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WHAT’S NEWS? Friday, September 29, 2023
By Ezinwanne Onwuka
● Nigeria ranks sixth globally, and second in Africa for organized crime
Nigeria is ranked sixth globally for organized crime, according to the 2023 Global Organized Crime Index, a global x-ray of organized crime. The report, released on Wednesday, Sept. 27, indicated that the status of organized crime in Nigeria increased by 0.13 points from 7.14 points in 2021 when Nigeria was ranked fifth.
The Nigerian government has been battling diverse forms of crime nationwide. There is a surge of kidnappings in the northwest, a festering Islamist insurgency in the northeast, oil theft in the Niger Delta, violent sectarian and herder-farmer clashes in the central region and an intense secessionist movement in the southeast.
The Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime scored Nigeria 7.28 out of 10 points, making the West African country the sixth country in the world with the highest crime record. In Africa, Nigeria is second behind the Democratic Republic of Congo (7.35) and ahead of South Africa (7.18).
● Gunmen set lawmaker’s residence ablaze
Gunmen have razed the country home of a Nigerian federal lawmaker, Canice-Moore Nwachukwu in the Orlu council area of southeastern Imo State.
The hoodlums, wielding guns, and explosives forced themselves into the building in the lawmaker’s absence and held all domestic staff hostage at gunpoint. They looted the property, carting away all valuables before they set the building on fire. An eyewitness told The Nation that they brought two 20-liter kegs of petrol for the mission.
Nwachukwu is representing the Orlu/Orsu/Oru East electoral district of Imo State at Nigeria’s lower legislative chamber, the House of Representatives. Recently, the residence of the former constituency representative Jerry Alagboso faced a similar attack. Imo is one of the states with a high level of insecurity in the southeast region. The attacks are typically blamed on separatist militants.
● Nigerian government threatens workers over imminent work strike with lawsuit
President Bola Tinubu’s government has urged Nigerian workers under the aegis of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to cancel their proposed nationwide indefinite strike set to begin October 3, two days after the celebration of Nigeria’s 63rd independence anniversary. The government argues that the strike would violate a standing court injunction.
The National Industrial Court had on June 5 restrained the workers from embarking on a work strike over the government’s decision to scrap the longstanding petrol subsidy. Yet, on September 26, the NLC and TUC announced a mass action that would commence next Tuesday in protest against the recent policies of the Nigerian government, after a two-day warning strike on September 5 and 6 recorded massive success.
Nigeria’s Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, told the workers’ unions to respect the court’s June 5 order and allow room for ongoing negotiations between them and the federal government. The series of meetings between the executives of the NLC and TUC and the government have yielded no positive results so far.
● U.S.-based pro-democracy group demands Tinubu’s resignation amid certificate scandal
The National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), Nigeria’s premier and foremost pro-democracy group headquartered in Washington D.C., has made a fervent plea for Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu to step down from his position. NADECO cited concerns over Tinubu’s lingering legal battles in Nigeria and the U.S. on the authenticity of his degree.
Losing candidates Peter Obi and Atiku Abubakar contested Nigeria’s last presidential election with Tinubu in February and have been in court for months to invalidate Tinubu’s election. Atiku escalated the case to the U.S., requesting a release of Tinubu’s purported Chicago State University records in a last-ditch effort to prove the Nigerian President presented forged certificates in his election bid.
NADECO implored Tinubu to do the “needful” by resigning “to liberate himself and the over 200 million Nigerians from the impending implosion” of the aftermath of the “unwavering pursuit of his questionable presidency.”
● Tinubu’s minister apologizes to subordinates for locking them out of office
Nigeria’s Minister of Works of Housing, David Umahi, has apologized to his subordinates who protested on Thursday morning for being locked out of the office premises. “If you were offended, I offer apologies to you,” he said.
The Minister reportedly denied the workers access to their respective offices because of their late arrival to work. Aggrieved by his action, the stranded employees protested, calling for Umahi’s dismissal. Calm was, however, restored following the intervention of senior officials of the ministry.
Umahi said his action was to address the alarming rate of tardiness by employees. “I came to work by 9:30 a.m. I had a number of files to transmit and not up to five per cent of the workers were in,” he lamented, “I would come to work and see workers coming to work by 12 O’clock, by 1 O’clock.” Going forward, members of staff are to report to the office at 9:00 a.m. and close at 4:00 p.m., according to a statement by the ministry’s spokesperson.