Below are the headlines found on The Guardian Online Newspaper for today, Saturday, 10 March, 2018.

Sat, 10 Mar 2018
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has insisted that the new minimum wage must come into effect in July this year.

President of Congress, Ayuba Wabba, who told The Guardian in an exclusive interview in Abuja, yesterday, added that Congress would reject any date that is beyond July.

Wabba highlighted that arrangements have been finalised to sign the agreement in Kigali, Rwanda on March 21, this year.

He said: “Going by all the data submitted so far to the negotiation committee, we believe that a new wage is possible in July. Labour will reject any date that is beyond July and we have made that known to the government.”

The NLC chief also accused the Minister of Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, of seeking to sign the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement, without consulting labour, manufacturers and the National Assembly.

He stated: “Admittedly a free trade agreement is not a customs union in the sense that Member States abolish only tariffs between them, while maintaining their own tariffs on third world countries, but this would already be impossible.

“Far from promoting regional integration of the continent, it will disintegrate it strongly in opening wide the doors to multinationals already well implemented in most African countries and which would concentrate their activities in the most competitive countries from which they would export to the others.”

Wabba explained that the trade agreement, which is being pushed by the European Union and World Trade Organisation (WTO), would damage Africa’s economy and promote massive unemployment.

On his part, the Executive Secretary of the Organisation Trade Union of West Africa (OTUWA), John Odah, while faulting the agreement, said only Nigeria and The Gambia and other few countries in the continent are yet to sign the document.

He added: “Indeed, the new acronym is a new one. The old one was the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) they have been pushing, which has failed. The agreement is a bad move for the labour and manufacturers in the continent and will further subject Africa to the negative effects of the neo-liberal policies on the West.”

Meanwhile, the Presidency has launched a discreet investigation into employment of 350 new staffers into the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige.

The Guardian gathered in Abuja that the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, is leading the investigation.

The investigation team was also given the task of unraveling the alleged N200 million spent on staff induction and training approved by the minister.

A source said: “The presidency has directed that a team investigate the employment scam going on in NSITF. It was learnt that some senior members of the ministry got about 300 employment letters of senior new employees ready for distribution.

“The investigation team is also expected to examine the appropriation of N200million approved for the training and induction of staff.”

The time frame for the submission of the report was not made known yet as at the time of filing this report.

Sat, 10 Mar 2018
Some persons suspected to be herdsmen in the early hours of yesterday killed no fewer than five people at Miango, Bassa Council of Plateau State.

People, also suspected to be herdsmen, killed six other persons in Ganda village of Dafu District in Bokkos Council.

National President of Irigwe Development Association (IDA), Sunday Abdu, confirmed the figure in the Miango attack to journalists in Jos yesterday.

The attacks came as President Muhammadu Buhari was concluding his first official visit to the state.

Abdu said: “It is true that five people were killed in Miango by Fulani herdsmen in an attack, which took place Thursday night and lasted till the early part of yesterday morning.

“Others were wounded in the unprovoked attack. The bodies of the five people have been deposited at the hospital morgue.

“We are no longer in a hurry to bury our dead. Whenever we are going to bury them, we will let you people know.

“The herdsmen are killing us, but they are the ones crying. What kind of pretext is that? I still appeal to the security personnel not to relent, but step up more vigilance and surveillance to stop this pogrom and unwarranted carnage.”

Also confirming the attack and killing, spokesman of the Operation Safe Haven (OPSH), Major Adam Umar, said when the incident happened, the people alerted the OPSH personnel, who responded swiftly and mobilised to the scene.

He added that before the soldiers got to the scene, the attackers had fled. He added that troops were fully in charge of the area, as patrols have been intensified, with a view to arresting the perpetrators.

Umar also appealed to the people to always be vigilant and security-conscious by reporting any strange object or movement to the nearest security agency for prompt attention.

Mr. Matawa Mankut, a community leader in Bokkos, while confirming the attack on Ganda village, yesterday afternoon, said: “We are at the burial ground in Ganda village to give the deceased a mass burial.

“Our appeal to both the state and federal governments is that they should not relent in their efforts to safeguard the lives and property of the villagers.

“Yes, there is relative peace in Plateau State generally, but those of us in the villages are facing fire.

“In fact, this is a holocaust aimed at annihilating our race. So, they should come and assist us and should not leave us in the lurch.”

Sat, 10 Mar 2018
Many Nigerians are held spell-bound by her TV programme, The Osasu Show (TOS). The programme will be two years this month. Osasu, who did not study Journalism, has within the short period, become the current television rave in Nigeria. She returned to the country after studying abroad but the daughter of Chief Lucky Igbinedion, former Governor of Edo State, is inspired to become a bridge and pillar for the poor and underprivileged. She argues passionately that society is increasingly unfair to the less opportune. Osasu spoke extensively with IGHO AKEREGHA, Abuja Bureau Chief on why she ventured into television content production, her involvement with IDPs, her future plans and her personality as her brand. Enjoy.

Most Nigerians are getting to know you through your TV programme, The Osasu Show (TOS), at what point did you start thinking of this dream of carving a niche for yourself ?
After my graduation from Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts where I majored in Communication Studies, I decided to work for the prestigious Metro Goldwyn Meyer (MGM) at their Television Marketing department. Still at that point in time, I wasn’t exactly sure what my future held. A friend of mine, I remember vividly, said to me, “You can be the next Oprah Winfrey!” But I brushed it aside because it was never my intention to venture into TV presenting. Anyway, fast forward few years down the line, I decided to further my education by pursuing a Masters degree from Northeastern University in Corporate and Organisational Communication. Yet, after all these, I still felt unfulfilled. The big question, what is my purpose and what am I passionate about was still left unanswered.

One morning, after watching Mad Men series, I decided I too would pursue advertising as a career and make tons of money off it. This was the motivation that led to me obtaining a certificate in TV and Film production from New York Film Academy. After that, I decided to put my educational sojourn on hold and return to Nigeria to test what I’ve learned. I moved to Nigeria during the heat of the political campaign in 2014, I was doing television ad, billboard ad, creating content for political parties, at a point, I was making more money than I thought possible and believe you me, I’m a big dreamer.

But something interesting happened that shaped the course of my career and led me to where I am today. Every weekend since my return home, I’ll buy food items and take to the less privileged, I was quickly awakened by the widened socio- economic divide Nigerians faced; I noticed that the state of the nation now was even more deplorable than it was when I left almost a decade prior. I was not impressed that other countries are making progress but we are regressing, why is that? I asked myself. It didn’t take long to attribute it to bad leadership.

I noticed that the government had not only abandoned the less privileged to their fate, but didn’t even provide the basics such as shelter as you’ll see in other war torn countries.

On my part as an intervention, I built shack houses and schools for them and gave the children clothes, toys and the little I could. I tried to figure out what more I can do to help in my own little capacity and that’s honestly how The Osasu Show came about.

By becoming the bridge between the elites and masses or politicians and their constituents, I’m able to advocate a better deal on the their behalf because it is very obvious that there is a communication deficit and also, there is a lack of accountability that allows leaders to make promises they never fulfill and yet want to be voted again after every four years.

So my programme is focused on holding leaders accountable by taking words directly from the mouth of the masses to the ears of the leaders and vice versa and believe me, our success stories are mind blowing!

Sat, 10 Mar 2018
President Vladimir Putin said in an interview released Friday that he “couldn’t care less” if fellow Russian citizens sought to meddle in the 2016 US presidential election, insisting such efforts could not be tied to the Kremlin.

“Why have you decided the Russian authorities, myself included, gave anybody permission to do this?” Putin asked in the often-combative interview with NBC television.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is conducting a wide-ranging investigation to determine whether President Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with Moscow to help elect him.

Last month Mueller indicted 13 Russian nationals and three Russian companies for allegedly backing Trump’s campaign, maligning his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton and engaging in other election interference.

“So what if they’re Russians?” Putin said of the allegations.

“There are 146 million Russians. So what?… I don’t care. I couldn’t care less… They do not represent the interests of the Russian state.”

Mueller issued a 37-page indictment against the Russians but Putin indicated he has seen no evidence thus far that the alleged meddling broke any US law.

“Are we the ones who imposed sanctions on the United States? The US imposed sanctions on us,” he said.

“We in Russia cannot prosecute anyone as long as they have not violated Russian law… At least send us a piece of paper… Give us a document. Give us an official request. And we’ll take a look at it.”

America’s leading intelligence agencies concluded last year that Putin himself had directed a broad intelligence effort to influence the US election to undermine Clinton’s campaign and boost Trump’s chances, but Trump has repeatedly denied colluding with Moscow.

The Russian leader also rejected those assessments.

“Could anyone really believe that Russia, thousands of miles away… influenced the outcome of the election? Doesn’t that sound ridiculous even to you?” Putin asked.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, when he announced the Russian indictment, said it made no judgment on whether the alleged Russian propaganda campaign altered the outcome of the election which Trump won.

“It’s not our goal to interfere. We do not see what goal we would accomplish by interfering. There’s no goal,” Putin said.

Trump himself has repeatedly shied away from condemning Russia over the alleged meddling.

Sat, 10 Mar 2018
Wikipedia defines hate speech as “speech, which attacks a person or group on the basis of attributes, such as race, religion, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability or gender.”

In some countries, hate speech is described “as speech, gesture or conduct, writing or display, which is forbidden, because it incites violence or prejudicial action against a protected group or individual on the basis of their membership of the group or because it disparages or intimidates a protected group or individual on the basis of their membership of the group.”

In some countries, hate speech is not a legal term, but in some, it is constitutionally protected. In some countries, a victim of hate speech may seek redress under civil law, criminal law or both.

The issue of hate speech in some countries has sparked debates over freedom of speech, hate speech and hate speech legislation, with opponents saying the term is used to silence critics of the government or political party in power.

In the United States (US), hate speech is unregulated, but in the United Kingdom (UK), for example, there are laws against it and expressions of hatred toward someone on account of that person’s colour, race, disability, nationality (including citizenship), ethnic or national origin, religion or sexual orientation is forbidden.

Any communication that is threatening or abusive and is intended to harass, alarm or distress someone is forbidden and penalties for hate speech include a maximum sentence of seven years imprisonment or a fine or both.

The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 inserted Section 4A into the Public Order Act 1986, which prohibits anyone from causing alarm or distress and a person guilty of an offence under this section is liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale or to both.

The Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006 amended the Public Order Act 1986 by adding Part 3A: “A person who uses threatening words or behaviour or displays any written material, which is threatening, is guilty of an offence if he intends thereby to stir up religious hatred.”

The Part protects freedom of expression by stating in Section 29J: “Nothing in this Part shall be read or given effect in a way which prohibits or restricts discussion, criticism or expressions of antipathy, dislike, ridicule, insult or abuse of particular religions or the beliefs or practices of their adherents, or of any other belief system or the beliefs or practices of its adherents, or proselytising or urging adherents of a different religion or belief system to cease practising their religion or belief system.”

Here in Nigeria, the introduction of a Bill on Hate Speech in the senate by Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (APC Niger) is not only generating controversy, but also uniting critics of the Bill in different spheres of life.

Section 39 (1) of the 1999 constitution (as amended), which allows freedom of expression, says: “Every person shall be entitled to freedom of expression, including freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas and information without interference.”

The Bill, which has passed Second Reading, stipulates death by hanging for only those found guilty of any form of hate speech that results in the death of another person after judicial processes in a Federal High Court. This is contrary to widely held belief that the Bill prescribes death by hanging for any person that makes hate speech.

Sat, 10 Mar 2018
It was International Women's Day on Thursday, and as usual, the world's attention focused on issues, challenges and achievements of women all over the world. 

Sat, 10 Mar 2018
A 40 year old Nigerian, Olubayode Treasures Olawunmi, is bidding for a Guinness World Record, after reading aloud for 122 hours at a Read Aloud Marathon Session... 

Sat, 10 Mar 2018
One of the most challenging parts of overseas family vacations is engaging the children. Kids just want to have fun, loads of it. They want to return with plenty tales... 

Sat, 10 Mar 2018
Over the past few weeks, Black Panther has smashed box-office records and also sparked a cultural movement across the world. 

Sat, 10 Mar 2018
Golden Tulip Festac, Lagos, recently played host to Helping Hands International, as the organisation rewarded her deserving members with cars and cash prizes. 

Sat, 10 Mar 2018
Popularly referred to as cake maestro, Tosan Jemide is a foremost cake maker from Africa. He got an early exposure to cake making from his mum. 

Sat, 10 Mar 2018
Shelving units are becoming increasingly popular and the simplicity and minimalism of modern and contemporary interior designs are starting to make us aware of their importance and usefulness. 

Sat, 10 Mar 2018
Ayodeji Mayowa Oluwatosin Ajayi well known as Ayo Ajayi has carved a niche for himself in music and theater, having directed some of the best musical-theatre performances in Nigeria and abroad. 

Sat, 10 Mar 2018
International Women's Day and Mother's Day are not only a celebration, but also appreciation of their various roles in society and contributions to development. 

Sat, 10 Mar 2018
It was one of the cases that came up on a day that I was in court. According to the testimony of the woman in the witness stand...their wahala started... 

Sat, 10 Mar 2018
She is an associate pastor at Covenant light Church, pastoring alongside her husband. She has been actively involved in various church planting projects and evangelistic outreaches. 

Sat, 10 Mar 2018
A passenger of Arik Air has flayed the airlines' poor handling of a near-mishap incident that forced its Ghana-bound plane to make an emergency landing at Kotoka International Airport in Accra on Tuesday. 

Sat, 10 Mar 2018
Jurgen Klopp may have asked if Jose Mourinho invented 'park the bus', but he has no problems with the Manchester United boss doing it. 

Sat, 10 Mar 2018
As part of efforts to tackle the problem of moral decadence in the society, a non-governmental organisation, Family Values Development Initiative... 

Sat, 10 Mar 2018
Maxbe Continental Hotel is an upscale hotel in the heart of Enugu. Strategically located beside Government House, precisely at No. 1 Nza Street... 

Sat, 10 Mar 2018
Nollywood actress turned singer Yemisi Fancy has been busy cooking up another chart bursting song. 

Sat, 10 Mar 2018
In demonstration of their social mission and commitment to promote oral hygiene among Nigerians, Unilever Nigeria Plc., makers of Pepsodent, has kicked off the 2018 World Oral Health Day... 

Sat, 10 Mar 2018
Rapper and self-proclaimed 'voice of the ghetto', Olamide Adedeji, popularly known as 'Baddo or EniyanMayweather', has proposed to his long standing girlfriend and mother of his son, Adebukunmi Aisha Suleiman. 

Sat, 10 Mar 2018
The women writers committee of PEN Nigeria in collaboration with the executive council of Nigerian centre of PEN International has decried the unfair representation of women... 

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