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Senator Uba Sani proclaims his candidacy for governor of Kaduna, donates 59 cars

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Representing Kaduna Central Senatorial District at the National Assembly on Tuesday, Senator Uba Sani, declared his intention to run for the 2023 governorship on the platform of the All Progressives Congress.

Declaring at the state Secretariat along the Ali Akilu road in the state capital, Uba said he was out to consolidate the legacy of his boss and governor of the state, Malam Nasir El-Rufai.

While stressing the need to sustain the legacy of the incumbent governor, Uba insisted that the “high standards he (el-Rufai) has set are both a source of pride and a challenge to his associates and loyalists.”

The lawmaker also made an on-the-spot donation of 59 cars in appreciation of the work of the State APC executives and local government chairmen, noting that “I donate 59 cars to them to help facilitate their work and motivate them to prepare for the 2023 electoral battle.”

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The event was attended by party bigwigs including the state chairman, deputy chairman, secretary, and other members of the State Executive Committee.

Sani noted that under El Rufa’i, the state has undergone a major revolution, adding that the huge challenge before the state is how to sustain and build on the governor’s legacy of outstanding public service and impact.

“The State has been totally reworked; and this is evidenced in the remarkable milestones the State has recorded in policies, infrastructure, health, education, water resources, agriculture, agribusiness, to list but a few. It is truly new dawn in Kaduna State,” he said.

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“This is because a reversal of these gains in the post-2023 era will be a huge tragedy. Our people have witnessed selfless and impactful leadership and cannot settle for anything less,” he explained.

Against this background, Senator Sani while offering himself as a successor to Elrufai, said he stepped forward to carry the banner of continuity after understudying the incumbent governor.

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“I have worked closely with him. I understand his vision and mission. I stand in good stead to sustain his vision and mission. I am conversant with the developmental challenges of Kaduna State. I understand its complexities and possibilities,” he added.

According to the lawmaker, I have worked very closely with El Rufa’i for over 20 years – spanning his days at the Bureau of Public Enterprise, the period he served as the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory

“And when President Olusegun Obasanjo appointed me Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs, I benefitted immensely from wise counsels from El Rufa’i, who was at the time, a key and highly respected member of the Obasanjo administration.

“I have remained a key ally of the Governor since he assumed office as the Governor of Kaduna State.

Uba, who’s the Chairman, Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions, said from his vantage position, he had in the last seven years, seen Elrufai doggedly and sacrificially pilot the affairs of Kaduna.

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“Watching, listening, and learning from him, I now have a deeper understanding of what it takes to be a transformational leader,” he said,

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“And like the popular saying goes, you can not coach football if you were not a footballer yourself. It is only fair and natural that we have someone who understands the El – Rufai philosophy; one who has carefully understudied him; a person who has been in the trenches with him, to continue from where he will stop on May 29, 2023.

“It is on this score, Mr. Chairman, that I, Senator Uba Sani, is formally declaring today, my intention to seek to contest the gubernatorial primaries of our great party, the APC and indeed the main election in 2023 to succeed my leader and mentor, Mallam Nasir el Rufa’i as the next Governor of Kaduna State.

“I make this bid and declaration with the greatest sense of responsibility, intense love for this great state and our wonderful people, and of course with the fear of Almighty Allah,” he said

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Crime

Two jailed for stealing Dangote company’s armoured cables

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The Magistrate Court sitting in Ilaro, Ogun State, on Tuesday, sentenced Hussain Waziri aged 36 and Mustapha Aliyu, aged 33 years old, to one-year imprisonment for the two counts of conspiracy to steal and stealing made against them after pleading guilty to the offences.

Theheute learnt that Waziri and Aliyu were arrested last week Thursday by the operatives of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Ogun State Command, while stealing the armoured cables worth millions of naira within the Dangote Cement factory, Ibese, Yewa South Local Government Area of the state.

This was according to a statement from the Ogun State Commander of NSCDC, David Ojelabi, on Wednesday.

It was stated that an exhibit recovered from them was a special armoured cable, property of Dangote Plc, which is being used in transmitting and distributing power within the factory.

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The statement partly reads, “The arrested gangs who are serial cable thieves allegedly conspired, jumped over the perimeter fence and accessed the (DCP-I) cable yard within the power plant, with the intent to commit a crime.

“At approximately 0336 hours, during the routine patrol at the power plant duty post, the NSCDC armed personnel sighted Mustapha Aliyu and Hussein Waziri while committing the heinous crime.

“The suspects violently engaged the security personnel with dangerous tools in order to escape arrest. Mustapha Aliyu was overpowered and eventually arrested while Hussein Waziri escaped with the stolen cable.

“Unfortunately for him, the NSCDC personnel conducted an intelligence-based ‘search and arrest’ operation and at about 0436 hours of the same night, Waziri, who had earlier escaped from the scene where he carted away the special armoured electrical cable, was rearrested, within the geofencing of the Dangote Cement Transport [DCT-I ] by the alerted NSCDC personnel assisted by the Dangote security guards.”

The convicts were said to have been transferred to the NSCDC state headquarters for a thorough investigation and prosecution. It was during the investigation that they confessed to committing the crime.

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Having pleaded guilty to the counts, the court sentenced them to a one-year jail term for each of the two counts of conspiracy to steal and stealing. The term is however to run concurrently on each of the two counts.

Reacting to the arrest and the conviction secured at the court, the Ogun State Commandant of the NSCDC, Ojelabi, reiterated the commitment of the security agency to the protection of critical infrastructure and ensuring that crime is stamped out of Ogun State and Nigeria at large.

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News

Guest dies during Lagos birthday celebration, host held

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A woman, Salisu Aishat, and seven others have been arrested in connection with the death of a yet-to-be-identified man in the Ijora Badia area of Lagos State.

Theheute gathered on Wednesday that Aishat was celebrating her birthday when she invited some guests to join her in the felicitation on Olayemi Street, Ijora Badia.

Our correspondent gathered that people were busy having fun during the celebration when the victim was suddenly found lying unconscious on the floor where the event was taking place.

In a bid to ascertain his condition, it was learnt that people moved closer to investigate what had happened to him and while assessing the victim, a wound was seen on his head, suggesting that something sinister had happened to him.

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Speaking with our correspondent, a source who does not want his name mentioned in print for fear of victimisation said the development threw people who attended the party into confusion.

The source added that a fight broke out during the party and there was a possibility that the victim was injured during the fight.

The source said, “There was a party on Olayemi Street, Ijora Badia, and a fight broke out during the celebration. Suddenly, the man was found lying down on the ground and when people moved closer to him, they discovered he had died and a wound was on his head.

“The case was reported at the Ijora Badia Division and when policemen got to the scene and did their investigation, they arrested the celebrant who organised the party and some other persons.”

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Benjamin Hundeyin, when contacted, said the incident happened around 9.10 pm on April 16, 2024, and that it was a concerned member of the community who reported the case to the police.

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He added, “Immediately, the DPO led his patrol team to the scene and the celebrant, Salisu Aishat, and seven others were arrested. A wound was discovered on the head of the corpse.

“The corpse was evacuated and deposited in the Mainland Hospital morgue, Yaba, for preservation and autopsy. The investigation is ongoing.”

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Minimum wage: Meeting adjourned as Labour rejects fresh N54,000 offer

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Organised Labour has again rejected the latest offer of N54,000 minimum wage made by the Federal Government during the resumed national minimum wage negotiation on Tuesday.

The stalemate resulted in the postponement of the meeting to Wednesday following the inability of the labour leaders and government representatives to reach a consensus.

This was the third time the officials of the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress and representatives of the government would fail to find a common ground on the national minimum wage.

Last week, the labour leaders walked out of a meeting hosted by the tripartite committee on minimum wage negotiation after the Federal Government offered to pay N48,000.

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At the same time, the Organised Private Sector made an initial offer of N54,000 in response to labour’s proposed N615,000.

The National President of the NLC, Joe Ajaero, insisted on N615,000 minimum wage, arguing that the amount was arrived at after an analysis of the current economic situation and the needs of an average Nigerian family of six.

He accused the government of failing to provide any substantiated data to support its offer, noting that this undermined the credibility of the negotiation.

To bring back labour to the negotiation table, the Chairman of the Tripartite Committee on National Minimum Wage, Alhaji Bukar Goni, informed the group that the government had agreed to raise the N48,000 it earlier proposed.

However, at the Tuesday meeting, the government proposed N54,000 but labour insisted on its N615,000 living wage demand.

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Labour officials, who were privy to the negotiation, said the Federal Government increased its offer from N48,000 to N54,000.

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The sources declined to be quoted because they were not permitted to disclose the details of the negotiation to the media.

N54,000 offer

One of the officials said, “Well, during the meeting, the government increased its offer from N48,000 to N54,000. However, labour rejected that offer and the meeting has been adjourned to Wednesday (today).’’

Another source stated, “They didn’t show any seriousness at all. As regards the private sector, we did not get to them before the meeting was adjourned but we hope they would also increase their initial offer.”

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Also, speaking anonymously, a top labour leader noted that the government was ashamed about its offer “Because it knew it was not realistic and it knew it was not going to be accepted.’’

“They knew it was embarrassing to offer workers that kind of paltry sum. Negotiation has not started; negotiation can only start when the government shows seriousness in negotiating,” he stated, warning state governors and the OPS.

He added that organised labour could not negotiate wage reduction because private sector workers were receiving N77,000.

Ajaero and Usifo could not be reached for comments on the stalemated meeting as calls to their phone rang out. They did not respond to messages seeking their comments on the development.

But the Deputy President of NLC Political Commission, Prof. Theophilus Ndubuaku, told Theheute that the Federal Government was deliberately frustrating the Nigerian workers.

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Ndubuaku stated that the government was not showing empathy despite knowing that the masses were struggling to adjust to the hardship and inflation occasioned by its policies.

He said, “We are worried about this government. It was as if we were negotiating with people who were not Nigerians. They are behaving like expatriates or people from outer space. We don’t understand.

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“They were offering N54,000 as the minimum wage as if they were expecting us to negotiate a deregulated salary structure. As it is now, nobody is earning anything below N77,000.

“You recall there was N30,000 minimum wage plus the N35,000 they added as wage award. Before that time, there was a 40 per cent increase in the existing wage making the whole thing N77,000. Now, imagine how they are now offering us something far lower than what workers are expected to take home.’’

He added, “Imagine if we walk out of that negotiation agreeing to such terms, will Nigerian workers not mob you? This government doesn’t know the implications of what they are doing.

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“It has never happened anywhere in the world before where everything including foodstuff is increasing and you are concentrating on wage decrease in a country where hardship is hitting everybody. To us, it looks like these people are either joking or they are from outer space.”

On the next course of action being considered by the NLC following the fiasco, Ndubuaku said the unions are returning to the negotiation table on Wednesday from where they would decide whether to tell workers to stay back home until the Federal Government comes up with an acceptable offer.

“The Plan B is that we have adjourned till tomorrow (today). But if they continue with this joke, the workers themselves will give them the answer to that joke.

“We will have to tell them that we didn’t succeed and everybody should sit at home. That is the way it is going to be until they wake up,” he stated.

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The Federal Government could not be reached for comments as the Minister of Information, Mohammed Idris, did not return calls and a message sent to his line.

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Group faults govt

Commenting on the stalemate, the Campaign for Democratic and Workers’ Rights described the N48,000 and N54,000 minimum wage proposals by President Bola Tinubu-led government and the OPS as a huge joke.

The CDWR in a statement by its National Chairperson, Rufus Olusesan and National Publicity Secretary, Chinedu Bosah, observed that the N48,000 offered by the Tinubu-led government was a natural response “from a government whose agenda for growing the exploitative capitalist economy is to further enrich the privileged-few and pauperise the working masses.’’

The group stated, “The capitalist government and the private company owners have always stated that there is no money to pay workers a living wage, but money is readily available for frivolities, profligacies, insane privileges and payment of jumbo salaries and allowances to top political office holders and management staff.

“SUV cars were bought for N57.6bn by National Assembly members. This is one of the numerous examples of profligacies that have become the hallmark of the capitalist ruling elite. While workers earn their wages through their productivity, the capitalist ruling elite are parasitic on the economy.’’

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The CDWR said the NLC and TUC leadership got it wrong when it refused to resist ‘’the anti-poor neo-liberal policies and instead sought to secure some remedy for Nigerian workers through wage review.’’

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