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End ASUU Crisis Without Delay, Bukola Saraki Tells FG

Peter Okunoren

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The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, on Wednesday, called on the Federal Government to resolve the ongoing Academic Staff Union of Universities strike without delay.

In a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, Saraki emphasised the need for Nigeria’s universities to be re-opened without further delay, highlighting the fact that the education of Nigeria’s young people is being negatively affected by the stance of the government and is also disenfranchising the youths, many of whom are registered to vote in their universities — but are now stuck in their homes.

“In November 2016, the Senate intervened in the ASUU strike and met with the officials of the Ministries of Education and Labour, Employment and Productivity and the Academic Staff Union of Universities.

“At that meeting, which was attended by the Minister of State for Education Anthony Anwuka and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Productivity in the National Assembly, we agreed that the Federal Government should work to implement the agreement that it reached with ASUU in 2009, and subsequently, we set up a sub-committee to liaise with both ASUU and the Federal Government on this issue.

“The Federal Government must immediately work to address the demands of the Academic Staff Union of Universities ( ASUU), because this issue goes beyond negotiations. It is affecting the education of Nigeria’s students, and disenfranchising many of them from participating in the upcoming general elections.

“Make no mistake, we cannot continue this system whereby our universities will be frequently shut down, thereby slowing down the education of our young people — and creating negative bottlenecks that place unnecessary stress on our universities.

“In another vein, our youth make up over 51 per cent of registered voters. What does this mean for our electoral process, when young students who are registered to vote in their academic institutions, cannot do so because their schools are shut down? This is unacceptable.

“In this regard, I call on the Federal Government to immediately work on meeting the demands of ASUU and honouring all its prior commitments. On our part, the Senate will continue to work to ensure that Nigeria’s education sector is strengthened — and we are ready and willing to collaborate with both the Federal Government and ASUU to end this strike, and ensure that it does not become a recurrent issue,” Saraki stated

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You Are Incapacitated, Hand Over To Me; Ondo Deputy Gov Tells Akeredolu

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Agboola Ajayi, deputy governor of Ondo state, has asked Rotimi Akeredolu, the governor, to hand over to him.

Akeredolu has been in isolation since Tuesday when he tested positive for COVID-19.

While announcing that he would be going into isolation, the governor appealed to the people to keep safe and observe the safety protocols of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

However, he was silent about transmitting power to his deputy.

When the issue of handing over to the deputy governor was raised at a media briefing on Friday, Donald Ojogho, commissioner for information, said the governor will never allow Ajayi to take control of the state.

“Handing over the governance of the state to Agboola is a non-issue and we are not even considering that. I know as a matter of fact that nobody would want to do that… He (deputy governor) has created an unusual scenario upon which he wanted to climb into the next step in his political ambition and we have seen this as a misadventure. We cannot toil with what we have built over the years. We cannot risk and attempt to hand over to someone who has exhibited the widest scenario of betrayal. So, it is unthinkable,” he had said.

But in a statement on Saturday, Ajayi said he ought to be the acting governor since Akeredolu has been partially incapacitated.

He said the refusal of the governor to allow him to take charge of the state amounts to a “flagrant disregard for the country’s constitution”.

“Section 190 (2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) is apposite in the prevailing constitutional aberration in Ondo State,” Ajayi said in a statement Allen Sowore, his spokesman, issued on his behalf.

“However, it should be noted, that Mr Governor is at liberty to handover or not within 21 days after which the constitution becomes operational.

“Ostensibly, the refusal and failure of Mr Governor to handover the running of government to his deputy, while he is temporarily incapacitated in self- isolation, underscore his absolute disregard for our nation’s supreme document, 1999 Constitution (as amended) as well as the tenets of rule of law.

“The Governor’s position is a spite on the Ondo State people and a direct assault on the provisions of the constitution which he swore to uphold.

“Governor Akeredolu’s deliberate mounting of obstacles to smooth running of government machinery while he’s in self-isolation as a result of the fact that he has been tested positive for the COVID-19 privileges the hypocritical nature of Ondo State government’s war against the ravaging pandemic.”

Akeredolu and Ajayi have been having a running battle, which reached its height when the deputy governor resigned his membership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and joined the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The governor had fired all the aides attached to Ajayi’s office and his police escort was withdrawn until Mohammed Adamu, inspector-general of police intervened.




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COVID-19: Ex-LASIMRA Boss, Jide Odekunle, Dies At Lagos Isolation Center

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Chief Jide Odekunle, immediate past General Manager of LASIMRA during the administration of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode in Lagos State, has died.

The top socialite reportedly died of Coronavirus complications at the Onikan isolation center.

He was also the former secretary of the Ikoyi Club.

He was until his death the Bobagunwa of Egbaland.




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JUST IN: Ebonyi Governor Tests Positive For COVID-19

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Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi, has tested positive for the novel coronavirus disease.

This was contained in a statement personally signed by him on Saturday.

Details later…




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