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Army not involved in confiscation of any community land in Osun

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Army Public Relations, Brig -Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu

Last Updated on August 31, 2023 by Fellow Press

The Nigerian Army absolved self from allegation of confiscation of community land for a proposed civil-military intervention project in Orolu Community in Osun.

This contained in a statement by the Director, Army Public Relations, Brig -Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, on Wednesday in Abuja.

Nwachukwu said that one Chief Babatunde Oyetunji, Eesa of Ifon, had in a statement alleged that the Nigerian Army had decided to forcefully acquire land for a proposed project in Orolu Community.

He said the allegations were entirely false, malicious and an effort by some vested interests to tarnish the good reputation of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and drag the name of the institution in the mud.

“The fact of the matter is that one of the lines of operations of the Nigerian army in tackling security challenges in the country is the Non-kinetic line of operations.

“It is a soft approach, aimed at winning the hearts and minds of the public through the instrumentality of Civil-Military Cooperation activities or programmes of the Nigerian Army.

“This effort, is fundamentally geared towards fostering cooperation and galvanising support of the civil populace for army’s diverse operations to mitigate security challenges across the country.

Hence, the Nigerian army usually executes special community intervention projects, such as hospitals, boreholes, electrification amongst others based on needs assessment, after consultations with the leadership of such communities, at the behest of senior officers, who hail from the benefiting community,” he said.

In this particular case, Nwachukwu said that a retired senior officer conceptualised an intervention project; a medical centre in the state.

He said the proposal had not even been formally forwarded to the Chief of Army staff for approval, adding that the Department of Civil-Military Affairs at the Army Headquarters was yet to receive requisite information to enable it initiate a comprehensive proposal for the project.

He explained that the army would not have in any way known which land belongs to who, since it was not yet involved in the process.

According to him, it is only when and if the request of the retired senior officer is forwarded to the Chief of Army Staff and is approved, that the Army can send a team to carry out due diligence on the project site and carry along all stakeholders in the process.

“Surprisingly, if the said project for which the COAS and the Nigerian army are being maligned sails through and is approved, it is a project that will benefit the civil populace and serve humanity, irrespective of community affiliation.

“The Nigerian Army hereby absolves itself of any involvement in an attempt to confiscate any community land.

“The Nigerian Army is a professional and law abiding institution that has always followed due process in all her intervention projects, so far undertaken.

“Therefore, members of the public are enjoined to discountenance the allegations and continue to support the Nigerian Army and its Kinetic and None kinetic operations across the country,” Nwachukwu said.

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Minimum wage: Archbishop urges compromise

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Last Updated on June 9, 2024 by Fellow Press

Archbishop Joseph Ojo, General Overseer of the Calvary Kingdom Church, Okokomaiko, Lagos State, on Saturday urged labour leaders and the Federal Government to reach a compromise as regards a new minimum wage.

Ojo made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

The archbishop described wage negotiation as a social contract that should be approached with empathy by parties.

According to him compromise is needed in the matter to save the country from anxiety.

“They should consider the fact that the unemployed are much more than the few that are in government employment.

“The federal, states and local governments only employed some workers.

“Others are in firms owned and operated by individuals that might not be able to pay higher wage.

“The higher they push it, the higher the inability of the unemployed to survive, because firms, which struggle to pay staff, may not talk of hiring new ones,” he said.

The cleric said that lack of employment might result in increase in crimes.

“There are private sector employers, who cannot cope with what the federal or states will offer,” he added.

The cleric said that high wage bill might compel private schools to increase school bills to meet up with overhead costs.

“Some parents will not meet up, and their children would be forced to drop out of school,” he said.

He also advised governments to consider subsisting social-economic variables, such as cost of food items, transport and medical bills, and offer a sustainable minimum wage.

“The parties ought to put all these into consideration to achieve progress in their negotiation,” the cleric said.

NAN reports that the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress are now demanding N250, 000 as a new minimum wage.

The Federal Government has offered to pay N62,000.

Negotiations are ongoing.

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Over 200 intending pilgrims protest in Ilorin over faulty aircraft

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Last Updated on June 7, 2024 by Fellow Press

No fewer than 200 intending pilgrims from Kwara on Friday protested at llorin international Airport over the inability of an aircraft to transport them to Saudi Arabia.

The pilgrims, officials of the State Pilgrims Welfare Board and the 2024 state Amirul Hajj had boarded the aircraft since Thursday.

The aircraft was, however, said to have developed a technical fault.

Some engineers with the Federal Airport Authority had been making frantic efforts to repair the faulty aircraft since Thursday without success.

Consequently, some of the intending pilgrims staged a protest over the development.

The intending pilgrims, alongside their relations, took the protest to the highway linking the airport with other communities to express their displeasure over the situation.

Some of the protesters were seen singing solidarity songs condemning the situation, especially since they are the tenth and last batch from the state.

Sen. lbrahim Oloriegbe, the state’s 2024 Amirul Hajj, while speaking with NAN, attributed the failure to transport the last batch of the pilgrims to faulty aircraft.

Oloriegbe said the intending pilgrims had boarded the aircraft since Thursday but were unable to be transported following the development.

The Amirul hajj said that they are expecting another aircraft from Medinnah to transport the intending pilgrims and the officials.

He appealed to them to exercise patience, as the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria was on top of the situation.

He said that the board would continue to cater for the feeding of the intending pilgrims pending when they would be transported to the holy land.

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