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Kaduna shut down as NLC begins 5-day warning strike

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Activities in Kaduna State have been paralised as the five-day warning strike directed by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) over irregular sacking of civil servants began on Monday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) checks revealed that schools, banks and other business premises had been closed.

NAN reports that the National Union of Banks, Insurance and Finance Institutions Employees had directed its members to withdraw banking and insurance services in Kaduna state from Monday 17.

The Zonal State Secretary of the union, Mr Adamu Danladi explained that the directive followed the NLC’s warning strike in response to what he described as Gov. El-Rufai’s “anti-workers policies”.

He said that the withdrawal of services would continue until otherwise directed by the congress.

Also, while some schools were closed, others were open but only a few teachers, pupils and students were seen hanging around.

Some of the schools visited were Local Education Authority Primary School, Mahuta, Milton College, a private school also at Mahuta, close to Refinery Junction.

Others are Government Junior Secondary School and Government Girls Secondary School all at Independence Way Kaduna.

NAN also reports that most of the shops at the busy Sheikh Mahmood Gumi Market, Ibrahim Taiwo and Kano Roads area of the Kaduna Central Market were under lock and key.

However, few shops and roadside sellers of provisions and other perishable items around the markets were seen selling basic items to residents.

Shops were also locked at the popular Kasuwan Bacci Market, Tudun Wada.

NAN also observed that offices of telecommunication service providers: MTN, Aitel and 9mobile along Yakubu Gowon Way were also shut.

There was also high compliance to the strike action by health facilities in Kaduna as health workers were visibly absent in some of the facilities visited, while others were seen outside in groups discussing the situation.

Patients, including those on admission had been discharged at General Hospital Sabon Tasha, Yusuf Dantsoho General Hospital, Tudun Wada and Gwamna Awan General Hospital, Nasarawa and the hospitals closed.

Primary Health Centres in Kakuri, Nassarawa, Unguwan Yelwa and Sabon Tasha were also closed.

Some of the patients seen outside the hospital appealed to the state government to dialogue with NLC to address grey areas so that patients would be attended to in order to avert preventable deaths. (

Meanwhile, the disconnection of power supply to Kaduna state by electricity workers following the strike had disrupted many businesses and caused water scarcity in the state.

Some residents who spoke to NAN said that the blackout had affected their businesses and living condition.

A businessman, Mr Michael John, said that the power outage had crippled his business, adding that petrol stations have equally joined the strike making it difficult to access petrol to power his generator.

A resident simply identified as Malam Ado pointed out that the masses were always at the receiving end of any industrial action.

“As it is now, the elites have alternative power supply while the masses are left in darkness. This is so unfair.

“I am appealing to the NLC and the Kaduna State government to resolve the issues as soon as possible so that power and other economic activities will be restored,” he said.

Usman Abubakar, another resident said that the power outage had led to water scarcity since on Sunday, adding that most residents had to resort to patronising water vendors.

According to Abubakar, the vendors are selling a 25 litre jerrican at N40 as against the initial price of N20.

Also, Malam Shehu Lawani, a welder said that his business had been crippled and was forced to close shop following the suspension of electricity supply.

“Government should do the needful and settle with NLC because this strike is unfair to business owners like myself,” he said.M

MalamaSalamatu, who sells sachet water popularly known as “pure water” and soft drinks, also counted her losses, saying her sales had drastically reduced since the power outage with no alternative means of cooling her drinks. (NAN)

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Deborah Samuel: NBA Calls For Swift Prosecution Of Suspects, Postpones Conference In Sokoto

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The Nigerian Bar Association has condemned extra-judicial killings in any part of the country, describing them as reprehensible, barbaric and unacceptable.

A statement signed by the President of the bar, Olumide Akpata also called on security agencies to do more to stem these ugly developments, and to ensure that the perpetrators of these heinous acts are made to face the full wrath of the law.

Citing the specific cases of a young man (simply identified as David) in Lagos who was reportedly lynched by commercial motorcyclists around Lekki; and the incident in Sokoto involving the murder of Miss Deborah Yakubu, a 200-level student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto by some of her school mates for alleged blasphemy, the NBA asked government to immediately commence the prosecution of all suspects involved in these brutal and arbitrary killings in order to send a strong signal that such acts will no longer be tolerated in Nigeria.

The NBA said it believes that the prompt and effective prosecution of the alleged killers will instill confidence in the citizens, promote accountability, and signpost the government’s commitment to the rule of law.

With particular reference to the murder of Deborah Yakubu and related developments in Sokoto, the NBA said it is worried by unconfirmed reports that the suspects have been charged with mere breach of public peace and called on the Sokoto State Government to immediately rethink its prosecution strategy and file charges that truly reflect the gravity of the situation.

On the demand for the release of the suspects by some protesting youths coupled with assault on innocent citizens, burning of worship centres and destruction of property, the NBA said this is worrisome and clearly a test of the will of the State to fully enforce its laws and foster rule of law.

On its annual conference of the Section on Public Interest and Development Law, SPIDEL scheduled to hold next week in Sokoto, the NBA said, having critically reviewed the current security condition in the state, it has become apparent that it cannot guarantee the safety of participants and accordingly, the Conference has been postponed also as a mark of respect for the memory of the slain Deborah Yakubu.

The NBA urged the State Government to fully collaborate with the Federal Government to initiate measures — and where necessary deploy its coercive instruments — to restore peace and order to the State, safeguard lives and property and dissuade vandalism and impunity.

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Accord Party’s comment on award of Osogbo-Okinni-Ilobu road project, unfortunate, illogical – Osun Govt 

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.…says it took over the project to alleviate citizens’ hardship

The government of Osun has explained that it took over the reconstruction of the Osogbo-Okinni-Ilobu road, which is a Federal road, to alleviate the hardship motorists and other road users face daily why plying the road.

The government said the facility had been in a deplorable condition for so long and it could not afford to allow its citizens continue to suffer on the road, adding that it followed due process in taking over the project.

One of the opposition parties in Osun, the Accord Party had in a statement published accused the State Government of taking over a road project that had already been awarded by the Federal Government.

Reacting to the statement by the Accord Party, Mr Ismail Omipidan who is the Chief Press Secretary to the State Governor, described the party’s claims as unfortunate, lame and illogical.

He said while the contract for the rehabilitation of the road had been truly awarded by the federal government on two different occasions since 2012, no concrete work had been done on the project, a development he said forced the State government to take over the project.

“The contract for rehabilitating the road was first awarded by the federal government 10 years ago, but since then, no significant work has been done on the project that has caused so much hardship for our people who use the road.

“It was for this reason that the Governor Adegboyega Oyetola-led administration decided to take over the project to address the needless sufferings and loss of man-hours on the facility,” Omipidan explained.

He further noted that Accord party should be more concerned on how to sell its candidate to the people of Osun rather than engaging in a futile exercise. “The party’s comments on the take-over of the road project by the State government are lame and illogical,” he added.

Omipidan further said: “Accord Party should simply bury its head in shame. Are they saying we should continue to allow the people of Osun to suffer under our administration simply because the road belongs to the federal government?

“If they were discerning enough and if they had listened to Mr. Governor’s speech on the day we flagged off the reconstruction of that road, I am sure they would not bother themselves issuing a statement that lacks substance.

“Mr. Governor said it clearly in his speech that the road contract was awarded about 10 years ago and that as a state government, even though it is a federal government project, we did everything possible to support all the contractors that have had cause to work on that road. But there was no positive result.

“The argument on the timing of the award of the project is preposterous and ill-judged. A government can award a project contract even a week to its expiration, as long as it is in the overall interest of the State and its people.

“We all know that there are processes to take over federal government project that explains why it took us time to start the reconstruction because we have to complete the necessary paperwork.

“During the Governor’s January broadcast, he stated it clearly that though 2022 is going to be an election year but as a responsible governor, he will not allow politics to over shadow governance, so if anything, the Governor should be commended for walking his talk.

“Hon. Lasun Yusuff, the candidate of the Labour Party in the July 16 governorship contest was on air just on Monday, stating how as a former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, he facilitated the reconstruction of the road. He explained how some persons who were coming for his event from Lagos had to return without getting to their destinations after spending three hours on that road, so he was happy and even commended the State government for taking over the road project and so, are the immediate beneficiaries of the road.

“The benefiting communities and road users who ply the road will definitely not be happy with the position taken by Accord Party. The party has indeed missed its target as it cannot use this project to attack Governor Oyetola who has only done what the people desire.

“The party should be more concerned on how to sell its candidate rather than engaging in a futile exercise because this indeed is an exercise in futility, the people of Osun know Mr Adegboyega Oyetola very well as a man of his words and somebody who walks his talks. He has promised that he won’t allow politics to overshadow governance. As a matter of fact, we will reel out more road projects in the days ahead.”

 

 

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Death Toll Rises To Nine In Kano Explosion

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Scene of the Kano blast
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At least nine persons have died after an explosion rocked Aba Road in Sabon Gari area of Kano, the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs said on Tuesday.

The bodies were recovered from the rubble of a collapsed building beside a primary school.

The police earlier said the explosion was triggered by gas cylinder and not a bomb as being speculated.

“It is not a bomb explosion, it is a gas explosion,” Commissioner of Police, Sama’ila Dikko, said in a voice recording. “A gas cylinder explosion.

“Because there is a welder, just by the place, and he is the first victim in this situation.”

Dikko added that the police, in collaboration with other security agencies, was also investigating what led to the gas cylinder explosion.

He maintained that the scene was under control.

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