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Protesting Youths, Workers Shut Down Warri Refinery Over Employment

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  • Protesting Youths, Workers Shut Down Warri Refinery Over Employment

Hundreds of youths and members of staff of the Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company on Wednesday shut down commercial activities at the Warri Refinery in Ekpan, Uvwie Local Government Area of Delta State, over alleged management’s failure to regularise their engagements.

The protesters drawn from across the Niger Delta states vowed to continue with their protest and ensure that major activities at the refinery remained shut until the management of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation resolved the issue.

Our correspondent observed that the protesters had all the entrances into the refinery under lock and key, accusing the management of NNPC of reneging on its earlier agreement to convert them from contract staff members into full staff members of the company.

The casual workers, including members of the host communities (Ekpan, Ubeji, Aja-Etan, Ifie-Kporo and Ijala-Ikeren) to the WRPC, however, rebuffed efforts by security operatives, including policemen and officers of the Nigerian Army to have them vacate the major entrance into the refinery.

Some of the protesters, who spoke with our correspondent, lamented that they had spent their productive years working for WRPC, alleging that despite series of promises to fully absorb them, they were not invited for the second batch of staff recruitment for the corporation in Abuja.

One of the protesters, Edemerukewan Emedwor, claimed that even though most of them were graduates and certified skilled workers that had been effectively doing the jobs, the company recently came up with some criteria such as having a First Class or Masters Degree, as conditions to become full staff members.

Emedwor, who, however, appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to wade into the matter so as to ensure they were employed in line with his administration’s “Next Level” mantra, added that their current terms of engagement amounted to “slavery,” considering that the company continues to recruit outsiders.

He said, “We are not slaves; we are putting our strength and resources into this job. What do they need to do for us? It is to convert us so we can have job security.”

Similarly, Samuel Ihadieu, stated that in spite of the exposure to toxic elements and the hard labour put in every day by the casual workers, their services were not being rewarded for contributing their quota to national development.

A Niger Delta youth leader and National Secretary of the Itsekiri National Youth Council, Jemi Mene-Ejegi, told journalists that they would not vacate the premises until the managing director of NNPC visited the refinery to address the matter, otherwise the protest would remain a standstill.

Mene-Ejegi said, “Initially, we wrote a letter and they called us, excluding the casual staff members, that the issue will be resolved. We told them to attend to the casual workers first. The second time, the same thing happened, which prompted the first protest. “They (WRPC) again called for calm. We accepted, with the thought that this is our country. But from then till now, nothing has been done. Instead, they are playing a backyard game.”

Addressing the protesters, WRPC’s Chief Security Officer, Hope Akpodiete, and Administrative Manager, Mr Solomon Siakpere, both pleaded with the protesters to allow officials who had engagements to be allowed to go ahead.

Their pleas, however, fell on deaf ears.

Siakpere, while addressing the workers who comprised mostly of young people, said, “We are familiar with what is ongoing. As we are gathered like this, we must be able to translate the gathering into action, not make noise, so that we can make progress. This is to get attention and that has been achieved. Rest assured that our corporate management is aware.”

When contacted over the demands of the protesters, NNPC spokesman, Ndu Ughamadu, said there was no discrimination in the corporation’s recruitment process, saying that he was not aware of any agreement to convert the protesters into full members of staff.

Ughamadu said, “We have been announcing the various stages for recruitment. In that advertisement, it was thrown open to all the workers and they were asked to apply. How many of them applied? The casual workers were equally invited but that aside, we have engaged them. We told them that look, after this exercise, there is another stage.

“If they didn’t fall into the first category, they may fall into the second category. That is what we are on. We don’t have casual workers only in the Warri Refinery, we have casuals in all of our subsidiaries, including the headquarters and many of them applied, and they are undergoing interviews now. There’s no discrimination in the process. I am not aware if there was an agreement with them.

“I’m appealing to them to exercise some restraints. We’ll continue to engage them to ensure that an amicable resolution is reached.”

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Lagos State to Support Businesses Looted by Hoodlums

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Lagos State to Support Businesses Vandalised and Looted by Hoodlums

Lagos State has announced plans to support businesses looted and vandalised by hoodlums last week.

The Deputy Governor of the stated, Obafemi Hamzat, made this known in a series of tweets put out on Friday.

He directed businesses vandalised in the state to fill a form attached through the link below.

“If you are a Lagos based business and your store got looted/vandalized this week, please fill this form by @LSETF https://t.co/lwPiXvFzTp. Let’s do what we can to support you,” he tweeted.

This was after Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu said the state had activated the process of healing the destruction and massacre that happened earlier in the week when security operatives in army uniforms opened fire on armless #EndSARS protesters.

Sanwo-Olu said, “My heart bled after I went out today for a first-hand assessment of the destruction of assets of the Government and private properties. The level of destruction observed indicated that the violence was more than just a peaceful protest and agitations for police reforms. The proportion of devastation is a lot. This is not the Lagos that was handed over to me on May 29, 2019.

“Moving forward from the destruction, we have to continue the process of healing ourselves. We need to stop some of our citizens still using social media to instigate or incite the people. It will not be under my watch that we will lose the city that has the largest economy in the entire black nation. Enough is enough. I have moved around and I saw that our people want peace. On this, we are committed to bringing lasting peace back to the State.

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TVC Resumes Operations in Lagos Office Following Hoodlums Attack

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TVC Commences Operations Less Than 72 Hours After Hoodlums Attacked and Destroyed the Company’s Lagos Office

Television Continental (TVC) station has resumed operations less than 72 hours after its Lagos office was attacked by hoodlums that hijacked the #EndSARS protest.

The television station was attacked on Wednesday by criminals would believe that the media platform was owned by one of the top Buhari supporters, Mr. Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

The attack followed the shooting of unarmed #EndSARS protesters, who had gathered to protest against the activities of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit of the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) at the Lekki Toll Gate on Tuesday.

The peaceful protesters were shot by security operatives in Nigerian Army uniform before the commencement of curfew imposed by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State.

The killings now tagged Lekki Massacre attracted global attention as global leaders condemned the Federal Government or whoever ordered the shooting and called for an immediate investigation into the matter.

On Wednesday, criminals allegedly sponsored by interested parties to dislodge peaceful protesters took advantage of the situation to wreak havoc across Nigeria’s commercial hub, Lagos State, as several private establishments businesses were attacked and looted by these unscrupulous characters.

One of the establishments attacked was the National Newspaper also linked to Mr. Tinubu.

The hoodlums stormed TVC on Wednesday morning during a popular morning show, Your View, anchored by Mrs Morayo Afolabi-Brown, the programme did not end before the television station went off air as it was immediately set on fire.

However, Investors King gathered that TVC resumed operations on Saturday morning, although regular programs were yet to resume fully.

As at the time of writing, the station was airing promos of various programmes and from what we gathered, regular programming will return very soon especially from its Abuja office.

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Ambassadorial Deal: Puma Names Wizkid as Brand Ambassador

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Wizkid is Puma Latest Brand Ambassador

Puma, global sportswear, has named Nigerian superstar, Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun popularly known as Wizkid as one of its global ambassadors.

Wizkid, 30, is the new Puma x JD ambassador for the relaunching of the Puma Suede Classics range.

Speaking on the deal, Wizkid said “It’s an honour to be the face of the new JD x Puma Suede Classics campaign.

“Puma is a brand I’ve loved and respected growing up, and so the decision to become an Ambassador felt completely natural. The Puma Suede is a classic shoe that can be worn by anyone at any age and I think my fans will really connect with that.”Also speaking on the partnership, Puma’s Sportstyle marketing director, said “We’re thrilled to have Wizkid as the face of the new Puma x JD Suede campaign.

“A truly innovative and exciting artist in the music scene, Wizkid embodies the passion and hustle we look for in someone to represent Puma and we look forward to working with him for the AW20 season.

Wizkid is a Nigerian musician and songwriter that has worked with Beyonce, Drake, Wale and other international superstars.

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