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Kogi Governor Bello Splashes N98 Million On Mercedes Benz Amidst 40% Pay For LG Workers



Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello has taken delivery of 2019 Model S Class Mercedes Benz amidst percentage salary payments to all categories of workers in the state.

In a viral video at the weekend, the governor was seen examining the car, and about to test drive the latest addition to the collection of his array of cars which includes BMW, sports car, Bulletproof Mercedes jeep, and many more.

His latest addition was coming at a time when all categories of workers on the state were being subjected to percentage salary payments with Local government workers the worst hit.

While the state workers have been going home with 80 percent for the past five months, local government workers have consistently been on a maximum of 40 percent.

READ ALSO: Looted Kogi COVID-19 Palliatives: Many Lies of Yahaya Bello

Some of the local government workers who spoke on condition of anonymity said his take-home after deduction has stagnated at N4,000 per month for the past seven months!

Recall that last month Local government workers in Kogi state under the aegis of Joint Action Union, JAU threatened to call out its members for a strike following their insistence on 60 percent salaries against the Government’s offer of 40 percent for November salary.

JAU is made up of the various Union Leadership heading Labour Union’s working at the Local Government levels, is presently engaging the Kogi State Government on the payment of October Salary.

The Joint Action Union is made up of the Leadership of NUP, NUT, NULGE, NASU, and MHWUN has In the last couple of days been engaging the State Government to return them to 50% even though the Joint Action Union is insisting on 60% salaries for their members, with Monday’s meeting ending in a deadlock.

A source close to the meeting told our correspondent that members of the Union have lost confidence in their Leadership as JAU has not protected their interest.

Workers under JAU said they have consistently been on percentage payment of salaries ranging from 30% to 35%, with the Joint Action Union in yesterday’s meeting calling for a jack-up to 60% for October Salary.

The source said asides, before the November 2019 governorship election when the various workers at the LGAs received 50% salaries, ever since then, the salaries for workers either as pensioners, teachers, health workers, primary school teachers, local government staff have ranged between 30% to 35%.

The demands by JAU members that have put the Leadership in a tight corner are coming up after many years of sacrifices, with the October salary likely to be the last to be paid centrally by the government before it is handed over to likely elected councils after the December 12 Election.

READ ALSO: Yahaya Bello: #EndSARS Protest Is Not Genuine

While the majority of JAU members at the local government level say they look forward to the return of the salaries account to the various local government areas to be handling, lamented that it has been challenging making ends meet with percentage payment.

Lamenting Bello’s ineptitude to govern, another resident who preferred anonymity said

Our governor must be the worst in the country, and it’s more heartbreaking that he’s a youth. How can a governor be that selfish?.. such that the welfare and security of his people don’t bother him. 

To even think he displayed a luxurious car he recently bought, shows how shameless he is, and it’s sad.”

Expressing dismay over the dearth of infrastructural amenities in the North Central State under Bello’s watch, Kogi State Youth Renaissance (KSYR) said while the governor continues to display arrogance and his expensive lifestyle, he’s fond of depriving the Kogi people of basic needs.

“Under Governor Yahaya Bello, healthcare has completely gone moribund with the Federal Medical Centre under lock and key after the attack by hoodlums suspected to be agents of the Bello administration. 

“This administration has continued to pay lip service to health challenges in the state including the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to unexplained deaths.

“Kogi State is now ranked among the highest in the demography of states with people living in abject poverty, with the high unemployment rate, infant mortality, low life expectancy, and increased crime rate,” the group stated.

General News

Centre Underscores Need For Accuracy, Truth In Journalism



Centre Underscores Need For Accuracy, Truth In Journalism

The Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ), an NGO, has stressed the need for accuracy and truth in news reporting to promote meaningful growth journalism in the country.

Mr Dapo Olorunyomi, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of Premium Times Ltd., said this at the closing of the six-month “Dubawa fact-checking and research fellowship” programme in Abuja on Friday.

Olorunyomi, also the Chief Executive Officer of PTCIJ, said that the centre initiative was borne out of the need to tackle issues bordering the growth of journalism in the country.

Read Also: FG Seeks Support Of Lawmakers In Tackling Fake News

According to him, the concern was on how there could be a positive difference in journalism.

“Immediately Premium Times started, what became very clear was it was impossible not to run into a ditch about ways Journalism was carried out, in terms of sustainability and trust.

“Resources to do good journalism had drifted to the digital media landscape.

“So these were issues that led into thinking and how we innovated ways on those core issues that defined journalism and subsequently the creation of PTCIJ.

“The defining future of good journalism is truth and accuracy; the question about this is that there are things we needed to invest in.

“There can be no meaningful journalism where there is no accuracy and truth in reporting, and that is why journalism must be based on fact-checking,” he said.

Speaking at the event, Mrs Grace Yusuf, a Deputy Editor-in-Chief,  with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), commended the centre for training Journalists on fact-checking.

She said that cutting-edge journalism thrived through research and fact-finding while urging Journalists to always engage in fact-checking as a tool to verify facts for correctness in their news reporting.

“As journalists, it is important to fact-check claims and give the public the right information; therefore, fact-checking can be used to tackle fake news in the media.

“Fact-checking can also be used to correct misconceptions,” Yussuf said.

She disclosed that a member of staff of NAN, who was trained in the maiden edition of the Fellowship programme was supported by the management of the organisation to establish a special desk on fact-checking.

Some graduands, who spoke at the event expressed appreciation to the centre management for knowledge gained, to have improved quality of their reportage.

Mr Jonas Nyabor, a Ghana Dubawa Fellow, said that he learnt best practices through knowledge sharing from trainees of other nationals in the cause of the programme.

“It has been rewarding, especially having gone through strict measures; collaboration and partnership with others on sourcing for the document was interesting.

“The relationship cannot be underestimated, in terms of solving myriads of challenges in relation to democracy,” Nyabor said.

Mr Alie Tarawally, a Sierra Leone Dubawa Fellow, said that the training exposed him to modern techniques for verifying information.

Tarawally said, “It was amazing to have been the first fellow from Sierra Leone; it indeed exposed me to a whole lot of new ideas.”

Meanwhile, a Nigerian Dubawa Fellow, Dr Rahimat Adeniran, the staff of Lagos State University, said that the programme afforded her the opportunity to learn about fact-checking.

“It helped me to explore new frontiers that ordinarily would have been impossible for me, but such has become a thing of the past,” Adeniran said.

The high point of the event was the presentation of the best fact-check award to Alie Tarawally, best research article award to Raji Rasaki, 4th place best fact-check award to Kunle Adebajo and Vivian Chime, respectively.

1st Runner-up best fact-check award to Francis Iloani, Daily Trust Reporter, 1st Runner-up best fact-check award to Jonas Nyabor and best Fellow award to Francis Iloani.

NAN reports that out of 104 people who applied for the programme 22 were carefully selected; which consist of 17 from Nigeria, 4 from Ghana and 1 from Sierra Leone.

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General News

”We’ll Not Succumb To Blackmail” – Buhari Reacts To Zamfara Abduction



”We’ll Not Succumb To Blackmail” - Buhari Reacts To Zamfara Abduction
President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has described the latest abduction of hundreds of students of Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe in Zamfara, as inhumane and totally unacceptable.

The president, who stated this in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Friday, warned bandits and their sponsors that his government would not succumb to blackmail.

While reacting to the incident, President Buhari said:

Read Also: Buhari Orders NSA To Address Attacks On Communities In Zamfara

“This administration will not succumb to blackmail by bandits who target innocent school students in the expectations of huge ransom payments.

”No criminal group can be too strong to be defeated by the government.

”The only thing standing between our security forces and the bandits are the rules of engagement.

“We have the capacity to deploy massive force against the bandits in the villages where they operate, but our limitation is the fear of heavy casualties of innocent villagers and hostages who might be used as human shields by the bandits.”

Read Also: Buhari Orders NSA To Address Attacks On Communities In Zamfara

According to him, the primary objective is to get the hostages safe, alive, and unharmed.

Buhari noted that “a hostage crisis is a complex situation that requires maximum patience in order to protect the victims from physical harm or even brutal death at the hands of their captors”.

He warned the bandits: “Let them not entertain any illusions that they are more powerful than the government.

Read Also: Buhari Orders NSA To Address Attacks On Communities In Zamfara

”They shouldn’t mistake our restraint for the humanitarian goals of protecting innocent lives as a weakness or a sign of fear or irresolution.”

He advised state governments to review their policy of rewarding bandits with money and vehicles, warning that ”the policy might boomerang disastrously”.

He also urged states and local governments to be more proactive by improving security around schools and their surroundings.

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General News

Sunday Igboho: I Cannot Be Intimidated



Sunday Igboho: I Cannot Be Intimidated

Yoruba activist, Sunday Igboho, has stated that he cannot be intimidated with arrest.

In an interview with Punch where he made this known in his reaction to the face-off between him and security agents around the Guru Maharaji bus stop along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Igboho said any attempt by the police, the army, and the Department of State Services (DSS) to arrest him again will fail.

The Yoruba activist, who has been in the news for serving a quit notice on herdsmen in some parts of the South-West, said he was never invited before they attempted to arrest him.

Igboho, therefore, stated that he did not know why he was being targeted. He advised the Federal Government to focus on capturing Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, and invite Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, who has been meeting with bandits in recent times.

He said, “I was never invited. They just lay in ambush for me at Guru Maharaji and started shooting. They started shouting, ‘Where is Sunday Igboho?’ I identified myself and asked them what the problem was. They said I was under arrest and I said, ‘For what? On my father’s land? That was how it degenerated.

“When they noticed how tense everywhere was, they fled. They came in four Hilux vans and a Toyota Land Cruiser. There are bandits operating all over the place but people like me who are defending our fatherland are the ones you want to arrest. Why?”

When asked if the police had invited him, he said, “I have not been invited. What have I done to warrant an arrest? Why do they want to arrest me? What have I done?”

On whether he would honour a police invitation if invited, Igboho said, “Go and ask them to invite Gumi and Shekau first before disturbing me. Let them face the bandits instead.”

When asked if he would go into hiding, he said, “What for? I am in the neighbourhood. I cannot run.”

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