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Minimum Wage: Ekiti Workers Begin 3-days Warning Strike Monday

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The organised labour in Ekiti state, on Friday, said that there was no going back on its planned commencement of a three-day warning strike from Aug. 3.

The strike, according to the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Joint Negotiating Council (JNC), is to compel the state government to pay the outstanding salaries, allowances and pension arrears of their members.

They, therefore, directed workers across the state to proceed on the warning strike, after which, they said, a full-blown strike would follow if government failed to accede to their demands.

The directive was made known via a statement jointly signed by the Chairmen of NLC, TUC and JNC, Kolapo Olatunde, Sola Adigun and Kayode Fatomiluyi respectively, and made available to the in Ado Ekiti.

Their demands also included unresolved issues surrounding unpaid benefits and non-implementation of the N30,000 minimum wage across the board.

Others are non-payment of leave bonus from 2015 till date as well as the arrears of promotions for workers at all levels.

“This warning strike, called by the organised labour in Ekiti, will commence on the midnight of Aug. 3.

“The state government has yet to attend to any of our requests, such as a financial promotion for 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.

“There is no commitment to all the outstanding deductions, such as cooperative money, loan repayment to banks, housing fund and others.

“Our demands also include five years leave bonuses, hazard allowances of COVID-19 to health workers, salary arrears and deductions, all yet to be paid.

“Based on the above, the strike will commence from 12 midnight of Aug. 3, except the government attends to our demands.

“We warn that no worker should go to work or listen to any directive from any quarters, except the leadership of the organised labour,” the statement said.

Gov. Fayemi, had in the early days of his second tenure, promised the state workers of defraying the arrears owed them by the previous administration, totalling N57 billion within one year of his assumption of office.

Labour, however, claimed that the promise had remained unfulfilled by government, hence the current face-off between the two parties.

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NIGERIA

Gov. Ugwuanyi appoints Dr. Ezugwu as Chief of Protocol

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Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, on Monday, appointed Dr. Barth Ezugwu as the Chief of Protocol, Government House, Enugu.

Dr. Ezugwu is the immediate past Transition Committee Chairman of Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area and a former Commissioner for Transport in the state.

He also served as a Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Youths Mobilization and Empowerment as well as the Administrator of Adada Development Area in Uzo-Uwani LGA.

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NIGERIA

NUPENG meets Lagos Govt, calls off strike

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The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has called off its strike which started in the early hours of Monday after a meeting with Lagos State Government officials.

A communique jointly signed by Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Mr. Olalere Odusote and Deputy National President of NUPENG, Mr. Solomon O. Kilanko, stated both parties agreed the government will meet with heads of all security agencies to prevent further disturbance of vehicles conveying petroleum products.

The two sides agreed the issue of “area boys” will be addressed by the State.

“A dedicated phone number will be established within one week to enable petroleum product transporters gain prompt access to security agencies.”

While assuring the allegation of extra-ordinary levies charged by a particular local government will be investigated promptly, the communique further reads: “The State government will continue to relate with all road users in the planning and execution of road works in the State”.

NUPENG also made a commitment all tankers will not exceed the loading capacity of trucks as provided in the regulations and in compliance with directives of the Department of Petroleum Resources.

Disclosing Lagos will review the timing restriction on movement of petroleum tankers within the next one week, Odusote said recommendations will be put forward to the government on ways to ease access of petroleum tankers to tank farms.

“Lagos State Government will immediately set up a standing committee to relate with the Union on an ongoing basis to address any issues as they arise,” the parties agreed.

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NIGERIA

Kano singer sentenced to death for alleged blasphemy

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A Kano Upper Shari’a Court on Monday sentenced the 22-year-old singer to death by hanging for allegedly blaspheming Prophet Muhammad.

The Presiding Judge, Khadi Aliyu Muhammad Kani, gave the judgement after finding Yahaya Sharif-Aminu guilty as charged.

Sharif-Aminu, a resident of Sharifai in Kano metropolis, was accused of committing blasphemy against the Prophet in a song he circulated via WhatsApp in March 2020.

After the incident, protesters burned down the singer’s family home and led a procession to the Kano Hisbah Command’s headquarters in protest against the singer’s action.

The court also sentenced one Umar Farouq of Sharada quarters in Kano metropolis to 10-year imprisonment for making “derogatory statements concerning the Almighty Allah in a public argument.”

Aggrieved youths on March 4 staged a protest on the premises of the Kano Hisbah office, over what they described as an alleged blasphemous song against Prophet Muhammad.

While addressing the protesters, the Kano Hisbah Commander, Harun Ibn-Sina, said officials in the state were on top of the situation and that the man’s parents had been arrested and were under Police custody.

The protesters alleged that the nonchalant attitude of the government and the security agents in the state over the issue informed their decision to embark on the protest.

The convener of the protest, Idris Ibrahim (popularly known as Baba Idris), said, “Our mission is to alert the government to do the needful; otherwise, we will take the law into our own hands.”

Idris, who said similar incidents had occurred in the state without any action from the relevant authorities, warned that they would not allow Sharif-Aminu’s case to go unpunished.

Sharif-Aminu had composed a song containing alleged derogatory verses against Prophet Muhammad, which ignited violence against his family members.

But the family house of the singer, located at Sharifai quarters in the Kano Municipal Local Government Area, was set ablaze by irate youths who described the song as blasphemous.

Investigations revealed that the singer, said to be a follower of the Tijjaniya sect, is a member of Faidha group, who are known for their preference of Ibrahim Nyass (a famous Senegalese Islamic scholar), over Prophet Muhammad.

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