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Group Cautions Ortom, Fayose Over Benue Crisis



Group Cautions Ortom, Fayose Over Benue Crisis

By Dipo Olowookere

A group known as the Coalition of Civil Society Groups Against Terrorism in Nigeria has expressed concern over the largely negative impression being promoted by a section of Nigerians, particularly on social media, which it said was aimed at criminalizing the Fulani ethnic group in the country with the ‘Fulani herdsmen’ tag.

In a statement issued on Saturday in Lagos, the group described those criminalizing an entire ethnic group as opponents of human rights and advocates of genocide in a peaceful country like Nigeria.

“While commiserating with the immediate families of the victims of the condemnable killings of the past few days in Benue State and the entire citizens of the state, we cannot but condemn the actions of some of our states’ chief executives, including Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State, whose actions, abuse of state power and the prevailing insecurity situation in their states, have led to the loss of the innocent lives of some citizens of the state,” the statement signed by the group’s convener, Mr Odeyemi Oladimeji, said.

The group accused Governor Ortom of acting autocratically in violation of the Constitution of the Federal Republic, which guarantees the right of every Nigerians to live and work in any place of their choice by forcefully evicting thousands of pastoralists, who are engaged in their legitimate businesses, under the guise of implementing the controversial anti-grazing law in the state.

“While as patriots and stakeholders in the Nigerian polity, we can no longer subscribe to Governor Ortom futile argument or his grandstanding on the perennial farmers/pastoralists conflict, which the Governor has clandestinely exploited in Benue State for political reasons.

“It was obvious that the Government of Benue state deliberately nurtured the crisis and promoted bloodbath,” Mr Oladimeji stated.

“We want Nigerians to be aware of the ongoing attempt by some Governors, particularly Governors of Ekiti, Taraba and Benue State to raise illegal armies being presently recruited and armed with sophisticated weapons under the guise of protecting their states against some unknown attackers when in the true sense of it.

“These Governors are merely exploiting the situation in Benue for obvious political reasons, which is aimed at recruiting political thugs as the 2019 general election approaches.

“We have thoroughly considered the dangerous dimension that the crisis has assumed and we cannot but call on every patriotic Nigerians, particularly elders of Benue, Ekiti and Taraba to rise and call these Governors to order.

“We cannot continue to fold our arms and watch these individuals frantically making political gains out of a dangerous situation, which has continued to claim the lives of the innocent people of the state as well as pastoralists, who are engaged in their lawful businesses,” he said further.

The group also advised that rather than creating laws and promoting actions, which seek to divide and threaten the existing peace in these states of the country, these Governors should focus their energy on issues, which have direct positive impact on the living standards of their people and can guarantee the delivery of the dividends of democracy to the ordinary Nigerians.

The statement also described as unfair, the attempt by section of the country to continually push every blames over the crisis on President Muhammadu Buhari.

“Rather than blaming President Buhari and the security agencies alone for the crisis being witnessed is parts of the country, our people should know that President Buhari is a leader who has attested in words and deeds that the security of lives and properties of Nigerians anywhere they reside in the country is paramount and not negotiable.

“Nigerians should also hold these Governors, particularly Governors of Benue, Ekiti and Taraba accountable for the crisis of today, they should ask why these Governors are raising private armies and arming same against the laws of the land.

“While we believe and have it on good authority that the arming of Benue State Civilian JTF and others has resulted into the current crisis, by this statement, we call for an immediate end to all forms of political gimmicks in handling sensitive security issues, particularly in Benue State,” the statement concluded.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via


Edo Raises Minimum Wage by 33% to N40000, Slashes Work Days to Three



work days to three

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The Edo State government has announced an upward review of the minimum wage in the state by 33.3 per cent to N40,000 from N30,000.

In a statement personally signed by him on Tuesday, the Governor of Edo State, Mr Godwin Obaseki, also said his administration had slashed the work days to three from five till further notice.

He explained that the pay rise and reduction in work days were made to cushion the effect of the fuel subsidy removal by the federal government.

The action of the national government has resulted in a sharp hike in the prices of goods and services in the country, putting pressure on the citizens because of inflationary pressures.

But Mr Obaseki said the state government would do everything within its powers to lessen the sufferings of residents of Edo State, promising that his administration would engage the energy distribution company for the state on ways to make electricity more stable.

“We want to reassure our people that we will do all within our powers as a sub-national government to reduce the pains and ameliorate the sufferings our people are currently facing due to the current realities.

“As a proactive government, we have since taken the step to increase the minimum wage paid to workers in Edo State from the approved N30,000 to N40,000, the highest in the country today.

“We want to assure you that we will continue to pay this amount, while we hope to increase it even further if more allocation accrues to our state from the federal government in view of the expected savings occasioned by the removal of the fuel subsidy,” the Governor said.

Speaking further in the statement, Mr Obaseki said, “We know the hardship that has been caused by this policy which has radically increased the cost of transportation, eating deep into the wages of workers in the state.

“Therefore, the Edo State Government is hereby reducing the number of work days that civil and public servants will have to commute to their workplaces from five days a week to three days a week till further notice. Workers will now work from home two days a week.

“Similarly, for teachers and parents, their commuting to school will be reduced as the government is working on deepening the EdoBEST@Home initiative to create more virtual classrooms, thereby reducing the cost of commuting on parents, teachers and pupils. The Edo SUBEB will provide details on this initiative in the coming days.”

“To lower the rising cost of energy on our people, we will continue to work with the electricity companies in the state to improve power supply to homes and businesses.

“Similarly, fibre optic connections are being made available to help our people work remotely, thereby reducing their cost of transportation,” he added.

The Governor appealed to residents of Edo State “to remain calm and go about their daily businesses lawfully” while the government intensified efforts to alleviate the burden of the fuel price increase on them.

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FG Ratifies Six Maritime Conventions, Protocols



six maritime conventions

By Adedapo Adesanya

The federal government has approved the ratification of six maritime conventions and protocols to promote a cleaner, safer, and more secure marine environment.

This was disclosed in a statement signed by the Head of the Public Relations Department of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Mr Edward Osagie, noting that some of the approved instruments that were ratified were conventions and protocols that are related to ship-breaking criteria, a global standard for the fishing crew, and response to oil pollution casualties.

According to the Director General of the agency, Mr Bashir Jamoh, the instruments includes the Hong Kong International Convention for Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships 2009; International Convention on Standards of Training Certification and Watchkeeping for Fishing Vessel Personnel (STCW-F) 1995, Protocol Relating to Intervention on the High Seas in Cases of Oil Pollution Casualties (intervention protocol) 1973 and the Protocol on Limitation of Liabilities for Maritime Claims 1996.

Others are the Protocol to the 1974 Athens Convention Relating to the Carriage of Passengers and their Luggage by Sea 2002; and the Protocol of 2005 to the 1988 Protocol to the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Fixed Platforms Located on the Continental Shelf (SUA PROT 2005)

According to Mr Jamoh, the approval, conveyed through the Federal Ministry of Transportation to NIMASA, has kick-started Nigeria’s preparation to align with the global maritime community in respect to the protocols and conventions.

Mr Jamoh reassured industry players of the agency’s unflinching effort as the designated authority to draw the gains of the various instruments closer to indigenous investors, professionals and all stakeholders in Nigeria.

“The Hong Kong Convention is aimed at ensuring that ships, when being recycled after reaching the end of their operational lives, do not pose a risk to human health, safety or the environment.

“STCW-F is a treaty that sets certification and minimum training requirements for crews of seagoing fishing vessels with the goal to promote the safety of life at sea and the protection of the marine environment, taking into account the unique nature of the fishing industry and the fishing working environment.

“The International Convention Relating to Intervention on the High Seas in Cases of Oil Pollution Casualties will see Nigeria taking action on the high seas to prevent, mitigate or eliminate grave and imminent danger to Nigeria’s coastline or related interests from pollution or threat of pollution of the sea by oil spillage.

“The Convention of Limitation of Liability of Maritime Claims will provide for an unbreakable system of limiting liability where shipowners and sailors may limit their liability, except if it is proved that an incurred loss resulted from their personal act or omission or commission with the intent to cause loss, or recklessly and with the knowledge that such loss would probably happen.

“The Athens Convention establishes a regime of liability for damage suffered by passengers carried on a seagoing vessel. It places liability on the carrier for any loss or damage suffered by passengers where it is established to be the carrier’s fault.

“The Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Fixed Platforms Located on the Continental Shelf (SUA PROT) will result in improved protection of oil platforms and sanction threats against such facilities which are critical to the country’s economic mainstay,” he said.

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NLC, TUC Suspend Wednesday’s Nationwide Strike



NLC TUC strike

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The planned nationwide strike action earlier fixed for Wednesday, June 7, 2023, by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) has been suspended by the unions.

The labour unions suspended the industrial action on Monday night after a meeting with the federal government at the Presidential Villa.

Nigerian workers had planned to stay away from work to protest the announcement of the removal of fuel subsidy by President Bola Tinubu during his inaugural speech last Monday.

Recall that earlier yesterday, the central government obtained an interim order from the National Industrial Court to stop the industrial action by the labour organisations on the argument that the strike could paralyse the country.

Justice O.Y. Anuwe restrained the NLC and the TUC from the action pending the determination of the motion of notice, which was fixed for a hearing on June 19, 2023.

Later in the day, the labour unions and the federal government held a meeting, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, who has been appointed as the Chief of Staff to the President, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, informed newsmen last night that a committee would be set up to discuss ways to resolve the issues amicably.

“The federal government, the TUC and the NLC would review World Bank Financed Cash transfer scheme and propose the inclusion of low-income earners in the programme.

“The federal government, the TUC and the NLC to revive the CNG conversion programme earlier agreed with Labour centres in 2021 and work out detailed implementation and timing.

“The labour centres and the federal government to review issues hindering effective delivery in the education sector and propose solutions for implementation.

“The labour centres and the federal government to review and establish the framework for completion of the rehabilitation of the nation’s refineries.

“The federal government to provide a framework for maintaining roads and expanding rail networks across the country.

“The joint committee will assess all other demands submitted by the TUC to the federal government,” a communique issued at the end of the meeting said.

Business Post reports that after the NLC and the TUC agreed to “suspend the notice of strike forthwith to enable further consultations,” they fixed June 19 to reconvene a meeting with the government “to agree on an implementation framework.”

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