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NLC, TUC Kick As Govt Blocks Access To Eagle Square For Workers’ Day Rally

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Mr Osifoh expressed disappointment with the federal government for putting political considerations above workers’ interests and welfare.

The Trade Union Congress (TUC) has protested the last-minute order denying organised labour the use of Eagle Square as the venue for the May 1 Workers Day rally.

Addressing reporters at the end of its National Executive Council (NEC), Festus Osifoh, TUC president, said the union rejects the change of venue for the rally.

Mr Osifoh recalled that a letter was received from the Abuja Investment Company, a subsidiary of the FCDA, informing organised labour of the withdrawal of the permit granted it for holding the May Day rally in Abuja on Monday.

He recounted that unions have, since 1999, used the same venue for the May Day parade.

Mr Osifoh expressed disappointment with the federal government for putting political considerations above workers’ interests and welfare, insisting that the congress believed that workers’ issues should be prioritised.

“May 1 is four weeks away from the handing over date, but our government is telling us that political considerations are much more important than workers’ issues,” he said.

He said the organised labour rejects offers of other alternatives, saying, “they have asked us to go to the Old Parade Ground, and we are not going”.

“If they are not giving us the place that we have been using for this event, then we will wait, and at the appropriate time, we will answer them.”

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) had also earlier kicked against the order by the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), denying labour unions the use of the venue for the May Day rally.

Mr Osifoh also said the congress condemned the alleged last-minute move by the federal government to privatise institutions, including federal medical centres, NIPOST and the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).

He stressed that Nigerian workers would resist any plan to sell the assets of public-owned establishments, especially at the twilight of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.

“TUC is opposed to plans by the federal government to privatise NIPOST and to strip the entity of its assets, handing them over to private concerns.

“We say no to this, and it is fundamentally incorrect because NIPOST is a national asset,” he said.

He alleged that the Federal Ministry of Finance had released N8 billion for the proposed privatisation plan, and which large part would be given to private companies that would manage the assets.

“We call on the government not to disburse that money but to keep it and let the incoming administration have proper deliberations on the right course of action,” he said.

On the operations of the transport sector, specifically in Lagos state, the TUC urged the state government to immediately return the parks to the Road Transport Owners Association of Nigeria (RETAN), as ordered by the court.

(NAN)

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Nation

Anambra Govt. Arrests Two Fake Doctors, Shuts Down Hospitals

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The Anambra state government has arrested two fake medical doctors and sealed off their health facilities at Alor in Idemili South Local Government Area and Adazi-Enu in Anaocha Local Government Area of the state.

Dr Afam Obidike, the state’s commissioner for health, accompanied by some security operatives and members of the Anambra Joint Enforcement Team (ANJET), raided the areas on Friday night and arrested the suspects.

Speaking to newsmen on Saturday, the commissioner identified the suspects as Anayo Okwara, owner of Bright Land Hospital and Maternity Ltd in Alor and Igwe Ogbonna, owner of Favour of God Hospital and Maternity, Adazi-Enu.


He said that the suspects were operating the hospitals illegally in the state.


“Following investigation, it was discovered that Ogbonna is not even a medical doctor and does not have any medical knowledge.

“He also used his hospital as a nursing school, where students pay as much as N70,000 to N100,000 to study nursing. Some of the student nurses we met at the facility confirmed this.

“On Okwara, the second suspect, the president-general of Alor community, Chief Emmanuel Ojukwu, wrote to the ministry complaining about incessant deaths recorded at Bright Land Hospital.


“Okwara, first claimed that he was a homeopathic doctor, but later admitted that his medical certificates and license were forged when he was being questioned,” he said.


Mr Obidike said that five illegal health facilities had been shut down so far, saying that Gov. Chukwuma Soludo’s administration would not relent in its effort to flush out fake doctors operating across the state.


He said that the objective of the exercise was not to witch-hunt anyone but to ensure standards both in government and private hospitals in the state.


“It is unfortunate that death is an irreversible course and I do not understand why people who are not medical practitioners will continue to waste people’s lives because of greed and quest to make money through illegal means.


“We are sending out this warning to those operating illegally and parading themselves as medical doctors to close down their hospitals or face the full wrath of the law.


“Anambra is not a place for quacks to practice,” he said.


The commissioner thanked the community leaders and vigilante groups for the tip-off and urged residents to be vigilant and report such illegality in their areas.


He commended Mr Soludo for giving them the necessary support to execute the raid.

Mr Obidike said that the suspects would be charged to court.

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Abia LP Commends NLC For Calling Off Strike

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The Abia State Chapter of the Labour Party, led by Ceekay Igara, on Sunday, commended the organised labour in the state for showing solidarity with the incoming government of Alex Otti by calling off her two-week old strike.

Igara, in a statement signed by Njoku Jerry Ajike, the state publicity secretary of the party, said it was a sign of the great change that is about to happen among the Abia state workforce.

He stated, “We, as the political arm of the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress, consider this decision to call off the strike by the leadership of the TUC and NLC as a great act of patriotism and evidence of loyalty and support to the incoming Labour Party-led government of Dr Alex Otti.”

He explained that the leadership of the Congress arrived at the decision on May 27 after visiting the governor-elect, Alex Otti, at his residence.

“The incoming Executive Governor of Abia State, Dr. Alex Otti, had reassured the workers of his commitment to improving workers’ welfare without wavering,” the party assured Abians.

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Rivers Police Seal Ex- Lawmaker’s  Hotel, Entertainment Centre

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CSKR-Hotels

Two entertainment centres, the CSKR Hotels and Priscy’s Bar and Suites both in Elekahia, Port Harcourt, Rivers State were early on Monday morning sealed by armed policemen.

Staff and lodgers at the two sealed facilities were forcefully ordered out of the premises by the security operatives who stormed there in a commando style.

The businesses are owned by a former member of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon. Jones Ogbonda.

Ogbonda is said to be a staunch supporter of the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar.

It was gathered that the heavily armed operatives, all dressed in black, are said to be from the C4i Intelligence unit of the state police command.

Our correspondent who visited one of the sealed premises (Priscy’s Bar and Suites) at about 6:55 am on Monday reports that heavily armed, stern-looking policemen occupied the entrance, while two white Hilux patrol vans were stationed there.

In a voice note sent to our correspondent, Ogbonda confirmed the incident, saying the managers of the facilities put calls across to him in the wee hours of Monday to break the news.

He stated,” On the early hours of 29th May 2023 at about 2:55 am, my phone rand and my manager informed me that men of the C4i tactical team of the Nigeria Police Force in about five patrol vans drive into the premises of  Priscy’s Bar and suites in Elekahia.

“They ordered guests in the rooms, customers in the club and staff in the outer bar out, that they have orders from the governor to seal the place.

“As I speak, they are still occupying the premises.

“I also received a call from the manager of CSKR hotels at Elekahia Housing Estate to the effect that men of the C4i of the Nigeria Police were at the hotel searching from room to room, ordering guests and staff out of the premises.

“That they have taken occupation under the orders of His Excellency. This is sad.”

Our correspondent reports that on 19th August 2022,  the Priscy’s Bar and Suites was sealed and some staff and customers were arrested and detained by security operatives.

The bar was sealed off for 11 days before it was allowed to reopen.

When contacted, the spokesperson of the State Police Command, Grace Iringe-Koko, said she will contact the Elekahia Police Division and get back to our reporter.

She has yet to do so as of the time of filing this report.

Punch

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