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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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Super Falcons Beat Ghana 2-0 In AFCON Qualifier

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The Super Falcons of Nigeria took a two-goal lead over Ghana’s Black Queens in their Women Africa Cup of Nations qualifying fixture, thanks to a brace by Sweden-based forward Uchenna Kanu at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena on Wednesday.

The visitors had come close in the 11th minute when Grace Animah saw her fierce shot inside the box blocked by Onome Ebi for a corner. But it was much against the run of play and nine minutes later, Nigeria made pressure count when Kanu rose to meet a perfectly-weighted pull-out by Francisca Ordega and nodded past impressive goalkeeper Dumehasi Fafali.

Both teams, knowing the loser on aggregate will be without any major qualifying contest or tournament for the next two-and-half years, threw everything into the clash played behind closed doors on Lagos Island, but it was Nigeria that made the breakthrough again in the 26th minute, when Kanu rose highest in the box to meet Toni Payne’s corner kick and nodded firmly past Fafali and a clutch of watching defenders.

Former junior international Kanu could have added an assist to her impressive tally for the day when she darted past two defenders and squared for Asisat Oshoala, but Fafali foiled any intentions of the Nigeria captain.

Three minutes before recess, Grace Asantewaa unleashed from just outside the box but her shot rose far above goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie’s post.

In the second half, the Black Queens did something in the mould of throwing the kitchen sink at the Super Falcons, harrying, pushing, kicking and running all over to try and reduce the tally and make the second leg in Accra something to look forward to. But veteran defender Onome Ebi, youngster Opeyemi Sunday, Glory Ogbonna and Osinachi Ohale thwarted their efforts.

Grace Asantewaa was again foiled in the 50th minute by Nnadozie, who tipped her rising shot over the sticks. Two minutes later, Oshoala darted past her marker and headed for glory, but was again stopped by Fafali.

Ghana’s captain Portia Boakye was the usual energetic warrior with an uncompromising stance and worked well with Gladys Amfobea, Janet Egyir, and Ellen Coleman to minimize the damage from the Super Falcons.

At the fore, Princella Adubea, Vivian Konadu and Nina Norshie sought vainly to unlock the Nigerian rear.

In the 82nd minute, Fafali was on hand to neutralize a plan cooked by substitute Vivian Ikechukwu, leaving the scoreline still at 2-0. And with a minute to the end, the tireless Princella Adubea waltzed her way into the Nigeria box and found herself face to face with Nnadozie, only to see her close-range bullet parried and then cleared out to safety by Ebi.

Both teams clash again on Sunday at the Accra Sports Stadium, as from 4pm Ghana time (5pm Nigeria time), with the winner on aggregate qualifying for the 12th Women Africa Cup of Nations holding in Morocco next year summer.

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Gunmen Abduct 13 Travellers In Niger

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The Niger police command, on Wednesday, said 13 travellers were abducted by gunmen at Konar Barau village in Rafi LGA of the state.

Monday Kuryas, Niger commissioner of police, confirmed the incident in an interview with NAN in Minna, the state capital.

According to Kuryas, the divisional police officer (DPO) of Zungeru reported that one Mubarak Idris of Kwanawa village, Sokoto state, reported the matter to the police “at about 1530 hours”.

Idris, identified as the driver of a bus with registration number LGT 12 XWX, was said to have been conveying 18 passengers from Yauri in Kebbi state, when the incident occurred.

The travellers, mostly fishermen, were said to be on their way to Yenagoa in Bayelsa state, when they were attacked.

The police said Idris reported that on getting to a sharp bend at Konar Barau along the Tegina-Minna road, some “suspected bandits in military uniform” attacked the vehicle and took away 13 passengers and his “motor boy”.

The driver also said the gunmen dispossessed him of N131,500.

Speaking on the development, the police commissioner said a manhunt for the victims has commenced.

He also urged residents to come forward if they have useful information that can lead to the arrest of the gunmen.

“We appeal to residents to volunteer reliable information that could aid in apprehending miscreants in the state,” he said.

“We are doing everything humanly possible to ensure the protection of lives and property in our area of supervision.

“All we require from residents is vital intelligence information that could aid the security personnel deployed across the state on movement of dubious characters in their midst for necessary security action.”

The development comes months after over 100 pupils were abducted from Salihu Tanko Islamiyya school, located in the same LGA where the travellers were kidnapped.

The children regained their freedom after spending 16 weeks with their abductors, but six of the pupils died in captivity.

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#EndSARSMemorial: Police Tear-gas Protesters At Lekki Tollgate 

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The protest to commemorate #EndSARS first anniversary took a different turn as the police fired teargas at protesters at Lekki tollgate in Lagos.

Nigerians in Lagos, Abuja and some other states poured into the streets on Wednesday to mark the first anniversary of the #EndSARS protest.

The #EndSARS protest of October 2020 was a campaign against police brutality, harassment, extortion and extrajudicial killing by the special anti-robbery squad (SARS).

Speaking to journalists shortly after, Hakeem Odumosu, Lagos commissioner of police, said the protesters told him they were going to end the demonstration by 10 am.

Odumosu said any protest beyond the agreed time is constituting a nuisance.

“Between 8am and 10am, anything after 10 am is a nuisance,” Odumosu said.

“I discussed with them and they said they will end the protest by 10 o’clock. Any other person doing it now… that’s nuisance…. that have guns, the ones with machete, hammer, are they protesters or miscreants?

“The protesters are free; they have done their thing and left. Any other person remaining are the miscreants, hoodlums that want to capitalise on that to attack innocent people and start robbing people. We will not allow that.”

The CP also confirmed the arrest of a journalist and said he has ordered his release.

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