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Bayelsa Urges Unions To Shelve Planned Strike

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The Bayelsa State Government has appealed to labour unions in the state-owned tertiary institutions not to embark on their planned strike, saying efforts are underway to address their demands.
The Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, made the appeal at a meeting with the representatives of the various unions under the aegis of the Higher Institutions Joint Action Committee (HIJAC) in Government House, Yenagoa.
Senator Ewhrudjakpo pointed out that since the committee set up by the State Government to look into their demands had not completed its assignment, it would not be necessary for the Unions to go on strike.
He noted that the industrial action would not only adversely affect the education system of the state, but also do a disservice to members of the Unions if they go ahead to down tools at a time frantic efforts were being made to settle their grievances.
According to the deputy Governor, government had already agreed to implement the new Minimum Wage for workers in the state tertiary institutions.
He, therefore, assured the labour leaders that the implementation would commence as soon as the right figures and computations were made available by the committee handling the assignment.
Senator Ewhrudjakpo equally promised that the State Government would introduce a new template for paying yearly subventions to the tertiary institutions.
“I want to appeal to you to shelve your planned strike. You need to tell your people there are procedures to take for striking. I want you to explain to your members there is still collective bargaining and we are at the verge of resolving the issues.
“We have not declared that our talks had broken down; if they had broken down, you would know as enlightened people. Tell them they should not go on strike because it will not help us. The harm strikes have done to our society far outweighs any benefit one may get from it. We will take the Minimum Wage implementation first before the promotion arrears. The implementation must be across board and the Unions should be fully involved in the implementation process.
“From our deliberations here, government has agreed in principle to implement the new Minimum Wage for your members in the state owned tertiary institutions which have not benefited from the implementation. However, a committee has been set up to get the appropriate salary structure from the polytechnics in our neighbouring states. As it stands now, the polytechnics salary structure is not available”, he said.
Earlier in his presentation, the Chairman of HIJAC, Comrade Gbenizibe Amachree, listed the union demands to include implementation of the new Minimum Wage, re-instatement of their wrongfully disengaged members, implementation of promotions and payment of promotion arrears to members.
The Union also called on government to separate the subventions from salaries being paid to the staff of tertiary institutions, insisting that such subventions should rather be channelled to infrastructural development of the schools.
Highpoint of the meeting was the setting up of committees including the one chaired by the Chairman, Bayelsa State House of Assembly Committee on Labour Matters, Hon. EbiuwouKoku-Obiyai.
The Committee, which is mandated to look into the alleged wrongful disengagement of workers, has the Permanent Secretary, General Services, Mr Anthony Ikhobo as Secretary.
While the Commissioner for Education, Dr Gentle Emelah, his labour counterpart, Hon. Stanley Braboke and members of HIJAC including Mr Wilcox Fakidoma, Mr Alex Toun-aregha, and MrEgisi Isaac are to serve as members.
All the committees are expected to submit their reports within two weeks to enable government ascertain their recommendations with a view to implementing them expeditiously.

By: AriweraIbibo-Howells, Yenagoa

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Niger Delta

Rivers Police Burst Car Snatching Syndicate

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The Rivers State Police Command says it has arrested an alleged member of car theft syndicate who specialises in robbing bolt drivers in the state and its environs.
In a press statement in Port Harcourt, the state capital, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Nnamdi Omoni said that operatives of Octopus Strike Force on September 15, 2021, at about 1750hrs, arrested one Nnali Osita, a 21-year-old member of a notorious car snatching syndicate that specialises in robbing Bolt/Uberdrivers in the state.
The statement said, that “while solving a case of car snatching reported by one Yusuf Ogunshola ‘m’, a Bolt driver who was hired from Effurun in Delta State to Port Harcourt, only to be taken to Abel Jumbo Street in Mile 2,Diobu, Port Harcourt, where two other members were already waiting”.
The statement further stated that the Bolt driver,on arrival, was attacked at gunpoint and dispossessed of his personal belongings, including withdrawing the sum of N87,000 from his bank account, adding that he was thereafter locked in a toilet belonging to a new generation church on the same street.
“In the course of our investigation, operatives got some clues which ultimately led them to Gambia Street in Diobu, where they had perfected plans to sell the said car. However, on sighting the police, they abandoned the car, and took to flight but the suspect; Nnali Osita was not lucky, as he was arrested, while others escaped.
“Meanwhile, efforts have been intensified to ensure that the fleeing gang members are arrested and their operational weapons recovered.
“The Commissioner of Police, Friday Eboka has vowed to come hard on all miscreants in the state, and is hereby advising all Bolt/Uber or anybody in the transportation business to be circumspect and shun all mouth-watering offers; being the antics deployed by these criminals to attack their victims.” the statement added.

By: Akujobi Amadi

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Niger Delta

Federal Varsity Admits 2,423 Students,Holds 10th Matriculation

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The Federal University, Otuoke in Bayelsa State has admitted new 2,423 students for its 2021/2022 academic session.
This was made known to newsmen at the weekend during the 10th matriculation ceremony of the institution.
The Tide learnt that the Federal University, Otuoke was amongst the 12 universities established during the former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.
In his matriculation speech, the institution’s Vice Chancellor, Prof Teddy Charles Adias cautioned the matriculants against engaging in nefarious activities as students.
He charged students to be serious with their academics, noting that the institution is described as a ‘Family University, just as he added that the school has more than ever become a grooming ground for intellectuals.
“Students of this university are groomed and trained in both intellectual and in character. You’re here to learn, but that you’ve done your matriculation doesn’t mean it’s the end.
“As students members of this family university, you should be Ambassadors of this institution wherever you find yourselves in both learning and character”, he said.
“No nation can develop without a good and competitive intellectual base,. And that is why this Family University was set up to amongst others be part of sister institutions that would build and develop the needed intellectual capacities for our development as a nation”, he added.
The Tide reports that the university admitted freshers into all of its six existing Faculties of Management Sciences, Humanities, Social Sciences, Sciences as well as Engineering and Education.
“A total of 5,692 persons applied for admission for the session, but out of these, a total of 2,423 were selected and granted admission, after going through all the required academic processes needed as qualifications for admission as students members of the university”, the Vice Chancellor said.

By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa

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Niger Delta

Police Move To Secure Abducted Doctor, Ex-Senator’s Release

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The Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Zone 6, Usman Gomna, has ordered investigation into the abduction of a medical doctor, Nsidibe Umana and former-Akwa Ibom senator, Nelson Effiong.
The AIG’s order is coming even as the command said that it had put in place a crack team to trail the abductors of the two victims.
Nelson Effiong, a former senator representing Akwa Ibom South Senatorial district, was abducted on Sunday, September 5, 2021 while relaxing in his sit-out along Oron Road; while the medical doctor was abducted in his compound in Orukaman Local Government Area of the state on Tuesday, September 14, 2021.
The AIG gave the charge last Friday while responding to a request by the chairman of the state chapter of the Nigeria Medical Association, Dr. Ime Sylvester Udoh, during a meeting with security stakeholders in the state.
Dr. Udoh had raised the alarm over the abduction of the medical doctor and had also called on the Police to rescue the victim alive.
Responding, the AIG said, “Before I came here, I have directed the CP of the command, Andrew Amiengheme, to intensify efforts to see how he can be rescued.”
He reiterated the commitment of the zone in tackling crime and criminality and called on stakeholders to continue to cooperate with the Police by revealing useful information that could help in tackling the crime rate in the states.
Speaking further on the kidnapped medical doctor, the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner of Police, Andrew Amiengheme, said a manhunt had already been put in place to effect the release of the doctor.
“Our men are in the field to ensure the release of that young doctor. Unfortunately, the abductors are asking for N20m and where will the family get that kind of money?
“That is part of the societal problems, and we are asking the stakeholders to quickly expose and not to give them a cover,” Amiengheme said.
On the abduction of the ex-senator, the CP said, “We’re very much on top of the situation. Care must be taken to protect his life in the first instance.
“We must not do anything that will jeopardise his life, a lot has been done, we are observing some restraints so that he is not killed and his perpetrators brought to book.”

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