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Health workers begin nationwide strike Monday

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Health workers, under the aegis of Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU), have begun their planned strike.

The action took effect at 12 a.m on Monday, following the alleged inability of the Federal Government to meet their demands.

JOHESU urged its members to withdraw their services across the country to key into the industrial action.

The union said it took the decision at its expanded National Executive Council (NEC), which took place on Sunday.

But the government described the proposed strike as ill-timed and illegal.

It asked JOHESU to shelve the action and return to the negotiation table.

At a conciliatory meeting brokered last Thursday by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, the government announced that it had reached an agreement with the unions.

But JOHESU leaders, at the end of their meeting with the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo (SAN); Minister of State for Health, Olorunnimbe Mamora; JOHESU Chairman Biobelemoye Josiah, and other officials, were given till Saturday, September 12, 2020, to report back to the government team.

In a memo on Sunday, JOHESU said the unions unanimously agreed that since nothing concrete was achieved at the conciliatory meeting with the Federal Government last week, the strike notice was “still germane and alive”.

The memo, copies of which were sent to Ngige, was jointly signed by the President of Medical and Health Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MHWUN), Biobelemoye Joy Josiah; Secretary-General of MHWUN, Dr. Silas Adamu; President of National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Abdulrafiu Adeniji; Secretary-General of NANNM, Thomas Shettima; and President of the Nigerian Union of Allied Health Professionals (NUAHP), Hassan Makolo.

Others included: President of Senior Staff Association of Universities Teaching Hospitals, Research Institutes, Dr. Benjamin Akintola and General Secretary of Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU), Peter Adeyemi.

It reads: “You would recall that at the end of the meeting held in your office on Thursday, September 10, 2020, JOHESU demanded that the outcome of the meeting between JOHESU and the Federal Government be reported back to our expanded NEC meeting and give feedback to the Federal Government within 48 hours.

“In light of the above, the meeting of our expanded NEC was held on Saturday, September 12, 2020. And at the end of the meeting, which was held physically and virtually, it was unanimously agreed that since nothing concrete was achieved at the said meeting with the Federal Government, the strike notice is still germane and alive.

“Therefore, the 15-day ultimatum still subsists, and with effect from midnight of Sunday, September 13, 2020, our members shall withdraw their services due to Federal Government’s inability to meet their demands.”

A statement by the Deputy Director of Press and Public Relations in the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Charles Akpan, said Ngige noted that going ahead with the strike would be illegal as it is in clear breach of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Principles and Conventions on Strike and Section 18 of the Trades Disputes Act, Cap T8, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

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NIGERIA

EDO 2020 UPDATES: Godwin Obaseki wins polling unit

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Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has won his polling unit in the ongoing governorship election in the state.

Voting at Polling Unit 19, Ward 4, Oredo Local Government Area, Obaseki polled 184 votes while All Progressives Congress governorship candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, got 62 votes.

In Unit 21 of the same ward, the PDP garnered 53 votes while the APC polled 33 votes.

Obaseki’s PDP polled 70 votes ahead of Ize-Iyamu’s APC that garnered 65 votes. In Unit 23, it was PDP 101, APC 32.

In Unit 24 of the same Oredo Ward 4, PDP won with 94 votes, while the APC got 50 votes.

Also in the same ward, Unit 25, the PDP got 33 votes ahead of the APC’s 22 votes.

Casting of ballots ended in most of the areas at 2:30pm

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NIGERIA

School building collapses in Lagos (photos)

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A three-story building belonging to a private school in the Ejigbo area in Lagos state collapsed on Saturday, September 19.

The affected school, Excel College, which is located at 15, Ansarudeen Street, Ile-Epo Bus-Stop, collapsed at about 8.15 am. So far, there are no reports of casualties recorded.

According to eyewitnesses, the privately-owned building belonging to Excel College had previously shown signs of distress and the school was planning to renovate the structure before the collapse.

 

School building collapses in Lagos (photos)School building collapses in Lagos (photos)

by Linda Ike

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NIGERIA

Edo election: I’m disappointed, says Obaseki after voting

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Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has expressed displeasure over the conduct of the ongoing governorship election in the state.

He said the Independent National Electoral Commission should have prepared better for the election.

Obaseki spoke after casting his vote at Polling Unit 19, Ward 4, Oredo Local Government Area.

The governor lamented that he stayed for over one and a half hours in the queue.

The Peoples Democratic Party candidate in the election said he was delayed because the card reader was slow.

He said, “I expected that INEC would have prepared better for this election. I waited for one and a half hours in the queue before exercising my franchise, it’s a bit disappointing.

“Giving that this is a sole day election, I expected better planning for this election. Card readers were very slow and that’s the situation everywhere.”

Earlier, the Special Adviser to Edo State Governor, Crusoe Osagie, alleged that there was manipulation in areas where Obaseki is popular.

He said, “Suddenly card readers are not working in areas where Governor Godwin Obaseki is very popular.

“Voters are being disenfranchised and we are constrained to say that this is sabotage.

“Specifically, in Oredo Ward 1, Unit 20 and other places where the Governor is clearly popular, the card readers are not working.

“The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should prove to Edo voters that it can conduct a credible election in Edo State.”

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