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Normalcy Returns To Kaduna As NLC Suspends Strike

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Normalcy has returned to Kaduna after the Nigerian Labour Union (NLC) called off its five-day warning strike to protest the sack of over 4,000 workers by the state government.
Banks, schools, markets, and other businesses, including public offices, have been open for business.
Also, petrol stations and cooking gas companies which were hitherto closed due to the strike have been open with long queues as motorists and residents struggle to buy the products.
Electricity was also restored by the Transmission Companies of Nigeria and power has been restored to some parts of the state by the Kaduna Electric Distribution Company.
However, other areas like Sabon Tasha, Unguwan Boro, Mahuta, Lagos Streets among other areas of the metropolis are still waiting for the Kaduna Electric to restore supply as at the time of filing this report.
The NLC on Monday begun the five-day warning strike, a development that paralysed activities in the state, with governance and business owners counting huge economic losses.
But on the third day, the President of NLC, Mr Ayuba Wabba announced the suspension of the strike to pave way for negotiation as requested by the Federal Government.
“We will honour the meeting scheduled for tomorrow at 11 a.m. The labour leaders in Kaduna will also be present because they have the substance of the issues in the state.
“The National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the NLC would be held at the Labour House in Abuja on May 21, to review the warning action that was prosecuted in Kaduna state and determine further action”.
Residents of the state have commended the federal government for intervening to end the disagreement between the labour unions and the state government.
One of them, Mrs Kubai Philip, who said she lost all perishable and other food items in the freezer due to power blackout, expressed joy that the strike was called off.
“Most of us incurred huge losses but thanks to the federal government intervention, our lives have been restored.
“Now that the strike has been called off, we pray the warring parties will reach a resolution because we will not want another strike again,” she said.
Another resident, Mr Ishaya Ayuba, noted that dialogue was the best option in addressing labour disputes, pointing that the masses suffer the most during strike action.
The NLC President, Ayuba Wabba was to honour the invitation of the Federal Government on Thursday to mediate in the dispute.
Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige waded into the ongoing face-off between the Kaduna State government and labour unions by inviting both parties to a reconciliation meeting.
The meeting scheduled to hold at the Ministry of Labour and Employment in the Federal Secretariat, Abuja is to be attended by Gov. Nasir El Rufai and top officials of the State as well Wabba and top NLC leaders.

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Senators Fault Buhari’s Planned Farm Settlements

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Some senators have expressed concerns over plans by the regime of President. Muhammadu Buhari, to establish farm settlements in each of the 108 senatorial districts in Nigeria.
They noted that any arrangement to acquire land by the Federal Government at the moment without giving details of what it would be used for, might face stiff resistance from various communities.
The President had last month, directed the National Agricultural Land Development Authority to set up the integrated farm estates in 108 senatorial districts nationwide.
Already, the policy has been greeted with criticisms from the leadership of the various ethnic groups in the middle belt, and southern part of the country, describing it as an attempt in disguise, to create grazing areas for cattle.
The Senator representing Edo South Senatorial District, Matthew Urhoghide, said the Federal Government should give details of the project before approaching state governments for land allocation.
He said, “We are in the Senate to represent our people. I know what my people want
“What we quarrel against is open grazing; we are not against ranching. We are not saying that a Fulani man that has a herd of cattle cannot come to the South to do the business of ranching but he cannot come to carry out open grazing.
“Grazing has two effects. It leads to wanton destruction of farmland. You cannot use animal husbandry to destroy crop farming. There are also criminal cases associated with it including murder.
“If the Federal Government is coming to get land in my state for ranching, it is okay because we need beef, which would be richer, when it is from the ranching system.
“However, the government should make its intention very clear on the policy to avoid major clashes and crisis.”
Similarly, Senator Abba Moro, representing Benue South in the red chamber said government could make arrangements for herders to do the business of ranching but not at the  expense of the farmers.
He advised the Federal Government to go to the drawing board and come up with a modern arrangement to make ranching the way to go.
He said, “When government policies are viewed with suspicion, when citizens lack trust in government policies, then something is wrong.
“Until we address the root causes of conflicts between herders and farmers, and genuinely come out with the right way to go through dialogue, any policy that is thrown at the citizens will be looked at with suspicion which would cause some level of tension.

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Senator Wants Improved Network For Results Transmission

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The Senate Chief Whip, Sen. Orji Kalu, says  Nigeria requires 95 per cent of national network coverage to enable electronic transmission of election results in the country.
Kalu said this in an interview with The Tide source yesterday in Abuja.
Recall that 52 senators on July 15 voted against electronic transmission of results in the forthcoming general election while 28 voted for and 28 absentees.
The senators insisted that the Independent National Electoral Commission should be compelled to seek clearance from Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) while the National Assembly would have to approve the verdict of NCC.
Kalu, insisted the current network coverage was inadequate.
“I have never been against transmission of results , I only said we don’t have adequate coverage where we live,this is the issue.
“We have coverage, but it is not adequate.
‘Like Abia North Senatorial District where I come from, there is no adequate coverage, may be 43 per cent coverage, so how are we going to do that.
“ I believe in electronic transmission,but I want to quickly urge the NCC to deploy their technology to ensure wider coverage; I believe in that process because it is transparent.
“ I don’t want to listen to officials who want to buy equipment and make commissions, I am telling myself the truth, if we even have a coverage of 95 per cent it will be okay, but we have below 50 per cent in the entire country.
“I am not talking about my constituency.
“ It wasn’t a party decision to vote against e transmission and not a clique decision, it was out of my conscience.
“ I can only do what I will do that will benefit all Nigerians,” Kalu said.

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Igbo Stakeholders Decry Absence Of S’East Govs At Forum

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The absence of four Governors of the South-East in the Southern Governors’ Forum meeting held last Thursday in Enugu has been strongly condemned by members of the Concerned Igbo Stake-holders Forum (CISF). 
The leader of the group, Mr Chukwuma Okenwa told newsmen in Enugu that there was no justifiable reason that would be enough for these governors to be absent in a meeting of such magnitude.
According to him, it was wrong particularly coming at a time when the region is battling socio-economic and security concerns stemming from the sit-at-home order issued by the proscribed separatist group, Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
His words: “The absence of the Governors of Abia, Ebonyi, Imo and Anambra States leaves a lot to question the commitment of these governors to the growth and advancement of the South-East in missing a crucial meeting held within their geopolitical zone.
He further described as very disturbing the conspicuous absence of the Anambra Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, or a representative from the state at the meeting. 
Okenwa said that the body language of the South-East governors in recent times leaves no one to doubt that these governors have magnified their interest above that of the region and Ndi-Igbo in general.
“Their gaze at the forthcoming elections in 2023 is becoming an unbearable distraction for them in delivering their mandate to the people,” he also lamented.
The group, therefore beckoned on Ndi-Igbo, regardless of political party affiliation, to unite and formidably negotiate a favourable space in the political scheme of things.
According to him, when this is done, we will ensure an unhindered growth and development of all Igbos, he added.

By: Canice Amadi, Enugu

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