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Michelle Obama’s Mother Marian Robinson Dies At 86

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Marian Robinson, the mother of former first lady Michelle Obama, who moved into the White House with the first family, helping care for her young granddaughters and providing a stabilizing presence in one of the world’s most stressful residences, died Friday, her family said.

“We needed her. The girls needed her. And she ended up being our rock through it all,” her family said in a statement. Robinson was 86.

Though she eschewed the spotlight, Robinson was present for some of the Obama family’s most visible moments, often appearing at holiday celebrations or other events alongside the first couple and their two daughters, Sasha and Malia.

On election night in 2008, she was famously photographed holding her son-in-law Barack Obama’s hand while the two sat on a couch as results poured in, sweeping him into office as the nation’s first Black president.

“At every step, as our families went down paths none of us could have predicted, she remained our refuge from the storm, keeping our feet on solid ground,” the statement read.

Robinson was born in 1937 and grew up on the South Side of Chicago, one of seven children, before studying to become a teacher and working as a secretary.

She married her husband, Fraser Robinson, in 1960, and the couple had two children, Michelle Obama and her brother Craig Robinson, both of whom were also raised on the South Side.

Fraser Robinson died in 1991 after a long battle with multiple sclerosis.

“The trappings and glamour of the White House were never a great fit for Marian Robinson,” the statement from her family said.

Rather than socializing with White House VIP guests, she preferred to spend her time upstairs with a TV tray, in a room near her bedroom with enormous windows overlooking the Washington Monument, the statement said.

She enjoyed sneaking out of the White House to run errands, such as popping to the drug store.

In the Obamas’ eight years at the White House from 2009 to 2017, “the only guest she made a point of asking to meet was the Pope,” her family said.

Robinson is survived by both her children, their spouses and six grandchildren.

“She passed peacefully this morning, and right now, none of us are quite sure how exactly we’ll move on without her,” the statement said.

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Poverty Fundamental Threat To Nigeria’s Democracy, Says Dogara

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A former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has said that poverty is a fundamental threat to Nigeria’s democracy.


Dogara made the statement at an event in Lagos, where he spoke on the topic, ‘Democracy and the Free Market Economy’.

He stressed that widespread poverty among Nigerian citizens indicated that democracy was not serving the majority effectively.

“Our democracy is not working for the majority of our citizens. Although they are alive and free, they lack the means to pursue happiness.

“Poverty is a greater threat to democracy than weak institutions because it deprives poor citizens of their political voice and prevents them from holding their governments accountable; shattering public trust in democratic institutions,” he said.

The former Speaker, who represented the Bogoro/Dass/Tafawa-Balewa Federal Constituency for 16 years and served as Speaker of the 8th Assembly, highlighted the importance of utilizing democratic rights to build an inclusive economy that empowers the majority of Nigerians to reach their full potential.

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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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