As Nigeria joined women all over the world, to celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD), the National Women Commission of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has vowed to teach members of the National Assembly that voted against Affirmative Action for women a bitter lesson of their lives.
Already, the NLC women have told their members and their households that do not have Permanent Voters Card (PVC) to make sure that they get it, saying that the 2023 would not be business as usual.
Speaking during the International Women’s Day rally in Abuja, the Chairperson, NLC Women Political Commission, Comrade Salamatu Aliyu, said that what the Nigerian women were asking for was inclusiveness.
She said, “We are going to the street to tell the world that we are not happy (with some members of the National Assembly). Wherever they are, we will sort them out and that is when they will know that khaki is not leather.
“There is the difference between Khaki and leader. Because of the constipation they have caused us, we are going to draw a map for them. The congress has a plan and our demands. He who fits into our demands is the person we are going to vote for.
“So, if you do not have a voter’s card, if there is any member of your family that doesn’t have voter’s card, please make sure they get it because I believe each and every one of us here can cast ten votes in the family, a minimum of ten votes.
“It’s uncalled for that a country that belongs to us is being bastardized right under our nose. It is the woman that loses her husband, her son, her children and grandchildren to the insurgency. What moves have they made to cushion the effects of the insurgency?
“They don’t know insurgency is a problem in Nigeria because their children, their families are abroad. These are the people who want to perpetuate themselves in government. It then means in the next dispensation, Nigeria will be wiped out.
“My position is if there are no followers, will there be leaders? Do you know the worst poverty that can bedevil a human being is the poverty of the brain?If one has the poverty of the brain, the person will not progress, the person will never think out of the box because there is nothing upstairs.
“What we are asking for is inclusiveness but they are scared because they know that God has endowed the women with so many skills; that’s their fear! The fear of taking over! I cannot explain how somebody will throw away the baby with the bad water.
“If your child says he needs five million naira, if it is two hundred naira you have, you give it to pacify him. If you tell him you don’t have, he will go searching for how he will make his money. That is what the National Assembly has done to the women.
“They (women) have requested something, and they (National Assembly members) said that nothing should be given to them. I wish them well. It is a wake-up call for the women; it is a wake-up call for us who stay on the line to vote from morning till night to act.
“Anambra women did it, why can’t we do it also? Without a woman, there will be no nation. It’s uncalled for that a country that belongs to all of us is being bastardized right under our nose.”
Also speaking, the immediate past Chairperson of the National Women Commission of the NLC and Director, Physically Challenged and Impaired Youths in Abia State, Comrade Mercy Okezie, said, “We will continue to fight until our issues are addressed.”
The NLC women leaders marched to the Federal Secretariat from Labour House with placards with different inscriptions.
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Flight delays and cancellations among domestic airlines have continued unabated as scarcity of aviation fuel bites harder and cost of purchase increases to N570 per litre.
The situation with airlines like Ibom Air was very dire, yesterday, as many of their aircraft couldn’t fly to most of their destinations due to fuel scarcity.
The airline admitted that the situation was bad and impacted its flight schedule, yesterday and may do the same, today.
“We have encountered a situation today where aviation fuel is scarce, and therefore, unavailable at almost all our flight destinations. This has significantly impacted our flight schedule today (Tuesday) and may do the same tomorrow (Wednesday). We sincerely apologize to all our passengers affected by the current situation.
“At this time, we have no indication when the issue will be resolved, however, we are working with our fellow airlines and fuel suppliers to find a solution. Our passengers and the public should please be informed. We will give an update once we have further information,” the airline said.
Last week, Dana Air apologised to its passengers for the flight disruptions that happened in March 1, where most of their flights were cancelled due to scarcity of fuel.
The Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the airline, Sukhjinder Mann, said the disruptions were due to fuel scarcity, ramp congestion and bad weather, and promised to give complimentary tickets to passengers that were affected.
In a letter to passengers, he said: “I accept that our recent disruptions scarcity of fuel, ramp congestion and bad weather would have affected your plans and I understand how frustrating it would have been for you to contact our customer service representative to reschedule your flight or having to wait in some instances, but I would like to reassure you that all your feedback has not gone unnoticed regardless of how your sent them.
“On fuel scarcity, we are working with our partners to significantly mitigate the challenge and I am pleased to advise that we have made major inroads in this area with our key suppliers. We will continue to do our best to minimize any foreseeable challenges while hoping that the situation improves generally for all carriers as soon as possible.”
Late last month, Air Peace had through one their circulars informed passengers that some of their flights were delayed due to scarcity.
The airline said their Lagos to Port Harcourt flight for 14:30 on February 15 was delayed due to lack of fuel and the Port Harcourt to Abuja flight for 16:25 and Abuja to Lagos for 16:25 were also affected.
The airline also revealed that the Lagos to Asaba flight of 14:25 of the same day was delayed because of aviation fuel and it affected the Abuja to Lagos flight of 16:25.
Also, the Lagos to Douala flight for 15:00 was also delayed due to scarcity and it affected their return leg of Doula to Lagos for 17:15.
An insider in one of the airlines said that there is suspicion in the industry that marketers were taking advantage of the fuel crisis in the country to hoard the product and increase the price.
“We are suspecting that many of the marketers are deliberately creating false scarcity in order to increase the price of aviation fuel to N570 and this has caused so much problems for airlines. It is unfortunate and the government doesn’t seem to know how to handle the situation.
“A lot of passengers won’t understand our predicament, they always like to blame the airlines but in this situation, tell me what the airlines can do? They are helpless. We are still battling with scarcity of forex, on top of that, we are now being faced with scarcity of fuel,” the insider said.
Authorities of the Rivers State University (RSU) have said that the three campuses of the institution located at Ahoada, Etche and Emohua would be ready by March 31, 2022.
The Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof Nlerum Okogbule disclosed this at the university’s main campus while giving account of his stewardship within the last two years in office.
He said work on the three campuses was 95percent completed, adding that it would be commissioned by May, 2022.
Okogbule also listed other achievements to include the commencement and completion of the Centre for Continuing Education building, 80percent completion of Faculty of Basic Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Clinical Science and Pathology building.
The rest are ongoing construction of nursing building, Faculty of Humanities, Faculty of Social Sciences and Faculty of Education, which are all TETFUND projects within the main campus.
The vice chancellor also said Post Graduate Studies building was 50percent completed; erection of modern bus-stop completed, and now in use, demolition of security village in readiness for the building of staff quarters as well as securing approval for the construction of additional staff quarters.
Other achievements, according to him, are renovation and furnishing of space for Faculty of Engineering Conference Room, ensuring regular environmental sanitation in the campus, enhanced security at the campus, promotion of academic staff of various categories and the creation of two new faculties and establishment of the University Business School.
The vice chancellor said the institution also had successful accreditation for its medical college by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria leading to the commencement of clinical training as well as successful accreditation of other academic programmes by the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC), among other achievements.
Okogbule said that within the period under review, the university also won both national and international awards, especially award which makes RSU the University of the Year, 2021.
He said his administration would continue to be inclusive where ideas, suggestions and inputs would be taking into consideration.
Speaking, Chairman, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), RSU chapter, Prof Emmanuel Ekwulo, and others, thanked the vice chancellor for giving the institution a pride of place in the scheme of things.
By: John Bibor
President Muhammadu Buhari has written to the House of Representatives, seeking amendment of Section 84 (12) of the Electoral Amendment Act 2022.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila, read the President’s letter to the lawmakers during plenary in Abuja, yesterday.
Recall that Buhari, while signing the 2022 electoral amendment bill on February 25, 2022, complained that the provision constituted fundamental defect, saying it was in conflict with extant constitutional provisions.
According to the president, Section 84 (12) constitutes a disenfranchisement of serving political office holders from voting or being voted for at conventions or congresses of any political party.
This, he said, was for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for any election in cases where it holds earlier than 30 days to the National Election.
The section read: “No political appointee at any level shall be voting delegate or be voted for at the convention or congress of any political party for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for any election.”
Buhari stated that the provision introduced qualification and disqualification criteria that ultra vires the Constitution by way of importing blanket restriction and disqualification.
This he said was basically for serving political office holders of which they were constitutionally accorded protection.
“It is imperative to note that the only constitutional expectation placed on serving political office holders that qualify by extension as public officers within the context of the constitution is resignation.
“Others he said were; withdrawal or retirement, at least, 30 days before the date of the election.
“Hence, it will be stretching things beyond the constitutional limit to import extraneous restriction into the Constitution on account of practical application of Section 84(12) of the bill”, Buhari said.
This, according to him, is where political parties’ conventions and congresses were to hold earlier than 30 days to the election.
However, Buhari is asking for the amendment of the bill to reflect the spirit of the Constitution.
Buhari requested that the Nationally Assembly considered immediate amendments that would bring the bill in tune with constitutionality by way of deleting Section 84(12) accordingly.
Meanwhile, the Federal High Court on March 7, stopped Buhari, Attorney General of the Federation and the National Assembly from tampering with the newly amended Electoral Act 2022.
Justice Inyang Ekwo, in a ruling on an ex parte application by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), agreed that the Electoral Act had become a valid law and could not be tampered with without following due process.
Ekwo held that the proper place to challenge validity of any existing law was in a court of competent jurisdiction.
A member of the House of Reps, Herma Hembe, (APC-Benue), however, reminded the House on the ruling of the court.
Meanwhile, the Senate has insisted that it is going ahead to amend the Electoral Act 2022 as amended despite an interim order restraining the National Assembly from tampering with the Act pending the determination of the substantive suit.
The National Assembly is of the view that the Constitution conferred on it the right to make and amend laws and therefore, court orders cannot prevent it from carrying out this constitutional function.
This is coming as the Senate responded to the ruling of the Federal High Court restraining the National Assembly from amending the new Electoral Act 2022.
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