ULC Strike : Oyo Workers At their Duty Posts, As Commuters Wait Endlessly For Commercial Vehicles

Workers in Oyo state have continued to go about their normal duties, despite the ongoing industrial action embarked upon by the United Labour Congress(ULC).

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A visit to the state secretariat and some other establishments indicated that the workers did not down tools, even though they expressed satisfaction with the present situations of things.

However, on Tuesday, commuters had difficulties in getting to their destinations at the state  capital, Ibadan, as there were few commercial vehicles on the road, while commuters waited endlessly for the vehicles. Those who could not wait for long, trekked to their destinations.  In addition, some filling stations were without fuel.

In a chat with Federationews2day, the Chairman of the state council of the Trade Union Congress(TUC), who doubles as the Chairman Public Service Joint Negotiating Council, Comrade Emmanuel Ogundiran maintained that members of the TUC and Nigeria Labour Congress(NLC) were at their duty posts, while insisting that the ULC was not yet registered and therefore was not competent  to call out the workers on strike.

”As at today in Nigeria, we operate only based on laws and ethics, there are only two registered and recognized labour centres, the first is the Nigeria Labour Congress, that is for the junior staff and some craft unions and the second one is the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, which is the umbrella centre for senior staff unions or senior staff associations.

”We know ULC came about  as a break away faction of the Nigeria Labour Congress, but as at today that union or conglomerate of unions is yet to be registered and recognized. If they are registered and recognized, maybe they have the right to do so. As  a matter of fact, when you look at it, out of the unions that broke away to form the ULC, we know that NUPENG is a major factor and NUPENG is not on strike, NUPENG has never called out its members on strike, the junior staff of airport and maritime workers union, they are members, they also broke away, they even made publications that they are not on strike, in the public service we have the National Union of Typists and Stenographers, they are also with the so called ULC they are  not on strike”.

”NUBIFIE is a member of ULC, they are not on strike, so where  does ULC derive its power, and which power ? Because these registered and recognized trade unions know that if they proceed on that strike, they risk their certificates of registration  been withdrawn, because it is an  illegal act, they risk losing their membership, their members risk losing their jobs. So, they know what it takes, because it is not according to the laid down labour laws, for a non registered conglomerate of unions to declare strike”, Comrade Ogundiran concluded.

About Behaviour                         About Attitude

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Agitations : Nigerians Should Follow The Path of Constitutionality and Law- Senator

Nigerians with grievances have been called upon to follow due process and the rule of law, while agitating for a change in the status quo.

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This call was made  by the Senator representing Delta Central Senatorial District in the upper chamber of the National Assembly, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege.

“Whoever has genuine grievances should follow the path of constitutionality, law, dialogue, love, brotherhood and peace. We are one. We have the resilience and infinite capacity to handle all challenges confronting us as a people”.

“Every Nigerian should feel at home and protected wherever he or she finds himself or herself in the territory of Nigeria”.

“So I want to strongly advise and appeal for peace and urge our security agencies to be vigilant and maintain the peace at all times. We don’t want our fellow citizens to be intimidated, harassed or killed extra-judicially for whatever reasons”.

“I must advise also that this should not be a pretext by any security agent to harass our peace-loving people. That shouldn’t happen at all.  Let’s constantly engage with ourselves in wisdom as we build a better society for all, Senator Omo-Agege  concluded.

 

Govt. Has Not Fulfilled Its Promise To Workers-Labour Leader

Nigerian workers discuss their pitiable state on a daily basis, and conclude that Government is not ready to make life bearable for them. In this interview with Federationews2day, the immediate past Chairman of the Trade Union Congress(TUC)Oyo state council, who is also an ex-official of the TUC, the state Chairman of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria(ASCN)Oyo state chapter and South west coordinator of the Socialist Workers league, Comrade Andrew Emelieze,  says government is insensitive to the plight of Nigerian workers.

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Excerpts :

How have your members fared under the economic recession ?

As regards the issue of the recession, in the first place, those who claim to have announced that Nigeria is in recession are the same people who put the country in recession, the ruling class, they are the same people that have now come out to say that Nigeria is out of recession.

We might to some extent agree with them, looking at the increase in the price of crude oil in the international market, and the rise in the GDP, we might want to say that, technically, Nigeria is out of recession. The question we will now ask thereafter, is how will it impact on the people of Nigeria, especially the workers and the senior civil servants, which I represent.

It is too early to judge, but then, looking at the history of Government and governance in Nigeria, especially this government, which we all know that it is a multi government, they talk so much, even based on so many things that they cannot achieve, one might begin to also think  that it might still be the same old story and that Nigerians might not feel any impact. On the issue of recession, especially now that the ruling class has started the struggle for 2019 elections and so one might not eventually, get anything that will benefit  the Nigerian working class, on the issue of Nigeria getting out of recession. Also, looking at the struggle for the minimum wage, now that the Government says we are out of recession, one will also expect the Nigerian Government to say that there is hope for a new national minimum wage. The workers have endured for over two years in very harsh conditions. And the Government has been able to manoeuvre us within this period and they have not been able to achieve a new minimum wage for workers.

Now that we are out of recession and they have announce it, we should expect them to also announce that, even without  negotiating with the labour movement, that Government should be able to pay a particular amount of money as new minimum wage, then let labour come out to say that Government has announced is too small. In fact our earlier position  was that the new national min mum wage should be anchored on the President’s salary. And what we are saying here, is that if equity and justice must prevail i Nigeria, whatever our  President is earning as the Chief Executive of the country, he should be able to give part of it as minimum wage and what is it we are  demanding, at our own local level here, we have been able to do our arithmetic and we have  said that the President should graciously give the Nigerian working class one per cent of his own salary, we are not talking about allowances. Just one per cent of his own salary as new national minimum wage. And if he is able to do that, I think everything is anchored around him, then now begin to believe that the President has  a sense of justice. Besides, coming out of recession, we also expect that government, will fulfill its promise to pay workers all  it owes them at the local, state and federal levels. Before now, at the federal level, lots of allowances are  been owed workers, especially promotion allowances, transfer allowances and Basic Travel Allowances. It should be noted that there have been attempts by the labour movement especially our association, Association of Senior Civil Servants to put pressure on government to see how it can pay this money. What we’ve been hearing is that they’ve released so, so and so amount of money, N20 billion, N40 billion, they are compiling, they are yet to pay and people are just too tired of  hearing these excuses. Money that they have been owing for the past 7, 8, 9, 10 years. And with this government coming on board, they promised that they will pay these allowances, two years after, they have not paid these allowances owed federal workers. In fact, if you look at the allowances owed federal workers, the money owed them is even more than what  states which have not been able to pay salaries to their workers in the past 7 to 8 months owed them.  Those in a particular level are not receiving salaries for that level. Tkae for instance, someone  in grade level 12 is still receiving salary  of someone in grade level 9. And that is the predicament we find ourselves. If you go the Federal secretariat, all over the federation,  you see workers who are not happy, they are confused, in fact, even their condition of service is such that most times, they lament and regret that they took up jobs to work for their country. Apart from the fact that the pay is too poor, N18,000 minimum wage, all the allowances owed them has not been paid. they are no longer motivated to work. If you go to most offices now at the federal level, it is zero allocation. Money is not coming from Abuja. They don’t have money to operate. The various  Directors are just in the offices, almost  made redundant by the Federal Government. Probably the money has been budgeted for, but  it is not leaving Abuja. It is our strong belief that now that they have announced the end of recession, they should explore way through which the state Governors can have enough funds to clear the arrears of  workers’ salaries, gratuities  of pensioners, including the issue of social security for the unemployed. Unfortunately, nothing is  been done in this regard, based on what we’ve bee hearing  at the Federal level and even from the Governors.

Restructuring : Is the People’s Welfare the Issue ?

In 1998, the Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohaneze Ndigbo restructured, 12 months after the structure became the platform to campaign for Igbo Presidency.

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In 2004,  the socio-cultural organization restructured, even though  the general elections came up in 2007, and Nigerians  were of the opinion that the Presidency of Nigeria was for  all Nigerians. Their argument was hinged  on the fact that no section of the country was excluded from aspiring to become the number one  citizen.

Indeed, there has never been and there is  still not any  constitutional law  that stated that a particular  tribe  cannot vie for the position of President.

Interestingly, Ohaneze is a South East  Geo-Political zone based organization, which seeks to project the image of the Igbos and the  rest of Nigeria in  general.

Although at a particular point in time, the organization was accused of been elitist, its  objective  according to a cross section  of  members is to  ensure that the ordinary  man  in the street  is  a member.

The members  argue that anybody who  is  Igbo or  of Igbo  extraction, within  Igboland or in diaspora, should be considered as a member of Ohaneze. Such individuals, according to them  can attend meetings without a  third party making  introduction.

”You can come to Ohaneze meeting without anybody introducing you. If  there is need to introduce yourself, you get up and tell them who you are”, they stated.

In an interview session with a Lagos based news magazine in 2004, the then President of the Anambra chapter of Ohaneze, Dozie Ikedife, insisted that restructuring was on course, irrespective of any presidential election.

”If it happens that no  Igbo man is installed  as President this  time around, Ohaneze will still play  its role to ensure that a President is installed  in this  country and that things move peacefully with a sense of  equity, fair play, justice and enhancement of the sense of  belonging  for  all”, Ikedife had declared.

Since no  tribe or ethnic  group has been excluded from Nigeria, the debate about who occupys the  number one seat in 2019 and other election dates, should be for  all and sundry. Perhaps.

Igbos Must Pray for All That will Bring Total Nigerian Citizenship -Ohaneze Ndigbo

The apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohaneze Ndigbo, has called on Igbos  at home and in diaspora to use this year’s  Igbo day to pray for Justice, Peace, Equity  and full Nigerian citizenship.

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This call was made on Tuesday  by the Chairman of the National Organising Committee of the 2017 Igbo Day celebration, Dr. Greg Ibe, in a news conference,  at Enugu.

“Our prayer points are numerous. It ranges from justice, peace, equity and all that will bring us in total belonging to this country called Nigeria.”

“Against the backdrop of the current challenges of Ndigbo and as a way of seeking divine solutions to these problems, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has decided to use the annual Igbo Day celebration for 2017 to mobilise Igbo across the globe to pray and seek the face of God for Nigeria and Ndigbo in particular”.

 

The Significance of the Argungun Festival

The Argungun festival  made its debut in 1934, that year, Sultan Hasan Dan Muazu Ahmedu visited Kebbi kingdom and the festival was organized in his honour.

The festival’s significance stems from its role in ensuring peace between the former Sokoto caliphate and the Kebbi kingdom.

The festival featured men and boys, who compete, to catch the largest fish, which was afterwards presented to the Sultan. Ever since, the festival has become an annual event, held between February and March.

Over the years, the festival has attracted people from all walks of life, who travel from far and wide, to watch land and water events, from arts, crafts, music, traditional dancing to bicycle, Donkey and Carmel racing. In addition, wild duck hunts, swimming and diving competitions and horse races featured prominently.

The four day cultural event, involved thousands of fishermen, carrying traditional nets and gourds. The sound of a gunshot, signified the commencement of the competition. The fishermen move towards the well stocked  Matan Fada river and leap into the water. They are expected to catch the biggest fish in one hour. Those who triumph are rewarded accordingly.

Of note, is the fact that the festival  has been a source of unity  and peace among the people. For centuries, the empires had fought battles, which only ceased with the arrival of the British.

Initially, the festival allowed the participation of women, but since it was in conflict with  the Islamic Sharia law, it was stopped.

In this dispensation. the psyche of Nigerians has been adversely affected  by the agitations of ethnic groups,  this is not  good for development. What obtains today,  are Ethnic summits, organized to push forward sectional positions on a wide range of issues.

The task of reversing this ugly trend does not dwell in issuing public statements and making frequent broadcasts, but in practically and positively impacting on the lives of the people, who now have a very different impression of governance.

 

 

 

Bore Hole Drilling : Govt. Should Introduce Regulations To Stop Quackery-AWDROP PRO

As sub-standard bore holes take over the Nigerian landscape, the Association of Water Well Drilling Rigs Owners and Practitioners(AWDROP)has declared that unless the Federal Government regulates the industry, the activities of quacks will continue unabated.

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Indeed, Nigerians have repeatedly expressed worry over the increasing rate of newly constructed bore holes that have seized functioning.

They blame this situation on the sharp practices of some stake holders in the industry.

However, the National Public Relations Officer of the Association, Mr. Richard Ajayi, insists that lack of regulation by the Federal Government is responsible for the present state of things.

”This association is trying all its best to ensure that quackery in bore hole drilling is reduced to the barest minimum. And this association cannot do it alone, except in collaboration with Government, by regulating bore hole drilling activities. And if Government fails to listen to  what this association is saying, then we all will have to bear the consequences”.

”So, it is better they realize now, than later, when our underground water has been bastardized. We  liaise with the Bureau of Public Procurement(BPP), when the issue involves award of Government contracts. Contracts are awarded indiscriminately. If Government fails to regulate  us, and we are trying to regulate ourselves, then people will say that there is no Government policy. Those going all about claiming to be our members, are not our members, because most of them do not adhere by the code of practice, they always say that there is freedom of association. Contracts are not awarded to professionals. The BPP is not following the laid down procedures in the award of contracts. We are just doing things the way we like”, Mr. Ajayi concluded.

The Responsibilities of Governance

Nigerians have for several years now, embarked on the journey to promote a  just and equitable society without encouraging results.

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This is regardless of the countless number of prominent citizens, who belong to the private and public sectors, including the civil society community, at home and in diaspora.

Sadly, most of the innovative ideas and policy options of Government have failed to serve as spring board for the country’s social, political and economic emancipation from the vicious circle of underdevelopment.

Of note, is the fact that  Nigeria is yet to attain the status of a free, dynamic and knowledge based economy, this is just as there are no genuine signs  of commitment to fairness, equity and justice.

This is a fall out  of bad or improper governance  at all levels of Government.  Decisions and policies of Government are powered by self centered ideals and greed.

Most political office holders lack ideology and principles to recommend a soothing cure for the country’s ailments, this is convincingly reflected in the very weak economic and political reforms, which are without doubt not the compass of a new world order.

The myriad of problems confronting the country justifies the need for transparent and incorruptible institutions to decisively address pressing issues which have taken a political  turn.

Those institutions which were put in place  before now, might not have achieved the desired  results, regardless of the resources that were dissipated in the process.

The major questions on the lips of most Nigerians include, who has the responsibilities for policy formulation and governance under the present dispensation ? Is it the state or does it rest  on the exploitative hands of  private individuals  ?  These questions continue to attract  debate among the citizenry.

 

Involve Ethnic Diaspora Heads in National Issues-Vice President, Ezendigbo in Diaspora(South)

Nigerians  agree  dialogue could be effective  in solving the multifaceted problems of the country, but a sizable number of Nigerians fail to adopt dialogue as a solution to the challenges that confront them on a daily basis. In this interview with Federationews2day, the Eze Ndigbo of Ibadan and Oyo state, who also doubles as the Vice President of Ezendigbo in Diaspora, Eze(Dr.)Alex Anozie urges Government to include diaspora Ethnic Heads in meetings to find solutions to the country’s problems. Excerpts :

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What are your views on the constitution of any  body, set up to discuss the country’s problems ?

I am in support of Ango Abdullahi’s idea. I read his suggestion in a national newspaper of Saturday 5th August, 2017, page 3, there he suggested that the Federal Government should invite both Northern and Southern agitating youths and their elders to a round table, where he hopes some common ground shall be reached. I seriously support the idea, but with some additions. (1) When the Federal Government is making such arrangement, they should insist that diaspora ethnic group Heads of all the states in the country should be included in that meeting. Why do I say so ? In all the meetings that have been held on this particular issue before now, nobody had ever thought it wise to bring in these ethnic group Heads, whom we all know play vital roles in the mutual interaction and unification of the country, as they are the ones living, mixing, relating on daily basis with each other in the various states of the Federation. They have become friends and this has brought about inter ethnic marriages. The diaspora ethnic Heads feel concerned for their safety and that of their property, when threats are issued, such as directing everyone to return to their ethnic regions. When the diaspora Ezendigbos and Oba Yorubas and the South South heads all from the South residing in the North alongside the Northern Ethnic heads, who also reside in the Southern part of the country, sit down in any meeting of such, it will definitely be easier to reach a compromise, that will go a long way in getting the country out of this very dangerous situation, we find ourselves. So, I support Ango Abdullahi’s idea seriously, Federal Government should go ahead to implement this suggestion, without much delay, please.