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I’m Not Due for Retirement Yet, NASS Clerk, Sani-Omolori Kicks

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The clerk of the National Assembly, Mohammed Sani-Omolori, has reacted the compulsory retirement notice issued to him by the National Assembly Service Commission. In a statement on Wednesday evening, the clerk insisted that the retirement age for the National Assembly remains 40 years of service or 65 years of age.

He said the resolution of the National Assembly which increased the age and years of service has not been amended.

He also said the commission has no powers to intervene in the controversy.

“The attention of the National Assembly Management has been drawn to a press release dated 15th July, 2020 signed by the Chairman of the National Assembly Service Commission, informing the general public that the commission has approved the retirement age of staff of the National Assembly as 35 years of service or 60 years of age whichever comes first.

“The Management of the National Assembly wishes to inform all staff and the general public that the extant regulation as contained in our Revised Conditions of Service duly passed by both Chambers of the 8th National Assembly puts the retirement age of staff at 40 years of service and 65 years of age whichever comes first.

“The Resolution of the 8th National Assembly on the Conditions of Service of Staff has not been rescinded nor abdicated by the National Assembly, who under the authentic National Assembly Service Act 2014 as passed is empowered to review any proposed amendment to the Conditions of Service by the Commission.”

“Therefore, the National Assembly Service Commission does NOT have the powers to set aside the Revised Conditions of Service as passed by the 8th National Assembly.”

He said the management “had maintained a studied silence in deference to the leadership of the 9th National Assembly which is looking into the position being canvassed by the commission but finds it intriguing that the National Assembly Service Commission has unilaterally gone ahead to take a decision.”

He urged all staff to disregard the press release by the commission and go about their lawful duties.

The controversial bill was proposed and passed at a time that the commission (known as NASC), which is the policy-making organ of the federal legislature, had not been constituted.

Following its constitution in February by President Muhammadu Buhari with Mr Amshi as its chairman, the NASC reviewed and decided to set aside the revised condition of service, saying it was self-serving and not duly passed.

This development has divided National Assembly workers in the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN).

While a faction is applauding the decision of the NASC to jettison the new rule, another is standing with the National Assembly management led by Mr Sani-Omolori.

An argument preferred by a group is that if the bill was passed by the National Assembly like similar ones, it thus requires assent by President Muhammadu Buhari to become law.

The other group counters, saying it does not require presidential assent but that NASC, which they pointed out was not on ground at the time the bill was passed, can move for a revision of its provisions.

The opponents of the bill also alleged that the five-year increase in service years “was smuggled through the back door” into the original body of proposals.

They fingered Mr Sani-Omolori, his management team and the leadership of the 8th National Assembly as the architects of the ‘surreptitious’ extension of service years under the guise of reviewing the conditions of service of legislative workers.

The revised conditions, however, appear to be very popular with a majority of the over 4,000-strong workforce of the National Assembly who all stand to benefit from the implementation, one way or the other.

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Mailafia Accuses Those Who Wanted Jonathan Out of Sponsoring Bandits

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A former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr Obadiah Mailafia, says many of the bandits terrorising the country were sponsored by persons who wanted to push former President Goodluck Jonathan out of power at all cost.

Mailafia said this during an interview with The PUNCH on Thursday.

He said, “During the 2015 elections they brought in thousands of foreigners into this country, armed them because it was a case of if Goodluck Jonathan doesn’t surrender, there will be war. They were ready for civil war; they were not ready for peace.

“Of course, Jonathan handed over to them and then they turned their backs on the hoodlums and the hoodlums said ‘look, you brought us here and we are still here’.”

Mailafia, who was the Presidential candidate of the African Democratic Congress in the last election, said he was also convinced that some foreign powers were behind the bandits.

“There are certain world powers that want to destroy our country. That is what I believe. There was a container load of weapons that were brought in from Turkey. Another time some were brought in from Iran. But nobody probed further and everything was swept under the carpet and that was the end of it,” he said.

The former CBN deputy governor, who was last year invited by the Department of State Services and the police for saying that an unnamed northern governor was a Boko Haram commander, said the fact that other people have come out to say far worse but have not been invited, shows that he was unfairly targeted.

“My name is Mailafia and I am always for peace. I want peace in this country because I know without peace there can be no development but I think the people in government have to be objective and treat us equally. Someone says one thing and they go after him. Others say worse things and they are treated with kid gloves,” he said.

The former CBN deputy governor also disagreed with the approach of Sheikh Ahmad Gumi on the issue of amnesty for bandits.
Mailafia said it was wrong to offer such hoodlums amnesty and then make no provision for the victims, adding that they have no agenda other than to destroy.

He argued that appeasing the bandits would never work even as he said the Niger Delta militancy and the banditry ravaging the country are two different things.

“I do not believe that the Niger Delta militancy can be compared to the terrorists. These people (terrorists) are not even bandits. A bandit is a common thief or a brigand. The ‘agbero’ are bandits. These people carrying sophisticated weapons and rockets are not bandits. They are terrorists.

“They have killed, they have maimed, they have raped and they have wreaked havoc,” Mailafia said.

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Zamfara Confirms Abduction, Says Security Operatives, Vigilantes in Pursuit of Abductors

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The Zamfara State Government has confirmed the abduction of female students of Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe in the Talata-Mafara Local Government Area of the state.

The confirmation was made by the Commissioner of Security and Home Affairs, Alhaji Abubakar Dauran in a brief interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Gusau on Friday.

The abductors in their hundreds invaded the town and took away the students about 2 am.

“I can confirm to you now that we have sadly received the report on the abduction of the students of GGSS Jangebe and right now, I am on my way to the school.

“At this moment, l cannot say how many students were taken away by the gunmen until l get there, but we have already mobilized security men and members of the vigilantatè who are now in pursuit of the abductors,” the commissioner stated.

A staff of the school who spoke to NAN on condition of anonymity said, “The gunmen in their hundreds invaded the town around 2 am on Friday, shot sporadically in the air to scare the residents before coming into the school.

“After taking away most of the students, we rounded up those that escaped or hid from the bandits and conducted a census where we counted 54 students and we are still searching to see if we can get more.”

Also, a resident who gave his name as Haliru Jangebe said the local vigilantes had tried to repel the invaders but were overpowered.

“The bandits were too many and they all seemed to be carrying heavy arms as we heard gunshots from all parts of the town and when the shots stopped, we heard that the students had been taken away.”

(NAN)

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I’ve Given My Life to Christ, Metuh Says After EFCC Ordeal

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In a brief speech, former spokesperson of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP, Olisa Metuh, has said that he has given his life to Christ, and to the service of God for the rest of his life, following his survival after his months of incarceration by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The former National Publicity Secretary spoke when some PDP faithful received him at the party secretariat in Awka on Wednesday.

He said:

“Since I returned from EFCC custody, I have given my life to Christ

“I have been to the lowest, deepest end of the valley. I have wrestled with the demons.

“I wrestled with the devils. The Almighty God has saved me. For that, I commit the rest of my life to the service of God and the people.

“It is not easy. It is just like being in your house and an armed robber comes to your house, takes away all your earnings, beats you up, violates your wife, deals with your children and you can’t do anything because he has the gun.

“When we have power, we should know how to use it because there is God in heaven. At the end of the day, all of us will die.”

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