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Nigerian aviation workers to withdraw services, may ground flights February 8

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Nigeria’s four major aviation unions on Wednesday vowed to ground activities in the sector from Tuesday, February 8, 2022, over the failure of the Federal Government to release the negotiated conditions of service of aviation agencies since 2013 and the non-implementation of the National Minimum Wage/consequential adjustment since 2019.

In a notice of industrial action jointly signed by officials of the unions and issued to aviation workers, the associations said flights and related activities would be brought suspended.

The unions include the National Union of Air Transport Employees, Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals, and the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees.

“By this notice, all airlines, ground handling companies, aviation security/logistics, in-flight catering, and other aviation-related businesses, as well as the traveling and general public, are hereby notified that aviation services will be unavailable as from the given time until the issues are fully resolved,” they declared.

The aviation workers’ union recalled that they had earlier sent ultimatums to the Federal Ministry of Aviation and its six agencies about workers’ concerns but nothing was done.

The notice read in part, “As you are all aware, our unions variously issued ultimatums to the Federal Ministry of Aviation and the six aviation agencies over the vexed issues of failure to release negotiated conditions of service of the agencies since 2013 and the non-implementation of minimum wage/consequential adjustment since 2019.

“All the ultimatums expired January 31, 2019, without the demands being met in any form. The meeting called by the Federal Ministry of Aviation on the same January 31, 2013 did not resolve the issues as there was no clear assurance from the ministry/managements’ delegation towards meeting our genuine demands.

“In the circumstance, our unions are left with no choice but to take the next obvious step. In this regard, all aviation workers are hereby directed to commence the total withdrawal of services from midnight of Tuesday, February 8, 2022, unless, and until, otherwise directed in this same manner.”

The six agencies include the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, Nigeria Meteorological Services Agency, Accident Investigation Bureau, and the Nigeria College of Aviation Technology.

The unions advised the managements of FAAN, NCAA, NAMA, NiMet, AIB, and NCAT, in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Aviation to utilise the one-week window so provided to avert the looming crisis by prevailing on the relevant government agencies to act jointly to ensure that workers’ twin demands were met.

They said, “All conditions of service of the NCAA, NAMA, FAAN, NiMet and any other aviation agency pending before the Ministry of Aviation; National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission; the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, or any other organ of government or management of the agencies must be released wholly for implementation with the effective date of the signing of the agreement between our unions and the respective agencies.

“And the new minimum wage/consequential adjustment must be immediately implemented with effect from the law’s effective date of April 2019.”

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Nnamdi Kanu’s US lawyer, Bruce Fein challenges Buhari’s minister to public debate

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Bruce Fein, a United States, US, lawyer of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has challenged the Nigerian Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami to a debate.

Fein challenged Malami to a debate on a national television over the legal right of the South-East to agitate for Biafra.

In a series of tweets, the US attorney said Malami would have accepted defeat if he turned down the challenge.

According to Fein: “I challenge Attorney General Malami or his designee to debate me on Nigerian television. Topic: The legal right of Biafrans to self-determination.

“My opponent can use two words to every one of mine. Malami concedes defeat if he scampers away from my challenge.”

Kanu is being held in the custody of the Department of State Services, DSS.

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2023: Buhari may meet Osinbajo, Tinubu, Amaechi, others

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President Muhammadu Buhari would this week meet with all the preidential aspirants of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

The meeting was called with a view to reducing the number of presidential hopefuls and also ensuring that all of them pledge to accept the outcome of the primary as was done during the APC presidential primary in 2014.

“The President will meet with the aspirants a few days to the primary with a view to ensuring that there is unity and harmony. He will also meet with the governors separately. The date is not fixed yet, but it should be this week if INEC doesn’t extend the deadline for the primary as we are all hoping,” said an APC chieftain who wished to remain anonymous.

“The President has a candidate. How to present the idea to the likes of Tinubu will be the challenge,” he added.

Buhari’s most senior spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, had said last week that the President indeed had a preferred candidate.

He stated, “In a previous interview when the President was asked whether he had a favourite candidate, he answered yes; but he will not mention him because mischief may happen to that person.

“That shows you that the President himself is interested in the process and he has a preferred candidate; but whether he will impose his candidate is what you cannot determine at the moment.”

When contacted on the telephone, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said he was not aware of any meeting the President would be having with the aspirants.

“I am not aware of any meeting as of now,” he said.

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Gunmen behead abducted Anambra lawmaker from Governor Soludo’s constituency, hang head in motor park

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Gunmen who abducted a member of the Anambra State House of Assembly, Okey Okoye, have beheaded him.

After beheading him, his head was reportedly displayed at a motor park in Nnobi, Idemili South Local Government Area of the state.

The incident, which happened on Saturday, created panic in the community, which had been witnessing a series of violent killings since last year.

Sources added that his body was not there and indications were that the killers removed the body.

“The Anambra lawmaker representing Soludo’s constituency, Okechukwu Okoye who was earlier kidnapped, has been beheaded by gunmen; the late lawmaker’s head was mounted at Chisco Park in Amichi community,” a military source said on Saturday.

Gunmen had last Sunday abducted the lawmaker who was representing Aguata II state constituency in Aguata alongside Cyril Chiegboka, his campaign director.

Governor Charles Soludo had said during the week that efforts were ongoing to rescue the Anambra lawmaker from his abductors.

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