Nine gubernatorial candidates of various registered political parties have signed a peace accord organised by the state police command in collaboration with a civil society organisation, Jigawa Youth Agenda.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, the Jigawa State commissioner of police, Emmanuel Ekot Effiom, said the exercise was aimed at engaging the candidates and other political actors in peaceful campaigns and elections.
He told the participants that peace and stability were key to successful elections, sustainable democracy and development. “Every good leader is expected to lead by example, as candidates you are required to conduct your campaigns in a peaceful manner, respect others and discourage bad acts.
Two Killed As Gunmen Attack Police Checkpoint In Ebonyi
Two persons have been confirmed dead following another attack by unknown gunmen at a Police Checkpoint along the Presco junction axis of the ever-busy Enugu-Abakaliki expressway in Abakalik, Ebonyi State.
The incident occured at about 8pm on Monday night and created panic and tension along the major expressway as motorists and commuters scampered for safety while the gun battle lasted.
A source, who spoke to our correspondent on the condition of anonymity, said that the gunmen operated on a motorcycle to attack the police officers at their duty post.
The gunmen on arriving at the junction opened fire on the policemen on duty while the policemen responded immediately resulting to sporadic exchange of gunshots. When the gun duel subsided, people who went close to the scene observed that a policeman was shot dead while one of the gunmen was also killed.
When contacted, the Ebonyi State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Chris Anyanwu, confirmed the incident.
SP Anyanwu said one policeman and an unknown gunman were shot dead during the clash between the Police and the unknown gunmen on Monday night.
In other news, parents of students at different Unity Schools in Ebonyi State have demanded for the immediate closure of the schools following the threat by the outlawed Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB) to shut down the South-East for five days.
The parents, who trooped to the schools in the early hours of on Tuesday, demanded that their children and wards be released to them on or before Thursday this week before the commencement of the sit-at-home order, which the secessionist group announced will start on Friday.
A parent, Mrs. Grace Ofor, said: “We are here to demand for the release of our children. They have finished their exams and I don’t see the reason why they are still keeping them here. IPOB announced that they will shut down the South-East from Friday this week till Wednesday next week and nobody knows how long it will last, so we urge them to let our kids go.”
Following the sit-at-home order, the Catholic Bishop of Abakaliki has directed that Holy Rosary School in the state be closed on Thursday and the students vacate the school.
Similarly, many ceremonies including burials, weddings and other social activities in the state have been put on hold by their organizers.
Womb Raiders Cut Mexican Woman Open To Steal Foetus
A pregnant Mexican woman died after she was cut open by two assailants who stole her unborn baby, authorities said Monday.
The alleged perpetrators were arrested with a newborn in their possession, the attorney general’s office in the eastern state of Veracruz said in a statement.
The suspects, a man and a woman, appeared before a judge on Monday accused of kidnapping and femicide.
They allegedly sliced open the victim to extract the fetus because the woman attacker was unable to have children herself, an official linked to the investigation told AFP on condition of anonymity.
The victim was lured to her death through social media with a promise of clothes for her baby, relatives told local media, which said that it was the third case of its kind in recent years.
More than 3,700 women were murdered in violence-plagued Mexico in 2021, of which around 1,000 were classified as femicides, according to official figures.
CONUA To Sue Federal Government Over Withheld Salaries
The Congress of University Academics has expressed its disappointment with the Federal Government, especially the Ministry of Labour and Employment, over the non-payment of its members’ withheld salaries “even when the government knew that the union did not call for strike action and its members were not involved in the strike action that lasted for eight months and which shut down the university system nationwide.”
CONUA, in a statement on Tuesday, signed by its National President, Secretary and Publicity Secretary, Dr Niyi Sunmonu, Dr Henry Oripeloye and Dr Ernest Nwoke, respectively, said it was wrong for the FG to lump CONUA with members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities who went on eight months strike between February and October, 2022.
The new union of lecturers thereby viewed to sue FG for withholding its members’ salaries.
The statement partly read, “CONUA formally made its non-involvement in the strike known to the Federal Government in a letter addressed to the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, in April 2022.
“In the letter, we made it clear that because CONUA constituted a separate and independent union in the university system, our members did not call for any strike. This was followed by a Press Conference in Abuja on August 19, 2022 at which it was categorically stated that CONUA was not part of any ongoing strike, and that the “No Work No Pay” principle ought not to apply to members of the union.
“CONUA’s expectation is that, due to the express and categorical declaration, the government would seamlessly release our members’ outstanding salaries when it resumed the payment of salaries to all university staff in October 2022. But to our dismay, CONUA members were also paid pro-rata salaries in complete disregard to the fact that we were indeed shut out of duties by the strike.
“Subsequently, we wrote to the Accountant-General of the Federatıon and the Ministry of Labour and Employment reminding them that it was an error to lump our members with those that declared and embarked on strike action. It was yet another shock for the outstanding backlog of salaries not to have been paid to our members along with the November 2022 salary.”
CONUA said the non-payment of “our withheld salaries” contravenes Section 43 (1b) of the Trade Disputes Act CAP. T8, which stated that “where any employer locks out his workers, the workers shall be entitled to wages and any other applicable remunerations for the period of the lock-out and the period of the lock-out shall not prejudicially affect any rights of the workers being rights dependent on the continuity of period of employment.”
“This provision is consistent with global best practices,” it added.
“From the foregoing and as a law-abiding union that pledged to do things differently, we have resolved to seek legal redress of the illegal withholding of our legitimate salaries by taking the matter to court in consonance with the rights enshrined in our laws,” the union said.