Royal staff staged a rare protest against planned job cuts outside one of Queen Elizabeth II’s main residences, Windsor Castle, their trade union said on Wednesday.
The Public and Commercial Service (PCS) Union tweeted a photograph of visitor wardens employed by the royal household “protesting about cuts to their pensions and jobs” in front of a main gate of the castle on Tuesday.
The PCS said royal staff faced “200 compulsory redundancies” and cuts to their pension contributions.
It said union members employed at the castle by the Royal Collection Trust, part of the Royal Household, had staged a silent protest.
The photograph showed six wardens in uniform standing with a life-size cut-out of King Henry VIII.
“King Henry cut off heads … now they want to axe our jobs and cut our pensions,” read a message on a placard.
The union said 92 people had accepted voluntary redundancy and 200 more faced “the prospect of compulsory redundancy on much worse terms.”
It said lower-paid staff at three royal residences – Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace and Holyrood Castle – had their employer’s pension contributions cut from 15 per cent to 8 per cent.
“PCS is demanding that the royal family intervenes to prevent any further redundancies and restore the pensions of these frontline workers who are the public face of these iconic historic visitor attractions,” the union said.
The Royal Collection Trust employs more than 600 staff in roles including curation, conservation, education, visitor and other services, according to its website.
Edited By: Fatima Sule/Maharazu Ahmed
Nigerians gifted with exceptional confidence, resilience, mental acuity – Osinbajo
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says Nigerians are gifted with exceptional attributes of confidence, resilience and mental acuity.
He said that the attributes were best demonstrated in how Nigerians exceled even in other countries in sciences, medicine and politics.
Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement on Saturday in Abuja, said the vice president delivered the keynote address at the 111th Founders’ Day Lecture of King’s College, Lagos.
According to Osinbajo, teaching young people Integrity, innovation and hard work is the foundation of a good society.
“Teaching young people that there are huge rewards from creativity, innovation with a culture of integrity in business and personal life, coupled with hardwork and diligence, is the foundation of a good and prosperous society.
“When people are nurtured in the notion that rent-seeking or the prebendal capture of wealth or benefit by access to power is the path to success, then the society will not prosper.
“A few will capture all the resources, everyone else will be poor or on their way there.”
Citing Edward Banfield, American Political Scientist, Osinabjo explained that the exceptional attributes did not free people from the moral basis of a backward society, which was the self-interested, family-centric society where often the public good was sacrificed.
He said that while receiving an education, the mind of a young person must be lifted up beyond self as education must teach the primacy of community, of the good and the well-being of the collective over self.
The Vice President said that the educational design and content must take into account, the current moral and social circumstances, as well as the physical and mental constraints we face as a people.
“There must be, as a rule, a prevailing moral standard, corruption or deviance must be the exception, not the rule.
“Concerns faced at the lower levels of our society; the problems of out-of-school children and the huge deficit in the education of girls,” he said.
For her part, Amina Mohammed, UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, who was the guest speaker, commended the Federal Government’s response to COVID-19 through the Economic Sustainability Plan.
Mohammed said that scaling up infrastructure for connectivity will be crucial as well as access to digitalised curricula, digital skills training for teachers and students, and methods to protect privacy.
Other dignitaries at the event included the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, who virtually-delivered a goodwill message from President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Security Adviser, retired Maj.–General Babagana Monguno.
The Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folashade Adefisayo and the former Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido II, among others also featured.
Edited By: Felix Ajide
Bye-elections: 12 candidates jostle for Lagos East, 8 for Kosofe Constituency II
Twelve candidates will be contesting for the Lagos East Senatorial bye-election slated for Oct. 31.
Mr Femi Akinbiyi, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) spokesman in Lagos State, gave the figure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Saturday.
He also said that eight candidates would be contesting for Kosofe Constituency II, Lagos State House of Assembly bye-election.
“In accordance with Section 31 Subsection 3 of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended), the commission in Lagos State has published the list of nominated candidates for Lagos East Senatorial bye-election in the five local government areas that constitute the senatorial district.
“We have also published the list of nominated candidates for the Lagos House of Assembly Kosofe Constituency II bye-election in the six registration areas (wards) that constitute the state constituency.
“Twelve candidates of 12 political parties are vying for the Lagos East Senatorial seat, while eight parties are fielding candidates for the Kosofe Constituency II, Lagos Assembly bye-election.
” The local government areas in the senatorial district are Somolu, Ikorodu, Ibeju-Lekki, Epe and Kosofe,” Akinbiyi said.
According to him, the list has been published in all the affected local governments and registration areas (wards) since Sept. 17, being the last day for the publication of nominated candidates for the two bye-elections.
NAN reports that in the final list signed by Mrs Bose Oriaran-Anthony, the Lagos East Senatorial District contestants include, Mr Muyiwa Adebanjo of Action Alliance (AA), Ms Mercy Adeoye of African Action Congress (AAC) and Mr John Kome of African Democratic Congress (ADC).
The others are Mr Adebowale Ogunlaru of Action Democratic Party (ADP), Mr Adetokunbo Abiru, All Progressive Congress (APC); Mr Olusola Babatope, Allied Peoples Movement (APM); Mrs Florence Trautman, Labour Party (LP) and Ms Adijat Lawal, New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).
The rest are Mr Babatunde Gbadamosi, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); Mr Olakunle Adisa, National Rescue Movement (NRM); Mr Saheed Aluko, Social Democratic Party (SDP) and Mr Taiwo Temitope, Young Progressive Party (YPP).
For the Kosofe Constituency II bye-election, the eight contestants are Messrs John Akerele of AA, Sadiq Olawale of AAC, Wasiu Saheed of APC, Adekunle Oladapo of LP, Muyideen Agoro of NNPP, Ademorin Adelaja of NRM, Sikiru Alebiosu of PDP and Mrs Mary Abojeh of ADC.
NAN reports that out of the 12 candidates contesting Lagos East Senatorial bye-election, three are females, and among the eight contestants for Kosofe constituency II bye-elections only one is a female.
The two bye-elections, slated for Oct. 31, became necessary following the demise of the two occupants of the seats at both the senate and Lagos Assembly.
Edited By: Edith Bolokor/Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma
Edo election: Group lauds committee over peace accord
Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA), has commended Rtd. Gen. Abdulsalam Abubakar-led Peace Committee for making political parties and their candidates in the Saturday Edo election to sign a peace accord.
The organisation also thanked the Oba of Benin, Ewuare II, for calling the political parties and their candidates to order.
The group’s Executive Director, Ms Faith Nwadishi, made the commendation in a pre-election statement in Abuja on Friday.
Nwadishi said that the advice by the Oba for a peaceful election should be a reference point in Nigeria’s election history.
She called for deployment of more health personnel to polling areas to guide people on the election day.
“Strict adherence to the COVID-19 protocol is imperative while Personal Protective Equipment at the polling areas are mandatory and should be enforced.
“The INEC’s directives on special treatment for nursing mothers, pregnant women and the elderly should be adhered to by ad hoc staff on the field,” she said.
Nwadishi said her organisation had deployed observers across the state to cover the elections “and we shall be sharing reports with the media and on our social media handles as they come in.
“CTA calls on all eligible and registered citizens to come out and vote for candidates of their choice as it is their right to do so. Your vote is your power and must count,” she added.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Donald Ugwu
Flooding: Sultan visits Kebbi, seeks FG’s urgent assistance for victims
The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, on Friday sympathised with the Kebbi Government and its people over the recent flood disaster in the state.
The Sultan, who paid a sympathy visit to Gov. Atiku Bagudu in Birnin Kebbi, called on the Federal Government to assist all states ravaged by flood, as well as the victims.
“We came to visit the cemetery of Sheikh Abdullahi Gwandu and pray for the deceased, as well as showcase the importance of visiting the cemetery of pious people, to observe lessons and be a reminder to us that death is certain.
“Hence, we should correct our mistakes and do good deeds for ourselves and humanity.”
Abubakar also sympathised with the state government and the people of the state over the recent flood that wreaked havoc on farmlands, houses and resulted in the deaths of many people in the state.
“We are also here to sympathise with the government, our brothers and sisters, who have been affected by the recent floods in the state.
“We should know that the flood is an act from Allah, but measures should be taken as we are calling on the Federal, State Governments and well- to- do individuals, to assist farmers in all the affected states of the federation.
“Kebbi, Sokoto, Zamfara and Niger are all states with similar socio- cultural and economic backgrounds; the boundary delineation and politics should not divide us, as we are one.
“We should pray for our leaders in those states and country at large for peace to reign, and for economic prosperity to our people,” the royal father said.
The Sultan commended the four emirs in the state and the state government for their untiring efforts to ensure the maintenance of peace in Kebbi.
In his remarks, Gov. Bagudu informed the Sultan that the flood was unprecedented in the history of the state, adding that over 500,000 hectares of farmlands were affected by the flood.
“We are assuring the victims that the Federal Government will not leave us alone, as the state has started receiving assistance from philanthropists; we are sure that more will come.
“We are also committed to the dry season farming, and we are determined to replace what we have lost to flood, as soon as the water recedes,” he said.
The governor thanked the Sultan for the visit and also condoled him over the death of the District Head of Aliero, Alhaji Salihu Muhammad II, who died today.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Sultan was accompanied on the visit by the Emir of Gwandu, Alhaji Bashir Muhammad and Emir of Argungu, Alhaji Samaila Mera.
Edited By: Folorunso Poroye/ Maharazu Ahmed