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Labour Insists On Going Ahead With Strike Despite Reps Intervention

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The organised labour insisted on starting industrial action on Monday over the recent hikes in the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit ( petrol ) and electricity tariff, in spite of the intervention by the House of Representatives.
The workers said the strike will continue until their demands are met.
The Nigerian Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress had jointly declared their readiness to embark on a nationwide strike and protests to compel the Federal Government to reverse the hikes . The hikes had generated nationwide criticism .
The Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila , on Sunday met with President of the NLC , Ayuba Wabba ; and his TUC counterpart , Quadri Olaleye , among others .
Also at the meeting were the Deputy Majority Leader , Peter Akpatason ; and Chairman , House Committee on Labour , Ali Muhammed.
The opening session began at 10 : 30 am and ended at 10 : 52 am. The meeting went behind closed doors and lasted almost one hour .
Emerging from the meeting , Wabba dismissed the various court rulings barring the workers from industrial action .
He said, “ We have had a useful discussion with the leadership of the House of Representatives. We have shared our concerns and challenges with him ( Gbajabiamila ) , especially the very challenges of the implication of the hike in the tariff of electricity and the ( petrol ) pump price . We also told him how the discussions with the Federal Government went and how the meeting was adjourned .
“ He has also promised to try to intervene at his own level , to see to it that we don’ t inflict more pains on Nigerians . And in the course of the discussion , we have also realised that the House of Reps has done a lot on this issue , including recommendation to government which we have shared mutually .
“ But the bottom line is that we want this burden that has now been shifted to Nigerians as consumers to also be lifted so that we can have a decent life . ”
Responding to a question on court injunctions barring workers from embarking on strike , Wabba accused the Federal Government of also disregarding a subsisting court pronouncement against electricity tariff hike.
The NLC boss said , “ Are you not aware also that there is a court judgment stopping the tariff? This is a valid judgment from the High Court stopping the tariff increase and that judgment is still subsisting. Are you not aware of that ? And on the issue of the court judgment , we have not been served .
“ As I said, in good faith , you ’ll recall that we were on the negotiation table up till late Thursday night . Therefore , our expectation is that we should be able to, in good faith , continue to dialogue , not to try to ambush because we have not received the order as of today and we don ’ t know the details of any order . Clearly speaking , we cannot speak on something that is not before us.
“ The reality is that , on the issue of electricity tariff, we have a court judgment , not court order , that has nullified the increase in tariff and , therefore , we believe that the rule of law must always prevail . And in this case also , we want the right thing to be done .”
When asked if the organised labour would still go ahead with the strike as planned , Wabba said, “ If the issues are not addressed – you ’re aware that we’ ve given a notice and that notice will certainly expire by tomorrow – all the actions we have pronounced will certainly take effect. ”

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Niger Delta Militants Threaten To Attack Lagos, Abuja

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Niger Delta militants under the aegis of Supreme Egbesu Liberation Fighters have threatened to destroy infrastructure in Lagos State and Abuja .
In a video posted on Tuesday by AIT , members of the group were seen wearing masks and putting on a military uniform .
One of them , who read a statement on behalf of the group , lamented poor implementation of the amnesty programme in the region, saying , “ there are no schools , no potable water , no light , no hospital and access roads for our people to enjoy till date” .
He said , “ Over the years, the Niger Delta people have made frantic efforts to create an enabling environment but to our great dismay, the Nigerian government over the years has decided to handle the issues of the Niger Delta with kid gloves .
“ They have betrayed the struggle and have left the people to their fate ,” a member of the group read from a statement .
“ Rather, what is visible is the presence of military gunboat and the numerous military personnel dispersed to the Niger Delta who are killing, raping , and maiming the innocent people of the region.
“ Look at the security surveillance contract taking place in our region through the federal government these agencies in place have decided to shortchange our people . Now in our territorial waters , it is an Israeli company that is providing waterway security which we have competent hands with expert knowledge to manage.
“ Don ’t worry, because we are coming to destroy all your infrastructure in Abuja and Lagos . As a group committed to giving total liberation to our people , we will destroy the oil facilities both onshore and offshore in no distant time , we will be seen to be crippling the Nigerian economy. ”

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Ogun To Arrest Illegal Occupants Of Forest Reserve 

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The Ogun State government said it would soon start combing its forest reserve to arrest and prosecute illegal occupants .
The State Commissioner for Forestry , Tunji Akinosi , said this while responding to questions from journalists in Abeokuta , the state capital.
Akinosi said the government had written letters to the traditional rulers in the areas asking them to tell the illegal occupants to leave or be arrested .
He said, “ We have asked those that are illegally occupying our lands to leave , and now we are moving to the second stage of combing the areas ourselves and arresting those that are still residents in the reserve. ”
The Commissioner, while speaking on the depleted condition of the forest reserve, said, “ In the last 18 months , this administration has taken the bull by the horn in getting the Imeko and Aworo Forest Reserves back and running .
“ Unfortunately , the depletion did not start right now , it has been there and government this year alone had met twice with the Iledotun project coordinators and had taken 108 ,000 hectares of the forest reserve in Imeko and Aworo for regeneration .
“ We call it LND project , Land Degradation Neutrality project where you bring people of diverse nations to regenerate that place , and I am sure that between now and the next few months , you will see the work that would start there in reclaiming all the land that is there .”

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Police Misconduct Responsible For #EndSARS Protests —PSC

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The Chairman , Police Service Commission , Musiliu Smith , has attributed the # EndSARS protests to the misconduct of officers of the Nigeria Police Force.
Smith , a former Inspector -General of Police , decried the level of misconduct in the police force saying his office was always inundated with complaints from Nigerians .
The PSC chairman stated this at a retreat with the IG and his police management team , in Abuja on Tuesday .
Smith ’s statement contradicted claims by the Minister of Information and Culture , Lai Mohammed that the October protests were instigated by political and religious leaders .
He also said the demonstrations which were subsequently hijacked by hoodlums leading to widespread violence and looting , were aimed at overthrowing the Federal Government .
But puncturing these claims in his first public comment on the incident , the retired IG said, “ We are always having a lot of complaints from the members of the public against police officers. I believe that # EndSARS resulted from serious misconduct of some of our personnel .
“ I want to advise that we review the arrangements we are making for investigating such cases . Let ’s ensure that investigations are thoroughly conducted and whoever is the police officer that has been indicted will be punished according to the law . If we are doing that , some of the public complaints will go down . ”
Smith , who had been at loggerheads with the police leadership on the recruitment of police constables , also admonished IG Mohammed Adamu to work closely with the commission on the recruitment of credible Nigerians into the force.
Smith added that the number of court cases against the police was alarming , stressing that the force may not be able to pay the damages awarded against it .
In his remarks earlier, the IGP noted that the retreat was to bridge the communication gap and engender a better understanding and working relationship between the force and the police service commission .
The Attorney – General of the Federation and Minister of Justice , Abubukar Malami , who also spoke at the retreat, harped on the need for a harmonious working relationship among all the agencies of the government .

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