falls between 16-37 years.

In related development, the Bayelsa state coordinator,National agency for foods,drugs administration and control, Nafdac, Mr Joseph Edor has assured that his agency would continue to collaborate with the NDLEA and other sister agencies as well as well meaning individuals and corporate bodies to ensure that illicit and controlled drugs are not sold by unauthorized pharmacies and people in the state.

Edor hinted The Tide that as a result, Nafdac has been carrying out periodic checks on pharmacies and chemists to free the state of fake and contraband drugs.

The agency,according to Edor has also been carrying out checks and raids on food, drinks and beverages sale outlets across the state,saying that expired foods,drinks and beverages are as harmful and dangerous as illicit drugs.

By Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa.

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