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of the Ekiti State Teaching Hospital (EKSUTH), will on Monday, January 12 commence total shut down of the health institution by declaring a strike action, if the management failed to reverse the “illegal” sack of its members.

About 200 workers of the hospital were last year December sacked by the management, but some have been reinstated due to pressure from organised .

Dropping the hint in Ado Ekiti on Thursday, the chairperson, Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU), Com. Omotola Farotimi , said the strike supposed to start on Friday (today), but the management of the hospital has been given three days extension for the management to have a rethink over the issue.

Farotimi said the management has been given the opportunity to enter into a memorandum of understanding with the labour, which she insisted must be backed with a letter to extract assurances that all the sacked workers will be recalled before shelving the strike.

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“We have given the management another extension of three days and it will end on Sunday, December 12 and if nothing is done before that day, there will be total of the system at EKSUTH from Monday.

“The management said they have told some workers to return to their duty posts, but we don’t want verbal assurance, let them back it with a letter and this must be done before Sunday.

“We thank God that the engagement we had with the management is yielding positive results. Those compulsorily retired has been recalled and we want others who were illegally sacked to return to to guarantee industrial harmony.”

Farotimi faulted the disengagement of some workers on the strength that they were employed in 2018 when there was embargo on employment.

“They said those that were employed between July and December 2018 were illegal workers, because there was embargo then. These workers were given letters of disengagement on January 2. We asked for the memo about the enbargo, but none was produced .

“It is sad that workers in some critical areas in the clinical sector were sacked based on this flimsy excuses”, she said.

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Also speaking, the organised labour through the Secretary of the joint Negotiating Council, Com Gbenga Olowoyo , said there may be sympathy strike from other sectors of the civil service should government allows the strike to commence.

“The extension was made by labour to follow due process. We are not fighting the government but management of EKSUTH, who are surreptitiously dealing with our people on daily basis.

“We are giving a total backing to this proposed strike, because you can’t hoodwink people with a stage-managed , it has to be evaluated.

“That was the mistake they made at EKSU where lecturers were mistakenly captured on the sack list,because the report was not reviewed. They forgot they were dealing with human beings and not animals.

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“There will be sympathy strike from all workers , because they are unhappy about the way our people were given sack letters on December 31 when they were in celebration mood. They want us to resort to suicide, we won’t allow that to happen.”

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Abass Sulaiman Adegoke, well known as Adegoke is a student of Federal Polytechnic Ede studying Civil Engineering, He is a media enthusiast, loves traveling, and has a special interest in personal development.

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Why we increased hate speech fine to N5m – Lai Mohammed

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The Federal Government says it increased the fine for hate speech from N500, 000 to N5 million in the ammended National Broadcasting Code to deter people who are willingly violating the provision to destabilise the country.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed gave the explanation on Friday when he featured on a TVC live Programme, “This Morning”” monitored by the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja.

NAN recalls that the minister in 2019 announced the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari for the increase of the fine which was later stipulated in the ammended Broadcasting Code.

“What motivated the amendment was that when the fine was N500,000 we saw the provision being violated at will because the amount was very easy to pay,” he said.

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The minister explained that some desperate people, who know that their broadcast content contains hate speech, will insist that the broadcast stations should air it while they bear the cost of the fine.

The minister noted that those attacking the government over the increase, must remember that hate speech had destroyed many countries.

He recalled that Rwandan lost 800,000 lives to hate speech while Bosnia and Cambodia equally lost thousands of lives to the menace.

Mohammed said that Nigeria is not the only country to impose sanction on hate speech, adding that some nations have more stringent provisions.

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“Chad has today slow down the speed of its internet service to slow down the growth of hate speech.

“Iceland has a provision in its penal code against hate speech and the punishment is up to five years in jail.

“The sanction in Norway is up to two years imprisonment while South Africa separated hate speech from the protection their citizens  can get from the constitution,” he said.

The minister said that hate speech is not new but the social media  and its wildfire capacity to spread information made it to be more problematic.

He, therefore, reiterated the resolve of the government to regulate the social media without stifling the freedom of speech.

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Ogun: Gov Abiodun makes u-turn, stops payment of N25,000 COVID-19 test fee

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The Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun appears to have bowed to pressure as he stopped the payment of N25,000 by students of private boarding schools for COVID-19 and malaria tests.

Abiodun came under heavy criticisms parents of SS3 students in private boarding schools were made to realize on Sunday that they must pay a sum of N25,000 to get their children tested.

Making a u-turn on Monday evening, the governor said, “After reviewing these developments, I have today immediately directed that the government laboratories carry out test for all returning SS3 boarding students at no cost.

“I have also directed that all those who have paid for tests be refunded.”

A statement personally signed by Gov Abiodun reads:

“In line with the Federal Ministry of Education recommendation and WASSCE timetable, we decided to open our schools on the 4th August 2020 for SS3 students only. We put in place guidelines that would ensure that our students resume in a safe environment.

“In our pre-opening engagements with stakeholders, opening of boarding houses was discussed. Our State has one of the largest population of boarding students in the country, coming from all over the Country. After consultations with health professionals, we concluded that testing the children for COVID-19 before admittance will reduce the risk of community transmission. This is to reassure parents and even teachers of the safety of everybody concerned.

“The State planned and provided testing, free of charge, for boarding students in our public schools and allowed for the management and parents of private schools to make their arrangements to get COVID-19 tests. The two Ogun State-run laboratories have a capacity for about 500 tests a day and conduct free tests for traced contacts or symptomatic patients. To meet the additional demand for the expected number of boarding students, the statement from the Ogun State Ministry of Education, Science and Technology listed some private test centers which set up sampling points in some of our Health facilities.

“These private laboratories have been accredited by NCDC and Lagos State Government for walk-in tests and charge N50,400 per test but I understand that the Ministries of Health and Education negotiated this to N25,000 for boarding students in private schools that may wish to use them. There is no financial benefit to the State Government.

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“After reviewing these developments, I have today immediately directed that the Government Laboratories carry out test for all returning SS3 boarding students at no cost. I have also directed that all those who have paid for tests be refunded.

“The health of our children remains our utmost priority, however in view of the total number of boarding students to be tested (5,340 private and 500 public), and bearing in mind the limitation of our installed testing capacity of 500 tests per day, it may not be feasible for all boarding students to get tested and get their results prior to resumption or even exams which commence on 17th August 2020.

“Consequently the State Government has, therefore, stepped down the COVID-19 test as a mandatory requirement for returning students in our exit classes. We, therefore, enjoin Private School owners to exercise their duty of care to their pupils. The admittance of students into boarding house in private secondary schools will be at the discretion of the management and the Parents Teachers Association (PTA) of such private schools.

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“Ogun State Government recommends that students who do not have to stay in the boarding house should attend school from home, especially those with underlying health conditions.

“I have also directed the provision of face masks to all students in both private and public schools.

“The inconvenience and confusion experienced yesterday is highly regrettable and my sincere apologies to the parents and students so affected.

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“The quality and standard of education and well being of our children are issues that are very dear to my heart.

“I appreciate the cooperation, support, resilience and understanding of all the people of Ogun State towards flattening the curve of COVID-19 in Ogun State. It is my prayer that this phase will end soonest.”

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