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Kwara State pioneer Speaker, Shehu Usman is dead

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The Kwara State House of Assembly on Tuesday announced the demise of its pioneer Speaker, Alhaji Shehu Usman.

Usman, who hailed from Lafiagi in Edu Local Government Area of the State, was the Speaker of the House from 1979 to 1983.

According to Shuaib Abdulkadir (PDP Patigi) who informed the House of Usman’s death, said the former Speaker died on Monday evening after a brief illness.

Abdulkadir told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the first Speaker had been buried in his hometown.

Deputy Speaker, Mathew Okedare, who presided over plenary, described the death as a huge loss.

He said that the Assembly would dedicate a day for a valedictory session for the departed former speaker.

Ekiti workers petition Assembly over Fayose’s alleged N264m largesse to labour leaders

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Workers in Ekiti State have petitioned the House of Assembly Committee on Public Accounts, demanding the probe of alleged monthly release of
N6 million to labour leaders by former Governor, Ayo Fayose for nearly four years.

Acting under the aegis of Ekiti Workers Rescue Team (EWRT), they urged the Assembly panel to summon the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Chairman, Mr. Ade Adesanmi and his Trade Union Congress (TUC) counterpart, Mr. Odunayo Adesoye, to explain how they spent the cash from 2015 to date which amounted to about N264 million.

In the petition dated 23 November 2018, a copy of which was made available to our reporter on Tuesday, the EWRT claimed that N6 million
given to the labour leaders monthly did not reflect in the union’s bank accounts.

The EWRT regretted that, “The wicked conspiracy and unholy alliance” between Fayose and the labour leaders accounted for why they could not
fight for workers’ rights during the last administration.

The group told the Assembly panel that this constituted a moral burden to the labour leaders, who instead of agitating for payment of arrears of salaries and allowances under Fayose, consistently commended him when workers were dying.

The petition which was addressed to the House Committee Chairman on Public Accounts, Hon. Gboyega Aribisogan was signed by EWRT Chairman, Mr. Ojo Ayodeji and Secretary, Mr. W.A. Ajayi.

Attached to the petition was the Auditor General’s Report for the year ended, 31 December 2017 which showed that the TUC received N1 million
monthly and the NLC got N5 million monthly under Fayose as “running grants.”

The Auditor General in the report recommended that, “trade unions irrespective of their closeness to government should not be treated as
government offices.

“The unions are umbrella bodies for workers whose responsibilities are to see to the welfare of their members. Also, members pay dues for the running of their respective bodies. It is tolerable if such bodies enjoy occasional assistance when the need arises.”

The petition read in part: “The huge sum had been released on monthly basis to these comrades without a corresponding deposit in the unions’ bank accounts.

“The release was meant for just one purpose-to pay them back for supporting and cooperating with the government of Ayo Fayose to
impoverish the workers of Ekiti State.

“One would have scored the government that approved the release of this magnitude of public funds to industrial unions high and termed
her as workers friendly if the purpose is for the betterment of the entire workforce.

“But in contrary, it was meant for sharing into individual pockets of about six people. There was no single record of physical projects embarked upon by these labour merchants for the period of about four years.

“We are protesting and reporting officially to this highly esteemed committee to wade in by investigating and ensuring justice while the
perpetrators refund the money to the last penny back to the coffers of Ekiti State for the betterment of the public in general and its workforce in particular.”

Reacting, Adesanmi who said he has not received a copy of the petition denied collecting any largesse from the Fayose administration.

Adesanmi said unionism is not under the jurisdiction of the House of Assembly arguing that any complaints against labour leaders are taken
to the national secretariats of their unions.

He added: “They (EWRT) are just chasing shadows, they are a group of former labour leaders who served out their terms and nobody chased
them out of office.

“They had raised several allegations including the claim that I received N15 million for my father’s burial. All that they are saying now is not true, not at all, not at all.

“You can do your own findings from the Office of Establishment under which supervises labour matters.”

Okorocha speaks on ‘leaving’ APC

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The Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha on Tuesday declared that he was still a member of the All Progressives Congress, APC.

Speaking during a media parley in Owerri, the state capital, Okorocha said he does not intend leaving the party.

He also stated that his former Chief of Staff, Uche Nwosu, who is also a governorship aspirant, and aggrieved aspirants might quit APC to another party to realize their ambitions.

Disclosing that he won’t stop them from quitting, the Governor stressed that Nwosu and all the aggrieved candidates remained his choices and will get his support under any platform they chose to realise their ambitions.

Okorocha, “What will happen is that while they move to realise their ambition under any other platform, I remain in APC and support them. Such party will have no presidential candidate but will adopt President Muhammadu Buhari as their candidate.

“What we saw in Imo APC was a clear case of injustice and the worst imposition in history. The party members are aggrieved and they will be moving to another party to pursue their ambitions and I am not going to stop them, but we are going to form alliance with whichever party they choose to deliver President Buhari.

“In the 2019 general election, we are going to vote for candidates and not political parties. I am in the best position to assess the candidates and I know that among all the governorship candidates, Nwosu remains the best. I have told Imo people to check the records of those clamouring to govern the state before voting for them.

“What is happening in Imo APC is interesting and strange, a party known for uprightness, justice and fairness as exemplified by President Muhammadu Buhari, has been dented by the actions of the National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole for whatever reasons he is yet to disclose.

“I have been trying to manage the situation but I have no moral justification to stop the aggrieved candidates who felt short-changed from realizing their ambitions in any other party but I have not left APC and do not intend to leave APC. But you must realize that in Imo, we don’t play party politics but politics of individuals. People did not join APC because of anybody but because of me.”

Sex-for-mark: Court refuses to grant Prof. Akindele bail

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An Osun Federal High Court sitting in Osogbo, the state capital, on Tuesday refused to grant bail to a former lecturer in the department of management and accounting, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Prof. Richard Iyiola Akindele, who was accused by his student, Monica Osagie, to have demanded for sex in exchange for marks.

Justice Maureen Onyetenu, in her ruling, ordered Akindele to be remanded at the Ilesa prison custody until the next date of adjournment fixed for December 17 for consideration of bail and to allow more evidence from the prosecution counsel on the possibility of bail.

She also ordered the prosecution counsel from the ICPC to produce more video evidence to further substantiate the allegation.

Veloxnews recalls that the Senior Legal Officer, ICPC, Mr Kehinde Adetoye had prayed the court to deny the defendant bail on the ground that he might not make himself available for trial when released.

Adetoye said the defendant had refused to appear in their office at Abuja after a written agreement to honour any invitation extended to him.

The Defence counsel, Mr Francis Omotosho, however told the court that his client should be granted bail pending the final determination of the case, saying a 14-paragraph affidavit in support of the bail application had been forwarded to the court with a written address.

South African Ramaphosa signs N126,000 minimum wage bill into law

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South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa has signed into law the national minimum wage bill.

The development came at a time Nigerian workers are yet to get total commitment to N30,000 from federal and state governments.

Reuters reports that Ramaphosa’s office said on Monday that the signing was part of efforts by the government to tackle wage inequality in Africa’s most industrialized economy.

The National Minimum Wage Act sets South Africa’s minimum wage at 20 rands ($1.45) per hour, equal to 3,500 rands per month (N126,000).

The law will come into force on a date to be determined by Ramaphosa, the presidency said.

Supporters of the minimum wage say it will reduce inequality and stimulate economic growth as workers spend more.

Thousands of union members protested against the proposed minimum wage in April.

Atiku reacts to alleged move to impeach Akwa Ibom Speaker, Governor

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The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, on Tuesday reacted to the alleged move to impeach the Akwa Ibom Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel.

Reports had it that some lawmakers of the All Progressives Congress, APC, allegedly moved to impeach the Speaker of the State House of Assembly.

However, the former Vice President described the action of the lawmakers as a threat to Nigeria’s democracy.

In a tweet, the Waziri of Adamawa urged the Federal Government to direct security agencies to intervene in the matter and ensure that peace was restored.

Abubakar tweeted: “The ongoing siege of Akwa Ibom House of Assembly is reprehensible and stands condemned.

“Such action is a threat to democratic institutions and portends grave danger to our democracy. The Federal Government should direct security agencies to rein in these anti-democratic elements and restore peace.”

Osun: Oyetola reveals what he’ll prioritise as Governor

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The newly elected governor of Osun State, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola, has promised to give utmost priority to the welfare of workers and pensioners alike in the state as part of his policy statement.

He added that his government would advance the progress recorded by the Gov. Rauf Aregbesola-led administration and give sense of belonging to everybody.

The fifth civilian governor in the state said he would improve on the internally-generated revenue of the state and invest in agriculture and tourism to make the state financially independent.

According to Oyetola, “We shall prioritise the welfare of workers and pensioners to advance the success recorded by the last administration and make sure everybody feels the impact of progressive government.

“We are convinced that the peaceful atmosphere and relative stability of electricity in the state will attract investment.

“We shall also improve on the IGR and improve agricultural activities to attract nine new farm settlements and grow the agro-industry sector to ensure food security and create 30,000 thousand jobs.”

Veloxnews reports that Oyetola was on Tuesday sworn in as the Governor of the state to take over from Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, now outgone governor, whose two term tenure ended on November 26, 2018.

The Chief Judge of Osun, Justice Adepele Ojo conducted the inauguration for both the Governor-elect and the Deputy Governor-elect, Mr Benedict Olugboyega Alabi amid fanfare.

Oyetola was declared winner of the September 27 rerun election, after the September 22 election was declared inconclusive by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

PHOTONEWS: Osinbajo commissions Buhari’s campaign office in Enugu

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Enugu State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, scored a first when Vice President Prof Yemi Osinbajo opened the Buhari Campaign Office in the State.

Osinbajo at the event, said the party was certain of victory.

“We have shown an early commitment to deliver Enugu State and the entire South East to President Buhari,” Sen. Ayogu Eze, APC governorship candidate in Enugu, also said of the event.

Boko Haram: Ohanaeze urges Buhari to sack security chiefs over killing of soldiers

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The apex Igbo youth body, Ohanaeze Youth Council, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to rise up to his constitutional responsibility and eliminate the continued killing and kidnapping of innocent citizens in Nigeria.

The group urged Buhari to send the current security chiefs on compulsory retirement over alleged misappropriation of one billion dollars security funds approved to them by the presidency.

It said the alleged corruption in the nation’s security agencies had hindered the war against insurgency, advising the federal government to properly equip the security agencies to enable them tackle insurgents’ activities in the country.

The Ohanaeze’s position was made known, in a statement signed by the National President of OYC, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, OYC National President and forwarded to Veloxnews on Tuesday afternoon.

The apex Igbo youth organization, however condoled the families of the victims of Boko Haram attack which occurred in Maiduguri, Borno state, which also led to the killing of Nigeria soldiers.

The statement said, “We, the youth under the umbrella of Ohanaeze Youth Council received the news of our soldiers who were massacred last week by the Boko Haram insurgents in Maiduguri with great shock and wish to issue a statement concerning that, because it is a national loss and a great stain to our security, if not checked.

“To save this, our security should be paramount to Mr. President, Muhammadu Buhari, who on 29th May,2015 vowed to protect our sovereignty which is presently under threat by Boko Haram, when he was sworn in as the president of our beloved country Nigeria.

“On this, we members of Ohanaeze Youth Council, therefore, stand firmly to ask Mr. President to rise to his basic constitutional responsibilities which is to eliminate the occasional killings, kidnap, disruption of property in some states like Jos, Maiduguri, Kaduna, Taraba and Beune.

“On this note, therefore, we recommend that Mr. President should issue compulsory retirement to all serving chiefs including those top military commanders deployed to Maiduguri. This is because of the alleged corruption among some top military officers who have turned adventitious in the North East to enrich themselves.

“Is for Mr. President as the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of our nation should take a drastic action against our neighbouring countries like Chad, Cameroon and Niger who occasionally give access to Boko Haram to attack our people in the North East.

“Also, we suggest to Mr. President to equip our military to fight this course. Our military can do it, they conquered in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Serbia and many other international missions. So we are very confident that they can end Boko Haram in the North East and bring lasting peace in Jos, Kaduna, Zamfara and Benue, including Taraba.

“I also ask my fellow Igbo youth and Nigerians in general not to play politics with our security but to support Mr. President to fight this course”.

Attend presidential debate – APC chieftain tells Buhari

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A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kano, Atiku Ahmad-Dungurawa has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to attend the proposed presidential debate.

NAN reports that Ahmad-Dungurawa, the Coordinator, Door-To-Door Campaign for Buhari/Ganduje, made the call while addressing a news conference in Kano on Tuesday.

According to him, Buhari has achieved a lot, especially in the area of infrastructural development, security, economy and above all, the fight against corruption.

He said the debate would give Buhari the opportunity to inform Nigerians about the achievements his administration had recorded as well as clear areas of misconception about his government.

“I am really in support that Buhari should participate in the presidential debate in view of the fact that he has achieved a lot, especially on infrastructure development in the country.’’

Ahmad-Dungurawa said that due to adequate measures being taken by the Buhari-led administration, the security situation had improved and the economy stabilised.

“Between 2011 and 2015, the security situation in the entire Northeast was terrible but now there are a lot socio-economic activities going on in the region as a result of the improvement on security,’’ he said.

Ahmad-Dungurawa expressed optimism that Buhari would floor the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar because according to him Buhari has been able to fulfil the promises he made to Nigerians during his electioneering campaign in 2015.

He urged Nigerians irrespective of their political and religious inclination to support Buhari’s re-election bid to enable him consolidate on the achievements recorded in order to take the country to greater heights.

He commended the President for reviewing upward the salary of Police personnel, saying the gesture would go a long way in boosting their morale.