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At last, Mama Biafra regains freedom

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Mrs Ukamaka Ejezie, popularly known as Mama Biafra, has regained her freedom from the alleged detention by the Director of State Service, DSS.

It was gathered on Sunday from the lead counsel to the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, that she was freed last Saturday evening.

He added that “she was arrested on the 18th day of May 2022 outside the court premises, after hearing on Nnamdi Kanu case was concluded on that day in Abuja.”

Ejiofor said: “I am very delighted to inform you all that Mrs Ukamaka Ejezie (Mama Biafra) has regained her freedom. She is now out of the DSS dungeon.

“Thank thee ChukwuOkike Abiama for this huge success. We are not relenting, every prisoner of conscience, including Our indefatigable Client, Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, will soon regain their freedom.

“We in the legal team, are doing everything legally permissible to make it happen, we are not resting on our oars at all, be assured.”

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Church overseer allegedly evicts estranged wife, six children

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Popular church overseer Stanley Ogbonna has allegedly driven his estranged wife, Chioma and six children out of their house in Abuja


Popular church overseer Stanley Ogbonna has allegedly driven his estranged wife, Chioma and six children out of their house in Abuja.

Ogbonna, General Overseer of the God’s Spring Assembly, also known as Glass Church, Kubwa, Abuja, was said to be in an unsettling relationship with his wife, which led to their divorce.

He was accused of telling the court he had sold his properties to prevent the embattled wife from having a share of his wealth.

In a clip that went viral on social media platforms on Tuesday, Chioma was seen accusing the pastor of infidelity and domestic abuse, among others.

She narrated how she had suffered with the pastor for over 18 to 19 years with six children and how the husband had packed his properties out of the house while sleeping around with different women.

According to her: “See him, God will help me. This is a pastor. This is the pastor, Stanley Ogbonna. He called the police and evicted me and the children out of the house.

“Look at me, look at my properties all outside unannounced. We were in the house this afternoon; he just came to the house with the police and threw my things away. He already packed his things out of the house for years, sleeping around.

“Today, he has come to disgrace me after labouring with him for 18 years, 19 years. See what the General Overseer of God’s Wing Assembly, Glass Church, Kubwa, is doing. I’m his wife, who laboured with him for 19 years.

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“The world needs to come into this and give me justice for suffering me for all these years after giving him six children. His last child is a four-year-old.

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“Look at me outside and my properties. He feels nobody will speak for me. Jehovah will speak for me”.

Efforts to reach the cleric as of the time of filing this report were futile.

The church’s inquiry number was unreachable while a mail has not been replied.

On April 18, the church held a programme titled “Happy Birthday in perfect grace” to celebrate Ogbonna’s birthday. (NATION)

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Labour rejects FG’s N54,000 new minimum wage offer

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The NLC President, Joe Ajaero, and others


Meeting on the ongoing negotiations on new minimum wage has been adjourned till Wednesday after the organised labour rejected the new N54,000 minimum wage proposal by the Federal Government, a highly reliable source who attended the meeting told our correspondent on Wednesday.

Reports said the Federal Government had upped its offer from its earlier proposed N48,000 to N54,000.

Tuesday’s meeting came as a result of the walkout staged by members of the organised labour following the proposal of N48,000 as minimum wage by the Federal Government during last week’s meeting.

During that meeting, the OPS had also proposed N54,000 while labour insisted on its N615,000 living wage demand.

Our correspondent who spoke to sources who attended the follow-up meeting on Tuesday learnt that the Federal Government upped its offer from N48,000 to N54,000.

“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 till Wednesday,” a source who asked not to be named said.

When asked if the government’s side was showing any sign of seriousness, the labour leader said, “No seriousness at all. Even state governors did not show up. Those who represented them, like Bauchi and Niger states, did not have the mandates to speak on their behalf.

“As regards the private sector, we did not get to them before the meeting was adjourned but we hope they also increase their initial offer.”

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Organised labour on Monday reiterated its May 31, 2024 deadline for the implementation of the new minimum wage.

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The National President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, 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 blamed the government and the OPS for the breakdown in negotiation, saying, “Despite earnest efforts to reach an equitable agreement, the less than reasonable action of the Government and the Organised Private Sector has led to a breakdown in negotiations.”

In a statement released at the end of the jointly held NEC meeting by the NLC and TUC which was signed by Joe Ajaero, NLC president and Festus Osifo, TUC president, the unions said they acknowledge the ongoing negotiations between the NLC/TUC, the Organised Private Sector and the Federal Government regarding the new national minimum wage.

While appreciating what they described as the efforts made thus far, the NLC and TUC emphasized the urgency of reaching a fair and equitable agreement that reflects the true value of Nigerian workers’ contributions to the nation’s development and the current crisis of survival facing Nigerians as a result of government’s policies.

They also affirmed commitment to ensuring that the interests and welfare of workers are adequately protected in the negotiation process.

President Bola Tinubu through Vice President Kashim Shettima, on January 30, 2024, inaugurated the 37-member Tripartite Committee on Minimum Wage to come up with a new minimum wage ahead of the expiration of the current N30,000 wage on April 18.

With its membership cutting across federal and state governments, the private sector and organised labour, the panel is to recommend a new national minimum wage for the country.

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During the inauguration of the panel, Shettima urged the members to “speedily” arrive at a resolution and submit their reports early.

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“This timely submission is crucial to ensure the emergence of a new minimum wage,” Shettima said.

In furtherance of its assignment, a zonal public hearing was held simultaneously on March 7 in Lagos, Kano, Enugu, Akwa Ibom, Adamawa, and Abuja.

The NLC and the TUC in different states proposed various figures as a living wage, referencing the current economic crunch and the high costs of living.

In their different proposals on the minimum wage, the NLC members in the South-West states demanded N794,000 as the TUC suggested N447,000.

At the North-Central zonal hearing in Abuja, the workers demanded N709,000 as the new national minimum wage, while their counterparts in the South-South clamoured for N850,000.

In the North-West, N485,000 was proposed, while the South-East stakeholders demanded N540,000 minimum wage.

But organised labour settled for N615,000 as a living wage.

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FG proposes N54,000 as new minimum wage

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President Bola Tinubu


After the walkout by the Organised Labour comprising of the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress during the last meeting with the Tripartite Committee on Minimum Wage following the proposed N48,000 as minimum wage by the Federal Government,  the government has now upped it to N54,000.

A highly reliable source within the meeting, which is currently ongoing, disclosed this to our correspondent in Abuja.

“The Federal Government has now proposed the sum of N54,000,” the reliable source said.

Though it is not clear whether Labour would accept this offer, the new proposal by the Federal Government is a far cry from the N615,000 proposed by the organized Labour.

The National President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, 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 blamed the government and the OPS for the breakdown in negotiation, saying, “Despite earnest efforts to reach an equitable agreement, the less than reasonable action of the Government and the Organised Private Sector has led to a breakdown in negotiations.”

But speaking on behalf of the OPS, the Director-General of the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association, Mr Adewale-Smatt Oyerinde, described unions’ walkout when negotiation had not started as unfortunate.

The NECA DG admonished the union leaders to reconsider their position and return to the negotiation table in the interest of their members and national development.

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However, Ajaero justified their decision to abandon the negotiation, saying, “The government’s proposal of a paltry N48,000 as the minimum wage does not only insult the sensibilities of Nigerian workers but also falls significantly short of meeting our needs and aspirations.

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“Though it is worth noting that even the least paid workers in the private sector receive N78,000 as clearly stated by the OPS, highlighting the stark disparity between the proposed minimum wage and prevailing standards further demonstrating the unwillingness of employers and Government to faithfully negotiate a fair national minimum wage for workers in Nigeria.’’

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

“Furthermore, the government’s failure to provide any substantiated data to support their offer exacerbates the situation. This lack of transparency and good faith undermines the credibility of the negotiation process and erodes trust between the parties involved.

The NLC president noted that the unions remained committed to fighting for the rights and interests of Nigerian workers.

He also called on the government to reconsider its position and come to the negotiation table with “clear hands that reflect the true value of the contributions made by Nigerian workers to the nation’s development and the objective socioeconomic realities that confront not just Nigerian workers but Nigerians today as a result of the policies of the Federal Government.”

President Tinubu, through Vice President Kashim Shettima, on January 30, 2024, inaugurated the 37-member Tripartite Committee on Minimum Wage to come up with a new minimum wage ahead of the expiration of the current N30,000 wage on April 18.

The panel, whose membership includes federal and state governments, the private sector, and organised labour, will recommend a new national minimum wage for the country.

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During the panel’s inauguration, Shettima urged the members to “speedily” reach a resolution and submit their reports early.

SEE ALSO:  Enugu State Govt, Pragmatic Palms Ltd, seal N100bn deal to revive United Palm Products Ltd

“This timely submission is crucial to ensure the emergence of a new minimum wage,” Shettima said.

In furtherance of its assignment, a zonal public hearing was held simultaneously on March 7 in Lagos, Kano, Enugu, Akwa Ibom, Adamawa, and Abuja.

The NLC and the TUC in different states proposed various figures as a living wage, referencing the current economic crunch and the high costs of living.

In their different proposals on the minimum wage, the NLC members in the South-West states demanded N794,000 as the TUC suggested N447,000.

At the North-Central zonal hearing in Abuja, the workers demanded N709,000 as the new national minimum wage, while their counterparts in the South-South clamoured for N850,000.

In the North-West, N485,000 was proposed, while the South-East stakeholders demanded N540,000 minimum wage.

But organised labour settled for N615,000 as a living wages . (The PUNCH)

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