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Fierce reactions trail Buhari aide’s illegal salaries –

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Bashir Ahmad

News of illegal salaries earned by Bashir Ahmad, President Muhammadu Buhari’s social media aide has elicited angry reactions from Nigerians who wonder why the lower rate government appointee earns more salary than university professors.

‘Bashir’ trended for over 24 hours on Twitter following Peoples Gazette’s exclusive report that stirred collective outrage among citizens who aired their grievances on social media.

At issue was the illegality of the salaries earned and the humongous N1,043,176.88 gross monthly remuneration, many citizens considered too high for an employee whose job was only to tweet and presumably manage the president’s social media accounts.

Although, Mr Ahmad’s take-home was N876,738.37 after statutory deductions, it did not include a miscellany of other allowances and federal estacodes attached to presidential aides.

Angry that university professors and medical personnel who go through years of rigorous training phases to acquire their certificates and licences do not earn half of Mr Ahmad’s salary, Nigerians berated the regime for lavishly spending the nation’s insufficient funds on undeserving employees.

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@biyatife tweeted; “ASUU strike is justified.

Our professors are seriously UNDERPAID

How can Bashir Ahmad be earning more than Prof. Femi Osofisan? Jesus Christ!”

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) have embarked on strike since February 14 over unpaid emoluments and renegotiation of the ASUU/FGN 2009 agreement among other demands. Negotiations to call off the strike for the past six months have reached stalemate, leaving educational activities in limbo.

Another online user, @Dottore_Zam, tweeted he had yet to earn up to N100,000 in his 13 years of being a teacher.

“I am a government employed teacher, I started work since 2009, this is my 13th year in service and my take home is not up to ₦100k. The description on my payslip is 2 pages long but @BashirAhmaad an appointee takes home about ₦800k without a description of why he is earning it,” Mr Zam said in reaction to the report.

“A senior lecturer earns 220k monthly( after 10 years in service ) , Bashir Ahmad earns 860k monthly net. This is where the problem is actually,” @Hitee_ posted on Twitter.

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Another popular user @Ambrosia_Ijebu said “Bashir was collecting Ghost Worker salary but Buhari doesn’t want ASUU staff to collect double salary. I think you see now.”

For @Maybeks, the situation mirrors a dire situation for Nigeria. “An SA just on social media earners(sic) more than a lecturer. Redemption is far from Nigeria,” he tweeted.

@CyphersTemitope said “This guy earns more than a University professor, a state civil servant who has spent over 30 years in service, A secondary school teacher, and loads of professionals out there. Amusingly, there are other unnamed allowances.”

“It was here the very revered Prof. Chinelo Ezeilo said her salary is 400k. Meanwhile, Bashir, a social media vuvuzela, with little or no contribution to statecraft is earning 800k+. Tell me why ours won’t be an  unproductive society?” @007burch tweeted.

Other reactions are captured below:

@Emf194: An aid just handling Twitter account is earning over 800k monthly, and you wonder why ASUU made up of professors and doctors are on strike. This country is messed up.”

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@nomishants: “A common social media aid collects three times the salary of a professor in Nigeria. What a country 😭😭😭

@Igbomouth: “More reasons why ASUU is on strike. A professor earns an average of 500k monthly despite all efforts to get to that level. Buhari has Eight media aides with 1m salary each monthly.”

Anti-corruption campaigners have since called on law enforcement agencies such as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) to investigate Mr Ahmad over the matter.

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Buhari has done his best, but obviously not enough: IPAC

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Buhari has done his best, but obviously not enough: IPAC

The Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) says President Muhammadu Buhari has done his best, but it was not enough as the nation needs more from him.

The Lagos State chairman of IPAC, Olusegun Mobolaji, remarked while reacting to President Muhammadu Buhari’s 62nd Independence Day broadcast on Saturday.

“Well, he (Buhari) has done his best. This is the best that the President can do, and on a day like this, we say ‘well done, but obviously, the best is not good enough is the reality,” he said.

He, however, said both Nigerian leaders and citizens have roles to play to realise a better and brighter future for the country.

“We pray for a greater and better Nigeria, but this cannot come if everybody does not play his or her role- the leaders and the electorate, the great and the small, the young and old, corporate organisations and all workers.

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“Everybody has to play his or her roles to make Nigeria a better place to live and stay,” Mr Mobolaji said.

Congratulating Nigerians on the anniversary, the IPAC boss urged citizens to use the opportunity of the next transition in the 2023 general elections to choose leaders that would fulfil their dreams and aspirations.

“We should put our heads and eyes down to elect the right person-the right man or woman for the job.

“Leaders that can deliver the kind of country we all desire. Nigeria is a great nation and ought to be a great nation,” he added.

On campaigns ahead of the forthcoming elections, Mr Mobolaji said all politicians should ensure decorum and respect one another.

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“I use this opportunity to call on all candidates and their supporters, as they go about campaigns for the 2023 general elections, they should do it with all modesty and be moderate.

“Please, do not try to intimidate or harass anyone. The cloud is big enough for all birds to fly without touching one another,” he said.

He said Nigerians should continue to learn from gains and pains since independence.

Mr Mobolaji added, “The whole thing is in our hands- the leaders, politicians and the electorate.”

Mr Buhari had assured citizens that their resilience and patience would not end in vain as his administration continued to reposition and strengthen the security agencies to tackle the nation’s security challenges.

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The president also highlighted some of the achievements of his regime while addressing Nigerians in a broadcast to mark Nigeria’s 62nd Independence anniversary.

(NAN)

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Peter Obi rally locks down Lagos, large turnout in Bauchi, Asaba, Calabar

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Peter Obi rally locks down Lagos, large turnout in Bauchi, Asaba, Calabar

Supporters of Peter Obi, Labour Party presidential candidate, on Saturday trooped out en masse across Lagos, Bauchi, Asaba and Calabar to rally support for the former Anambra governor.

Traffic congestion was recorded in several parts of the cities where the rally took place.

In Lagos, the Lekki-Epe expressway as well as Surulere, supporters of Mr Obi were seen marching and chanting songs of praise for the presidential hopeful.

Many supporters of Mr Obi ditched the Nigerian green and white flag for the Labour Party’s multi-coloured flag, waving as they marched in excitement. Others adorned paraphernalia of the party.

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Another mammoth crowd marched from Inter-bus roundabout along Nnbisi road in Asaba, Delta state, for the Obidatti rally, leaving a scanty audience to receive Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s independence day address.

A similar situation was recorded in Warri where Mr Obi’s supporters converged in droves at Effurun roundabout and thereon marched to Airport road and later Warri city stadium where Labour Party leaders encouraged them to vote wisely in the 2023 general elections.

In Calabar, dancers adorned traditional attires and lined major roads chanting “Obi! Obi!” to match the beats of traditional musical instruments. Other supporters adorned the Labour Party’s paraphernalia in a show of support for Mr Obi.

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In a Facebook video posted by The Nation, another excited crowd marched in support of Mr Obi in Bauchi. Some of them could be seen chanting “Carry me dey go, Obi, carry me dey go, dey go, dey go,” while waving the Nigerian and Labour Party flags.

The massive turnout has put to question claims that Mr Obi, labelled by opponents as a social media candidate because of the support he enjoys from Nigerian social space, would not enjoy the same support on the ballot.

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Gov. Lalong advises leaders to put Nigerians’ interest at heart

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Simon Lalong

Plateau Governor Simon Lalong has urged fellow Nigerian leaders to be selfless and committed to nation-building.

“Those in power should always put the interest of the citizens first and shun any action that will dwindle hope, faith and patriotism among the followers,” Mr Lalong said in a statement by his spokesperson, Makut Macham, on Saturday in Jos.

He described Nigeria as a great nation with abundant human and material resources comparable to a few countries worldwide.

The governor pointed out that good leadership would ensure the nation’s resources are harvested and utilised efficiently for the good of all rather than for the benefit of a few.

  PDP Suspends Former Kano Senator Over 'Romance' With APC

He expressed hope that Nigeria would achieve greatness despite its current challenges.

He urged citizens to put aside their personal interests and be united to work for the country’s progress while paying tribute to those who struggled for independence.

“It is, therefore ,important that we do not allow the challenges of the moment to stop us from highlighting and thanking God for the tremendous successes we have achieved over the years.

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“In this regard, we pay special tribute to those who fought for our independence, those who nurtured it and to all who are doing their best to sustain it.

“We should continue to do our best to ensure that the sacrifices of these men, women, youths, children and people of various backgrounds do not go in vain,” he said.

While congratulating President Muhammadu Buhari and all Nigerians for commemorating the 62nd anniversary, Mr Lalong prayed for a smooth transition in 2023, which, he said, would consolidate the nation’s achievements.

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(NAN)

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