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Why I’m fighting Governor el-Rufai — Shehu Sani

In an interview Shehu Sani, the senator representing Kaduna Central, speaks on federal lawmakers’ controversial jumbo pay, his disagreement with his state governor, Nasir El-Rufai, and other issues.

How has the transition been from activism to parliament?

The transition from activism to parliament gives me a new experience in governance. The fact that we are from a journey of struggles, that found us in the trenches, organising protests and standing up against injustice and tyranny. This is an opportunity for us to make positive impact in our society by seeing to the realisation of those ideas and ideals that we stood for over the years.

We have been used to throwing missiles. Now we are in a position to receive them. We have been used to criticising now we are in a position to be criticised. We have lived our lives in the opposition. During the military era, we were in the forefront of the struggle against military rule and for the restoration of democracy.

Many of us were pushed to exile. Others were jailed or even killed in that struggle. Now, we are in government, specifically in parliament. From my experience, I can say that this is different from what we were used to in the last decade.

With characters like you in the National Assembly, the hope was that there was going to be some radical changes in the way our parliamentarians carry themselves. So far, there has been so much controversy. Even the way your party, the APC, elected its leadership. What is wrong? Is this the change Nigerians worked for?

Read more: Why I’m fighting Governor el-Rufai — Shehu Sani

Army destroys fish, meat, belonging to Boko-Haram

The Nigerian Army on Friday destroyed 2,000 cartons of dried fish and smoked meat recovered from suspected Boko Haram insurgents.

Col. Tukur Gusau, spokesman of the 7 Division of the Nigerian Arm, supervised the public destruction of the items in Maiduguri.

Gusau said the items were recovered by the military after different operations in parts of the state.

“The cartons of dried fish and smoked meat are believed to have been seized from innocent fishermen and businessmen.

“The smoked meat was suspected to be made from rustled cows by the insurgents, who later sell them at ridiculous amount to finance their terrorist activities,” he said.

Gusau then called on members of the public to continue supporting security agents by reporting any suspicious movement of persons or vehicles loaded with supplies meant for Boko Haram terrorist enclaves. (NAN)

Unpaid salaries: NUJ vows to disrupt Thisday’s 20th anniversay

The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has threatened to disrupt the 20th anniversary celebration of Thisday Newspapers if the management failed to pay the outstanding salaries of the organisation’s journalists.

A statement by the National President of NUJ, Waheed Odusile, on Friday in Lagos said that the publisher of Thisday, Mr Nduka Obaigbena had been notified.

It said that if the management failed to effect the payment by 2 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 4, the union would disrupt the organisation’s 20th anniversary celebration.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the anniversary celebration is scheduled to hold on Saturday, Sept. 5, at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.

The statement said that the letter sent to Obaigbenna on Wednesday, noted that the action would take place with the full backing of the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress.

It said it was particularly pained that Obaigbena had reneged on his promise after assuring the NUJ leadership of the payment.

Read more: Unpaid salaries: NUJ vows to disrupt Thisday’s 20th anniversay

65-year old slumps at SIM card registration centre in Delta

By Osakhare Erese, Asaba

For fear of losing their mobile numbers, thousands of Global Systems for Mobile communication (GSM) subscribers on Friday besieged the various network centres in Delta State for the ongoing update of subscriber identity Module (SIM Registration).

In two centres in Asaba visited by our correspondent, one of the centres along Nnebisi road Asaba was enveloped in large crowd of people struggling to have their SIM registered.

Expectedly, a 65-year old woman identified as Eunice (Surname withheld) and six others allegedly slumped after an endless wait to have their SIM registered.

Officials of the popular MTN network centre, where the incident occurred who did not want their names in the print blamed the situation on nonchalant attitude of the subscribers, adding that several text messages to those who did not register their SIM to do so on or before last month end, fell on deaf ears.

In Agbor, Warri and Ughelli the MTN centres one of the leading networks in the country witnessed upsurge of subscribers who in their worries were at the various centres’ to perfect their SIM registration update.

As it were, the rush at each of the network centres in compliance with the directive by the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) that all unregistered SIMs should be deactivated created unhealthy environment for subscribers in Asaba and its environs where business activities were literally paralyzed resulting in serious traffic gridlock in major roads leading to the centres.

Read more: 65-year old slumps at SIM card registration centre in Delta

Group accuses Gov Yari of misappropriating over 8bn

From Ibrahim Sidi Muh’d, Gusau.

The Zamfara Youth Central Forum (ZYCF) has accused Governor Abdulaziz Yari of abandoning electrification contract aimed at connecting 87 villages across 14 local government areas of the state to the national grid awarded by his administration since 2012.

Speaking with newsmen in Gusau the state capital, Chairman of the forum, Comrade Abba Muhammad Gusau stated that, the contract was awarded to a private construction company owned by one Abba Aleru, a younger brother to former Kebbi State governor, Adamu Aleiro, to the tune of over 3.8 billion naira.

He challenged that, the master plan of the contract indicated that electrical lines of about 39 towns would be extended as the high tension was planned to be upgraded, while 48 villages would eventually be connected directly to the national grid.

He further criticised that, the  project was awarded by the present administration which up till now, there has been no single village has virtually benefitted so far from the project as initially agreed by the two embattled parties.

Abba said: “Based on the clear record available to my forum, the N3.8 billion in question has already been released from the state government coffers through the state Directorate for Rural Electrification Project as directed by the office of the state Governor in 2013 without following due process.

He however expressed dissatisfaction on how Governor Abdulaziz Yari turned his back against the project almost three years now, and therefore, vows to draw the attention of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate the matter.

Read more: Group accuses Gov Yari of misappropriating over 8bn