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‘Go Lick Your Wounds’, PDP Blasts APC, Sylva Over Attacks On Jonathan

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Bayelsa State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has lambasted the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state for attacking former President Goodluck Jonathan over personal comments he made during a visit to Governor Douye Diri last Friday.

The PDP Publicity Secretary, Mr. Ebiye Ogoli, in a statement on Monday, accused the APC of twisting the former president’s comments in order to pour out its frustrations after woefully losing the November 11 governorship election in the state.

Ogoli, who made reference to Jonathan’s comments during the visit to Diri wondered why out of the candidates of 16 political parties that contested the election, the APC had to misappropriate Dr. Jonathan’s comment as if it was directed at the party or its candidate, Chief Timipre Sylva.

The statement read in part: ‘’For emphasis, the former president never mentioned the APC nor its candidate throughout the course of the visit.

‘’Since his forthright comment appeared in the media, the APC and its array of faceless, contemptible, lick-spittle groups have been inconsolable, acting like a forcefully weaned baby.

‘’Placed in proper context, Dr. Jonathan’s comment alluded to and reflected the peace, security and stability that Bayelsa State has witnessed under the Governor Diri administration, which is a fact generally acknowledged by residents of the state.

‘’The Bayelsa APC so-called leaders and groups, who are actually lackeys of the party’s governorship candidate, continue to make themselves a laughing stock for their intemperate and disrespectful tirades against Nigeria’s icon of democracy.

‘’If anyone is suffering any sort of frustration or mental crisis, it is the Bayelsa APC and its candidate that are yet to come to terms with the shellacking they got on November 11.

‘’We advise them to lick their wounds with some decorum and not misdirect their anger towards an innocent statesman who spoke truth from his heart. Even beyond Bayelsa, the violent character and disposition of the Bayelsa APC leaders and their candidates in the last election is well-known and documented.

“If Bayelsans had any fear, it was that the state might return to the infamous days of Famou Tangbe, cultism, cult wars and attack on political opponents etc. if Governor Diri was not re-elected.

‘’So, the electorate were not only determined to protect their votes but to also ensure that the governor was returned to Creek Haven. The final result was the true reflection of the mindset of Bayelsans and what they indeed wanted. The outpouring of celebration and congratulatory messages equally confirmed this. We wonder why Sylva and his cohorts quarrel with this truth.

‘’Our party again uses this opportunity to appreciate former President Jonathan for his gracious endorsement and unflinching support for our candidate as well as the Bayelsa people for standing solidly behind the PDP and the Prosperity Administration.’’

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Reps Panel Recommends Acquisition Of New Aircraft For Tinubu, Shettima

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The House of Representatives Committee on National Security and Intelligence has asked the Federal Government to purchase new aircraft for President Bola Tinubu and Vice-President Kashim Shettima.

The committee’s recommendation is contained in a report released after its investigation into the status of the aircraft in the presidential air fleet.

“The committee is of the strong and informed opinion that, considering the fragile structure of the Nigerian federation and recognising the dire consequences of any foreseen or unforeseen mishap that may arise as a result of the technical or operational inadequacy of the presidential air fleet, it is in the best interest of the country to procure two additional aircraft as recommended,” the report reads.

“This will also prove to be most cost-efficient in the long run, apart from the added advantage of providing a suitable, comfortable, and safe carrier befitting of the status and responsibilities of the office of the president and vice-president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

In May, the house of representatives mandated the committee to conduct a “comprehensive investigation” into the aircraft in the presidential fleet to ascertain their airworthiness and technical status.

The House resolution was sequel to a motion sponsored by Satomi Ahmed, chairman of the House Committee.

There was a heated debate on the floor of House when the motion was moved.

Some lawmakers suggested that the President should travel via commercial aircraft or by road.

Ahmed’s motion followed reports of faulty aircraft in the presidential air fleet, forcing the President to use a chartered plane from the Netherlands to Saudi Arabia during his recent trip abroad.

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Minimum Wage: No Figure Is Sacrosanct, There’s Always Room For Adjustments – Labour

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Following the lingering discussions on a new minimum wage for Nigerian workers, organised labour has said that it is not fixated on any figure.

The tripartite committee on minimum wage ended its deliberations last week, submitting two figures to President Bola Tinubu for consideration as the new minimum wage.

While the government and the organised private sector are proposing ₦62,000, organised labour is demanding ₦250,000 as the new minimum wage.

However, the President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Festus Osifo, who was a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, The Morning Brief on Friday, said no figure is sacrosanct as there is always room for adjustments.

“What we said is that for us when we give figures, there is always a room to meander, there is always a room for us to do some adjustment here and there,” Osifo said.

“So, there is no figure that is sacrosanct, there is no figure that is cast in stone that both parties will be fixated on it. One of the reasons that we went on industrial action the last time was because when it got to N60,000, they told us that a kobo cannot even join the N60,000, that they cannot even add one naira to it.

“So that was one of the reasons that led to that industrial action beyond the fact that there were also delays.”

President Tinubu is expected to send an executive bill to the National Assembly for legislative action.

The TUC President said that they are not going to pre-empt the President, but they are making all efforts to justify why Tinubu should tilt towards the figure presented by the labour instead of the one by the organised private sector and the government.

He said that if the President send a figure that is not favourable to the labour to the National Assembly, they will still approach the lawmakers and push them to do much more.

Osifo vowed that the work of the labour leaders will not end until the Minimum Wage Act 2024 becomes law. He said it is premature to predict what labour will do if what is passed is not acceptable to them at the end of the day.

I will approve what Nigeria can afford
Meanwhile, President Tinubu has said that he will only approve a new minimum wage that the government can afford.

He stated this on Wednesday at a dinner to mark Nigeria’s 25 years of unbroken democracy in Abuja.

“I have to celebrate with you my dear brother, Senate President, Deputy Senate President,” he said, adding that Senate President Godswill Akpabio and his deputy, Jibrin Barau would soon get an Executive Bill from him on the new minimum wage.

“The minimum wage is going to be what Nigerians can afford, what you can afford and what I can afford. Cut your coat according to your size, if you have size at all,” he said.

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FG, States Can Pay Minimum Wage With Recovered Loot, Says Falana

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Human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, on Thursday insisted that both the federal and state governments can pay the national minimum wage if looted monies are recovered.

The organised labour and the Nigerian government have yet to reach an agreement on the new minimum wage with the latter rejecting the former’s N62,000 offer. During the last meeting held by the Tripartite Committee on the New Minimum Wage on Friday in Abuja, labour reduced its demand to N250,000 from N494,000, while the Federal Government increased its offer from N60,000 to N62,000.

The proposed minimum wage may have to wait until 2 July because the National Assembly is on holiday. During the show, the senior lawyer asked the Nigerian authorities to muster the political will to pay the minimum wage.

“The state governments that are saying they have no money to pay, the money is there. All they need, including the Federal Government, is to muster the political will to collect and recover money either looted or withheld from the federation account,” he said.

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