PENGASSAN Strike Continues As Discussions Hold With Ministers

Oil Workers, PENGASSAN, NUPENGThe President of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria – PENGASSAN, Mr Francis Johnson says the union’s ongoing strike continues until all issues raised before the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and that of Labour are fully addressed.

Mr Johnson told journalists after a closed-door meeting at the NNPC headquarters in Abuja that the decision on whether or not to suspend the strike would be made by the national executive council of the union.

Although the key issue of redundancy in the sector is yet to be addressed at a separate meeting Tuesday with the Minister of Labour and international oil companies, presidents of both PENGASSAN and NUPENG say discussions so far have been satisfactory.

The dialogue which held at the NNPC headquarters had in attendance the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, the Minister of Labour, Dr Chris Ngige, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Enang, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, and leaders of PENGASSAN and NUPENG.

One of the issues discussed is the implementation of the 2015 Collective Bargaining Agreement between the federal government and the unions.

Also tabled for discussion were the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Bill and the state under which the oil workers operate, especially with regard to lack of power and bad roads.

Before the meeting went into closed-door, Dr. Kachikwu gave the assurance that the meeting would resolve the issues amicably.

The PENGASSAN had last week declared an industrial action over the dispute, while NUPENG postponed its action pending the outcome of this meeting.

Ita Enang’s Orderly Accidentally Shoots Self

Ita EnangA gun belonging to the orderly of President Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Enang accidentally went off on Friday.

The incident, which occurred at the ticketing area of the general aviation terminal at the Murtala Muhammed Airport 1 in Lagos State, caused some apprehension among travelers.

The orderly was severely injured while one female passenger also sustained minor injuries.

Both of them were initially rushed to the FAAN clinic before they were transferred to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) to receive more treatment.

PDP Kwara Holds Rally To Dispel Rumour Of Factions

In order to dismiss the notion of disunity and rancour among leaders of the People’s Democratic Party in Kwara State, a rally was organized where the political gladiators in the state resolved to continue working together for the party to reclaim victory in next general election.

The leaders of the party vowed that the national leadership would not woo those who left the party back and described them as spent forces who could not contribute to the success of the party in the state.

A mammoth crowd thronged the temporary state secretariat of the PDP along Oyun road in Ilorin, where the members took off for the rally, at the Lower Niger River Basin Authority. The crowd caused traffic hold up for several hours while the crowd at the venue could be described as unprecedented in the political history of the state.

Most of the leaders who spoke in Yoruba came out one after another to announce their presence and dispel the rumour of crisis and factions within the party. They include Gbemisola Saraki, Dele Belgore, Issa Ibrahim and Professor Shuaib Oba among others.

The State Chairman of the Caretaker Committee of the party, Solomon Edoja, thanked Kwara people for expressing their support to the national leadership of the party and the President, assuring them that President Jonathan would visit the state next Monday.

While answering questions on when the National Chairman of the PDP would visit Kwara in order to woo the defectors back to the party, the Caretaker Chairman, noted that this might not be necessary again.

The Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Suleiman Ajadi, also described the crowd as true members of the party and Kwarans who want freedom and spread of dividends of democracy.

He dismissed the notion of factions among the leaders of the party, and assured them that they had resolved to work together in unity, in order to reclaim the state in the 2015 election.

The open space play ground was filled with both young and old, who displayed the banners of different leaders in the state.