Kaduna Strike: El-Rufai accuses NLC for sabotaging economy

By Victor Habila, Kaduna

As the 5-days warning strike continues in Kaduna State, Governor Nasir El-Rufai has accused the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) for economic sabotage in the state.

He said there is no ground for compromise with the NLC over the ongoing warning strike embarked by the union in the state.

The governor disclosed this on Tuesday in an interview in Kaduna while reacting to the five-day warning strike by labour unions in the state that had entered second day.

According to him, the unions have used their last ultimate weapon and it would not change anything.

He stressed that “the state government will not change its position.”

The governor claimed that the NLC has committed offences bordering on economic sabotage, hence, the government had issued an order for arrest of NLC President,  Ayuba Wabba.

“Anyone who sees the NLC president should report to the nearest police station or report to us. He will be prosecuted for economic sabotage,” he said.

Meanwhile, hours after  the governor declared the NLC president wanted, Wabba dared him to come and arrest him.

Wabba said in an interview with journalists while leading thousands of workers in protest  on the streets of Kaduna metropolis.

‘We are here and waiting for them to arrest me,” he declared.

​Sports: LSSC predict more talents discovery at NTTF National Championship

The Executive Chairman of the Lagos State Sports Commission (LSSC) Sola Aiyepeku has predicted more talents discovery at the ongoing 2021 Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) National Championship taking place at the Molade Okoya-Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium.

Aiyepeku is particularly excited that table tennis is returning to Lagos after the famous Nigeria Open was cancelled in 2020 following the COVID-19 pandemic.

He, however, lauded Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for his continued support to sports development in the state.

“We expect that a lot of talents will come from this tournament and like you heard, there are many cadres of competitions in this championships, so we expect new talents and for us in Lagos, this is what we have been saying about creating a circuit of events in every sport and this is a national tournament and the international one will come later in the year which the Governor has already approved and in between we will be having more domestic tournaments because that is the only way we can up the competition,” he said.

Aiyepeku added: “I need to commend Mr. Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu. In this tough time, very few people have to stick their necks on the line to stage an event like this and as soon as we proposed this to the Governor, his only concern was the time in between. Can we organize a fruitful tournament and he supported us all the way and the fact that he backs us gave us a lot of confidence.”

He is also optimistic that the state athletes would put up a good fight against their counterparts from other states. “If you look at the National Sports Festival that was held in Edo State, we had our players finishing in third and fourth positions and others outside the medal range. If they were playing more regularly and getting more competition experience, we think they would have finished better in the gold medal. So this tournament will help and also put money in their pockets because this is a big tournament with prize money and that way, we think Lagos State, will gain more even in other sports.”

He also commended NTTF for their commitment to raising the bar in staging a befitting tournament that has become an example to others.
All eyes on Ondo, Oyo in team event
32 men and 16 women teams started their campaign for the podium at the 2021 NTTF National Championships on Tuesday, May 18, and today May 19, the winners will emerge as the final holds at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium.

All eyes were on the Oyo and Ondo teams who were champions at the 20th National Sports Festival with Taiwo Mati spearheading the Ondo boys while experienced Halimat Hussein is leading the Oyo ladies.

Also, cadet players were in action on the opening day of the championship with 16 battling for places in the last 16 (knockout) stage of the singles event with Mattew Kuti being the star attraction.

A confident Mati believes his mission in Lagos was to lead Ondo to the podium as well as claim the men’s singles title.

“I have positive feelings about this tournament because I have been training and working hard. I am sure that I will perform very well and that is my target and at least to be among the top four because this will be a very tough competition. At the National Sports Festival, I lost in the first round and I was very disappointed but I tried not to let that weighed me down and I quickly made some amendment in my game with my coach and that showed at the just concluded Aso Championship in Abuja despite the fact that I lost in the final,” the captain of the junior national team said.

​El-rufai orders dismissal of KASU lecturers

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has ordered the dismissal of Kaduna State University’s lecturers who join other workers on strike in the state.

He made this known in a press statement by his media aide, Muyiwa Adekeye, on Tuesday, titled, ‘KDSG will not tolerate criminal acts disguised as industrial action’.

Part of the statement read, “Any academic staff of KASU that does not report for work will be dismissed. The authorities of KASU are to submit a copy of the attendance register for all categories of staff daily to the Secretary to the State Governemnt and the Commissioner of Education.

“All MDAs are also to submit daily copies of attendance register to the Head of Service;

“KDSG will not submit its treasury to the entitled minority. We will reform and rightsize our public service to meet the needs and resources of the Kaduna State even if the NLC strikes ad infinitum.

“The government remains committed to using all the resources it can generate to serve the interests of the majority of its citizens, providing social services beyond paying salaries, always putting the interests of the many ahead of the few.”
More Details later…

Kaduna Strike: El-rufai orders level 14 workers to resume

By Victor Habila, Kaduna

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai has directed the civil servant from grade 14 to resume work immediately.

El-Rufai, who spoke through his Special Adviser on Media and Communication, Muyiwa Adekeye, described the action of the labour as infringement on the right to public services of Nigerian citizens in the state.

“The Kaduna State Government has noted that the conditions that compelled its decision to right-size its work force have not been altered by the Nigerian Labour Congress(NLC’s) campaign of economic and social sabotage.

“The government also reiterated its firm committed to using all the resources it can generate to serve the interests of the majority of its citizens.

“Is only reinforced by the desperate actions undertaken by the NLC to unlawful trespass on government facilities, and prevent officers from signing attendance registers, despite these actions, the state government has guaranteed access to the State Secretariat and other government offices.

“The government intends to continue running its operations in service to the people, despite the futile efforts of the NLC to impede it. Accordingly, all officers from GL 14 upwards are expected at their duty posts as usual. Government is documenting all these violations of the miscellaneous offences act and the Trade Union Act.”

Arbitrary Detention: ASF France Secures Freedom for 3 Victims

By Uangbaoje Alex, Kaduna

As part of its efforts in promoting the enjoyment of Human Rights in Nigeria, Avocats Sans Frontières France (ASF France), has successfully enforced the fundamental human rights of three victims of arbitrary detention in Lagos state.

The victims are beneficiaries of ASF France’s pro bono legal aid, on the wings of the European Union and AFD funded “Strengthening the National Actors Capacities and Advocation for Ending Severe Human Rights Violations in Nigeria project” (SAFE) project.

The freed detainees are Mr. Ifekoya S, Mr Kola A and Mr. Adewale who were arbitrarily detained for over 8 years, with Mr. Kola spending the most (over 9 years) in arbitrary detention.

Mr. Adewale was accused of being in possession of a missing child and couldn’t afford the finances required to process his bail, thus he was transferred to SARS Office at Lagos State Police Command Headquarters, Ikeja and was then charged with armed robbery and remanded in custody without any appearance in Court.

Similarly, in the case of Mr. Ifekoya, who was accused of failure to prevent a felony, he was then remanded in Kirikiri Medium Security Custodial Centre since 2012.

The third detainee, Mr. Kola, was also remanded in the same custody since 2012 without trial until ASF France’s intervention.

ASF France also known as Lawyers Without Borders, tendered separate applications to the Lagos State High Court on behalf of the 3 detainees, particularly seeking for the unconditional or conditional release, citing the violation of their fundamental human rights, their rights to personal liberty and freedom of movement, provided under the sections 35 and 41 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended.

All three applications were successful at the Lagos State High Court. In one of the judgments delivered by the Judge, Justice O.O. Abike-Fadipe, she said “No amount of money can compensate for 8 years of one’s life.”

While commending the Judges for the Rulings, Angela Uwandu, the Head of Office of Avocats Sans Frontières France said, “no justice system should subject anyone to 8 years awaiting trial. It is simply a failure of the system and a gross violation of the rights of citizens.”
She said the arbitrariness of these detentions entitles the victims to a remedy and it is what the ASF France legal team has achieved in this case.

“Avocats Sans Frontières France celebrates these victories, and recognizes them as a step forward for rule of law and human rights protection in Nigeria.”, Mrs. Uwandu said.

The SAFE project is co-funded by the European Union (EU) and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), and is being implemented by Avocats Sans Frontières France in Nigeria, in partnership with the Nigerian Bar Association and the Carmelite Prisoners’ Interest Organization.