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I never received salary, don’t know how much senators earn – Okorocha

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Former Governor and Senator representing Imo West, Chief Rochas Okorocha, has disclosed that he had never received a dime as salary from the National Assembly, since becoming a Senator, over two years ago.

This was, even as, the Philanthropist said he didn’t draw salaries from the coffers of Imo State Government for the eight years he spent as Governor.

Okorocha, while interacting with members of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), FCT Council in Abuja on Monday, also denied knowledge of how much in particular, a Senator receives as basic salary or allowances every month.

The lawmaker was at the NUJ for conversation with Abuja Journalists, as part of activities lining up for his 59th birthday anniversary, coming up on the 22nd September, 2021.

According to him, the Management of the National Assembly had his express approval from the beginning of his tenure as Senator, to channel his monthly salaries and other allowances into charity, which he said was initially objected to, by the Management.

“I have never received salary as a Senator. Even as a Governor of Imo State, I didn’t draw a penny for the years I spent. I hate public funds. One thing about public funds is that, if you don’t work for it, don’t collect it because it has spiritual implications”, Okorocha told the Journalists.

Speaking further on the basic salaries and allowances of Senators, Okorocha said, “I don’t know how much a Senator earns. But I think the basic salary is around N2m, but allowance is around N3m for housing, then transportation and other allowances put together to be around N10m or N11m, not too sure”.

Okorocha who has been clamouring for the reduction in the cost of governance by reducing the number of Senators to one for each State and three House of Representatives Members from each state, however, said the take home of the Senators was not that much, compared to their status and the cost of living.

“But truly speaking, can the N3m for housing allowance pay for the rent of a Senator? Except if you want them to go and live in Maraba and Nyanya.

“I have advocated that we reduce the numbers of Senators and Reps Members, but they said NO. So, if we must have these numbers of lawmakers in Nigeria, then we should be able to carter for their welfare also”, he added.

Okorocha, who spoke on wide issues of governance, unity and development of the country, also pointed that the judiciary must be strengthened, to compel citizens and leaders to be patriotic, as there lies the greatness of the Nigerian state.

Highlight of the event was the presentation of icon of humanitarian award to Senator Okorocha by the NUJ, as mark of his contributions to the emancipation of the Nigerian child through his foundation.

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Oshiomhole praises Jonathan, says he left enviable legacies

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Former Chairman of the All Progressives Congress,Adams Oshiomhole, has said ex-President Goodluck Jonathan left enviable legacies behind.

The former Edo State governor said no leader is appreciated until they leave office, explained that his disagreement with former President Jonathan was due to their differences in political interests.

He stated this at the one-year memorial lecture in honour of late Captain Hosa Okunbo, in Abuja on Saturday.

Oshiomhole said, “You (Jonathan) left legacies even though I had cause to fight because it is politics. The legacy you have left, there is no successor who can afford to do less.

“But the logic of multi-party democracy is that even an angel can be defeated. You have set a standard that none of your successors can afford to go below.

“Part of your (Jonathan) legacies was when you launched the almajiri school and your thought was that no Nigerian child should be left on the street and also appropriated special funds.

“These ideas are not new but what we lack is the will to transform it to practice. We never know who are our friends until when we are no more. No one is appreciated until he or she leaves office.”

Other speakers at the event were Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwase III decried the glorification of stomach infrastructure in Nigeria’s political culture, among others.

They described the late Captain Hosa Okunbo as a man with a large heart and spirit of philanthropy.

They noted one of his legacies that would continue to endure was that he nurtured and mentored many to become responsible members of the society.

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Shaving Inibehe Effiong’s hair, beard a security measure, says NCoS

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The Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS), Akwa Ibom command, says the shaving of the hair and beard of Inibehe Effiong, a legal practitioner, is a security measure.

Effiong was sent to prison July 27 by the Chief Judge of Akwa Ibom, Ekaette Obot, after the lawyer reportedly protested against the presence of armed policemen in court.

The human rights lawyer was in court to defend Leo Ekpenyong, a lawyer, in a libel suit filed by Udom Emmanuel, governor of Akwa Ibom.
Many Nigerians, including civil society organisations (CSOs), have called for the release of the human rights lawyer.
On Thursday, reports surfaced on social media that Effiong had been transferred to the Uyo correctional centre, and that the lawyer’s hair and beard had been forcefully shaved.
Speaking on the reports, Femi Falana, human rights advocate, said such action was a violation of Effiong’s fundamental human rights.
In a statement on Friday, Richard Metong, NCoS Akwa Ibom spokesperson, said the shaving was not done with blunt instrument as speculated on social media, adding that the action was “a security measure as well as a routine practice in the facility”.
“On arrival at Uyo, he was duly admitted into the facility and was also informed of the need to cut his hair and beards as a security measure as well as a routine practice in the facility, which he obliged and willingly allowed the barber using a clipper and not a blunt instrument as speculated on social media,” the statement reads.
Meeting told TheCable on Saturday that the decision to shave Effiong’s hair and beard was carried out to ensure his safety among other inmates.
“On the security aspect, you know that the cells where they stay is not only for one person. There are a lot of other persons, and if you know barrister Effiong very well, he has a very long beard,” he said.
“In case of an argument or altercation with somebody in the cell, it can lead to him being harmed in a way if there is anything ensuing between himself and other inmates.
“You know he is a very popular human rights lawyer and I’m also very sure that there are other persons he prosecuted their cases who are also in the same facility.
“So, we are also considering his own safety by asking him to please shave to be clean. It is for his own best interest. It poses security threat to him as he goes into the facility. We don’t want him to be harmed.”
Speaking further, Metong said the decision was in line with the personal hygiene clause stipulated in the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, also known as the Nelson Mandela rules.
Rule 18 (personal hygiene) of the Nelson Mandela rules states: “Prisoners shall be required to keep their persons clean, and to this end they shall be provided with water and with such toilet articles as are necessary for health and cleanliness.
“In order that prisoners may maintain a good appearance compatible with their self-respect, facilities shall be provided for the proper care of the hair and beard, and men shall be able to shave regularly.”

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ASUU won’t go on strike under my administration, says Atiku

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Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, says the Academic Staff Union of Universities will not go on strike if he is elected Nigeria’s president.

He stated this at the commemoration of the 2022 International Youth Day in Abuja on Friday.

ASUU has been on strike since February 14 due to the inability of the Federal Government to honour their 2009 agreement with the union.

Atiku, who disclosed that he had been investing in education for 30 years, noted that the most important fundamental right of any youth is the right to education.

He said,  “I take a very strong exception to the strike by ASUU. The inability of the government to resolve that crisis will never happen under a PDP government or administration that I will oversee.

“I have been investing in education for the past 30 years.”

The former Vice President promised to work with the university authorities to bring an end the incessant strike.

“I believe the PDP provides the best platform for you to actualise your individual, collective aspirations,” he said.

 

 

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