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I never ordered military to kill Igbos in Oyigbo – WIKE

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Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has refuted the allegation that he ordered the Nigerian Army to kill Igbos in Oyigbo Local Government Area.

He said the allegation was a politically motivated falsehood.

He maintained that curfew was imposed in Oyigbo to restore calm after members of proscribed Indigenous Peoples Organisations of Biafra (IPOB) killed six soldiers, four policemen and destroyed all police stations and court buildings there.

Governor Wike gave the explanation on a live television programme in Port Harcourt on Monday.

He said the narrative that Igbos were being killed by the military is intended to shift attention from the despicable activities of IPOB in Oyigbo, which is a boundary area adjoining Abia State.

“I know that this is not the first time, IPOB has used Oyigbo as launching ground. The security agencies are aware. IPOB added a new dimension this time. They killed six army officers and burnt one. They killed four Police Officers. They destroyed all the Police Stations and Court Buildings. What offense did we commit as a state?

“I imposed curfew to restore calm. I proscribed IPOB activities anywhere in the state. Don’t forget that the Federal Government had declared them a terrorist group. It is not the entire Igbos that believes in IPOB activities.

“So, it’s not true that I order the military to kill Igbos in Oyigbo. When did I become a friend to the military? So what about the Igbos living elsewhere in the state are they also being killed?”

He further said, “I have no relationship with the army or the police, I do not command them. They change Commissioner of Police every time. How will I begin to direct the Army that I do not give instruction”?

The governor bemoaned IPOB’s effrontery to rename a local government in the State and hoist its flag in a public school in Komkom Town.

“I will not fold my arms and watch criminals destroy my state, if those few criminals are Igbos then they should know that I will not allow them. They made attempt to rename a local government in my state. That alone is a signal. I will not agree to that. I know who is doing all these; who has told them to rise, protest against Wike.”

The governor stated that the State government has no regret against its stance on IPOB, already designated as a terrorist organisation by the Federal Government. According to him, even the South-East Governors have never supported IPOB and wondered why a governor from the Niger Delta should tolerate the group.

He revealed that security agencies during their search of some residents in Oyigbo, saw shrines with IPOB flags and Nnamdi Kanu’s picture. He maintained that if IPOB is allowed to operate from Oyigbo, they will soon overrun the State.

The governor said the government has commenced moves to replace all the property destroyed by the group during the protest, regretting that the damage have left huge financial burden on the state. In addition, he said the State has decided to compensate each family of the killed security personnel with N20 million to cater to for the welfare of the bereaved widows and their children.

He further said that the EndSARS protest and its aftermath would have been averted if the Federal Government had not dismissed the alarmed he earlier raised on the activities of SARS to mere politics.

“These loses of the aftermath of the protest are unfortunate. Recall that we started the cry against operations of SARS. We asked for reform. But they politicised the issue because they use it to kill and intimidate us.

“Here, the minister always used SARS to cause mayhem under the leadership of Akin Fakorede. We suffered a great deal. At a time, the entire National Assembly Election was cancelled. But we put faith in God who owns the state. We triumphed eventually,” he said.

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Some public servants earn more salary than the president – RMAFC boss

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Mohammed Shehu, chairman, Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC)

Mohammed Shehu, chairman, Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), says some political appointees earn more salary than President Muhammadu Buhari.

Shehu disclosed this during an interview on Channels Television on Thursday.

The RMAFC boss, who spoke on the commission’s plan to review judicial and political holders’ salaries, said some officials of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) collect salaries higher than the president.

He said the country needs to review allocations as some agencies remit less revenue. 

“The severance package of the president is just N10.5 million. This is after the president leaves office. You can imagine after spending four or eight years, that would be the only take-home. The salary of Mr President is not up to N1.3 million a month,” he said.

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“There are people in the private sector and others in other public sectors that earn twice, three times or four times. No public servant should earn a salary bigger than Mr President. But we do have public servants that earn salaries bigger than Mr President, such as in the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), etc.

“My argument has always been that no public servant should earn allowances, severances, or salaries larger than the president of the federal republic of Nigeria, and I stand by it.”

Speaking further on how salaries would be reviewed, especially on current realities, Shehu said salary review would go through processes.

He, however, added that salaries may be reviewed upward after going through due processes.

“When you do a review, the takeoff point is not immediate. And this is a process that has to go to the president and then to the national assembly, and then it becomes a law,” he added.

“I can not tell you whether we can afford it or not, but what I can tell you is there are unremitted revenues out there, probably estimated from N6 trillion to N7 trillion that should be remitted to the federation account.

The Cable

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Buckingham Palace aide resigns over racist comments

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A Buckingham Palace aide has resigned and tendered an apology over racist comments reportedly made to a black British guest at a reception hosted by the Queen Consort.

Ngozi Fulani, the founder of a charity supporting victims of domestic abuse, alleged that she was repeatedly asked by a royal aide at a Palace function where she was “really from” in Africa.

The palace said it was taking the incident “extremely seriously”.

An eyewitness to the conversation, Mandu Reid, confirmed the account and told the BBC the questions put to Ms Fulani were “offensive, racist and unwelcoming”.

Reid said she had a “sense of incredulity” about the exchange with a member of the Royal Household, in which Ms Fulani was “interrogated” about where she was from – even though she had explained she was born and lived in the UK.

Ms Fulani is the founder of the London-based charity Sistah Space, which supports black women who have faced domestic and sexual abuse.

Along with 300 guests, she had been invited to a high-profile reception at the Palace on Tuesday, where the Queen Consort, Camilla, had warned of a “global pandemic of violence against women”.

But after the event, Ms Fulani described her conversation on Twitter, where she was challenged by a royal aide to explain where she was from.

She recounted how she said: “We’re based in Hackney,” and the aide replied: “No, what part of Africa are you from?”

She said, “I don’t know, they didn’t leave any records”, and the Palace member responded, “Well you must know where you’re from, I spent time in France. Where are you from? Here, UK.”

“No, but what nationality are you?”

“I am born here and am British.”

“No, but where do you really come from, where do your people come from?”

She said that members of the Royal Household were circulating at the reception and making “chit chat” – but she said it became a “really unpleasant interaction”, when despite Ms Fulani’s replies there was an insistent questioning about her background.

Ms Reid said they were “stunned into silence” afterwards and says that Ms Fulani should receive an apology and those working for the palace should receive training.

Both Ms Reid and Sistah Space have decided not to name the royal aide believed to be involved.

Palace reacts

In response, Buckingham Palace said, “We take this incident extremely seriously and have investigated immediately to establish the full details.

“In this instance, unacceptable and deeply regrettable comments have been made.

“We have reached out to Ngozi Fulani on this matter, and are inviting her to discuss all elements of her experience in person if she wishes.

“In the meantime, the individual concerned would like to express her profound apologies for the hurt caused and has stepped aside from her honorary role with immediate effect.

“All members of the household are being reminded of the diversity and inclusivity policies which they are required to uphold at all times.”

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Adeleke denies sacking workers, monarchs

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Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke

Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke, has denied making executive orders to sack traditional rulers and workers in the state.

He said he only set up a review panel and nobody has been sacked.

His Chief Press Secretary, Olawale Rasheed, who in spoke Rave FM in Osogbo, said executive order one to five shows the intentions of the administration to review, nullify, and set aside while the instrumentality to effect the orders was order six which is the composition of the panel.

He said: “There was never sack of any worker or traditional ruler. We only set up a review panel. It is impossible to sack and put a review panel in place.

“The review panel is to look at the numbers of the people that were employed, due processes of the employment, and qualification among other things.

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“Before our taking over, there were issues of backdating of employment, even till last year. So, order 1-5 will be operationalised by order 6 which are the panels.

“Those that were employed from July 17 till our takeover are still at work presently, they have not been sacked. The staff audit will review the employment.”

However, a statement by Rasheed said the governor has approved the dissolution of all non-statutory boards in the state with immediate effect.

“As a follow-up to the pronouncement of Governor Adeleke, on Sunday, November 27, 2022, all non-statutory boards, commissions and parastatals, including those of tertiary institutions (with exception of UNIOSUN) are hereby dissolved in the state, forthwith.

“Consequently, all accounting officers of such boards, parastatals and commissions are to take charge with immediate effect.”

Sun

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