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Disabled Persons Protest Lack Of Empowerment

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Barely a week after the Delta State Government set aside five percent of vacancies in recruitment exercise for disabled persons, a group under the aegis of Delta State Physically Challenged in Oil and Gas Producing Communities has protested over lack of empowerment from the government.

Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, as part of his administration’s commitment to the welfare of persons in that category has at the 2009 International Day of Persons with Disabilities in Asaba announced that the Delta State Government has reserved five percent of vacancies in any recruitment exercise into the state’s public service for qualified disabled persons.

The people from Warri, numbering more than 60 had in anger the previous day, gone to the entrance gate of the State Government House, along Anwai Road , asking to see the State governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan to lay their complaints to him , but they were refused entry, and at the State House of Assembly, the protesters blocked the gate , preventing vehicles from either going in or coming out of the complex. At a point, while many of them were trying to cross the road to gather at the Assembly gate, they caused an obstruction which affected other road users.

According to their leader and Spokesman , Mr. Daniel Ogor, “We were stranded.

We came to the government House at 1.00pm yesterday . We waited and had to stay their in front of the government house gate till this morning when we decided to come(here) to the State House of Assembly in a peaceful protest to let the lawmakers know our problem.”

Asked what their problems are, Mr. Ogor who said they came from Warri area of the State, said,” we need empowerment from the government , our hospital bills which government promised to pay, have not been paid for long, as a result, we are no longer receiving treatment at Rafa Specialist Hospital, Warri .

According to the group, “we had written series of proposals for the government to engage us in Skills Acquisition , but nothing has been done to that effect.

The Spokesman further said that the government has denied them their monthly allowances for some time , a reason for which they were protesting also.

To crown their requests, the disabled people also slammed the government for not listening to their request , that the Special Assistant to the Governor on the Physically Challenged, should be a physically challenged person, one of their own.

They decried a situation where the position is given to an able bodied person who does not know and feel the pains of physical disability, as is the case presently.

While the people are yet to have the above requests granted, they are also asking that government should also do something good for them to enable them celebrate the Christmas happily with their families.” We want them to make sure that they give us something for us to celebrate Christmas with our families. Let government celebrate our Christmas by giving us things to make our families enjoy with us”

To assuage the anger of the group, a lawmaker, Honourable Victor Ochei spoke to them imploring them to take it easy as government will address their problems and asked them to come back, Thursday this week.

On his part, Chairman of the House Committee on Information and Publicity, Honourable Abel Oshevire said that they physically challenged have every right like any of us as contained in the Constitution , stressing that it is unfortunate they are in that condition, , . He however advised them to channel their grievances to the appropriate quarters ,”and I believe that the government would address their issues accordingly.” The House during its sitting , amongst other things, screened and confirmed members of the local government pensions board.

Meanwhile, during the 2009 International Day of Persons with Disabilities held last week in Asaba, the governor represented by his deputy, Professor Amos Utuama (SAN), explained that “Since the inception of this administration, concerted efforts have been made to improve the living condition of persons with disabilities in the state though several programmes.

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June 12: DSS Issues Stern Warning Against Protest

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The Department of State Services (DSS) has warned individuals and groups planning to stage protests on June 12, Democracy Day, to desist from any violent or disruptive actions.
The warning was contained in a statement signed by the Director of Public Relations and Strategic Communications, DSS, Dr Peter Afunanya, yesterday.
The Service said it has received intelligence on plans to incite violence and disrupt public order during the protests.
The security agency vowed to maintain public safety and national security and urged citizens to resist any persuasions to engage in lawless acts.
The DSS also encouraged disgruntled persons to channel their grievances through appropriate channels and procedures.
Afunanya said: “The attention of the Department of State Services (DSS) has been drawn to plans by certain individuals and groups to stage physical protests in some parts of the country on 12th June 2024. These protests are designed with sinister objectives to coincide with the Democracy Day Celebration.
“While citizens may have the rights of assembly and expression, such freedoms should not be used to undermine public safety and national security. The determination by some non-state actors to incite mass disaffection through demonstrations that may turn violent will not be tolerated.
“Citizens are, therefore, called upon to resist any persuasions to be lawless or cause disorder and anarchy in the nation. Displeased persons are rather encouraged to appropriately channel their grievances through the right channels and procedures.
“The Service, while felicitating the government and citizens on this auspicious occasion of celebrating 25 years of unbroken democracy, calls for continued patriotism, unity and commitment to building a Nigeria of our collective dream.
“The Service will sustain collaboration with all relevant stakeholders, including sister security agencies, to maintain the peace as well as protect lives and property across the nation. Law-abiding citizens are enjoined to go about their businesses without fear.”

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Court’s CTC Validates Our Position On Amaewhule, Others -Rivers AG …Advises Media Against Misinterpretation Of Judgements

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The Rivers State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Dagogo Israel Iboroma, SAN, has said that the State High Court neither declared nor affirmed Martin Amaewhule as Speaker of the House of Assembly, stressing that the certified true copy (CTC) of court judgment validates the government’s position.
Mr Iboroma also urged media practitioners to desist from giving interpretations to court judgments by fiat, emotional or other shades of persuasions.
Rather, he advised that they should first obtain the judgement in order to read it thoroughly to gain proper understanding or at best, seek competent legal advice before going to press.
Mr Iboroma gave the advice yesterday night while briefing newsmen after obtaining the certified true copy (CTC) of the Monday court judgment in Port Harcourt.
The briefing was to restate his earlier position that there was no court ruling that ever declared or affirmed Martin Amaewhule and 26 others as members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Rivers State House of Assembly.
Iboroma said: “Yesterday (Monday), I briefed the press and made the point that there is a misrepresentation of the judgment of the High Court of Rivers State in Suit No. DHC/20/CS/2024 in social, print, and electronic media.
“My position has been confirmed and vindicated by the Certified True Copy of the court order in Suit No. DHC/20/CS/2024.”
Mr Iboroma stated that a court order embodied the enforceable decisions of a court, adding that in this case in focus, the enforceable orders of the court will necessarily entail the specific pronouncements of the court.
He listed the three orders of the court in the judgment to include: “That this Suit be and is hereby dismissed/struck out for want of jurisdiction.
“That the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) be and is hereby joined as 4th defendant.
“That the claimants’ case be and is hereby dismissed for lacking in merit.”
Mr Iboroma further said: “Contrary to the false claims and misrepresentation in social, print and electronic media, the court did not make a declaration that Martin Amaewhule is the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, neither did it make a declaration that Martin Amaewhule and 26 others are members of the Rivers State House of Assembly and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
“If it were so, it would have been embodied in the court orders which have been circulated to you all and displayed by me here for the purpose of clarity.”
Mr Iboroma regretted that by the deliberate misrepresentation of yesterday (Monday), the court was painted in bad light and the public misled with such misinformation.
He said: “Whatever finding of fact that is not included in the court order is an Obiter Dictum, which has no binding force.
“Once again, I respectively urge the media to desist from giving any interpretation to any judgement without first reading the content of the judgement and seeking legal advice,” the attorney-general added.

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Sexual Harassment: Minister Drags Perm Sec Before Head Of Service

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The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Yusuf Tuggar, has formally lodged a complaint with the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation regarding allegations of sexual harassment levelled against the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Ambassador Ibrahim Lamuwa.
In a letter addressed to the HOCSF dated May 27, 2024, Tuggar expressed his concern over the serious nature of the allegation levelled against the permanent secretary by Mrs Simisola Ajayi.
He emphasised the importance of addressing the matter urgently and thoroughly.
The letter was titled, “Re: Official Complaint Regarding Sexual Harassment Of Mrs Simisola Fajemirokun Ajayi By Ambassador Ibrahim Adamu Lamuwa (Permanent Secretary Ministry Of Foreign Affairs.
It read, “I am compelled to write to inform you of a formal complaint against the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Ibrahim Adamu Lamuwa, on allegations of sexual harassment.
“Bearing in mind the gravity of the matter, I feel it necessary to draw your attention to it and ask that you handle it accordingly,”
The letter included an attachment of the complaint received via email, and Tuggar assured the HOCSF his full cooperation in the investigation.
“May I also assure you that I remain available to provide you with any assistance required in discharging your responsibilities,” he added.
Ajayi, had a petition dated May 29, 2024, addressed to Tuggar, accused the permanent secretary of serial sexual harrasment.
Ajayi, through her lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), called for a thorough investigation into the actions of Amb. Lamuwa.
The petition, signed by Adebayo A. Oniyelu LP of Falana & Falana’s, was titled “Request For An Investigation Of Amb. Ibrahim Lamuwa’s Conducts Of Sexual Harassment At The Place Of Work, Abuse Of Office, Official Intimidation And Discrimination.”
According to the petition, Ajayi narrated multiple instances of harassment allegedly by Lamuwa, which have created an unsafe and uncomfortable working environment.
She claimed for instance that during a policy retreat on October 7, 2023, Lamuwa allegedly made inappropriate advances towards her, suggesting she joined him in his hotel room.
He reportedly continued with inappropriate remarks throughout the retreat.
She also cited an incident on November 10, 2023, where Lamuwa allegedly invited Ajayi to travel to Hong Kong, promising significant personal benefits from the trip.

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