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Strike Still On, Says ASUU President

Gbemileke Ajayi

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities, on Saturday, says the eight-month-old strike by university lecturers is still on.

The organization also said it does not operate a Twitter account. It debunked reports announcing the suspension of the ongoing industrial action as fake.

The President of ASUU, Biodun Ogunyemi, made the clarification in an interview with newsmen.

He said, “ASUU does not have a Twitter account. Many people have been bombarding me with telephone calls and I can’t answer again. If we want to call off our strike, we will address a press conference and that is how we operate.”

There was a report on Friday that the Federal Government accepted the demand by ASUU that the lecturers be exempted from the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System.

The government also offered to increase the Earned Allowances to university staff from N30 billion to N35b and the Revitalisation Fund from N20b to N25b.

The development came after weeks of negotiations and disagreements by the FG and ASUU, which proposed the University Transparency and Accountability Solution as its preferred payment platform.

Reading out the communique at the end of a seven-hour negotiation with ASUU members in Abuja on Friday, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, had said the government also agreed to ASUU’s demand to pay their members’ salary arrears from February to June through the old salary payment platform, Government Integrated Financial, and Management Information System.

The breakthrough in negotiations is expected to end the eight-month strike embarked on by the university lecturers as parents and students wait on ASUU to call off the strike.

 

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I Have Directed Armed Forces To Take The Fight To Insurgents ——- Buhari

Gbemileke Ajayi

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The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Monday, said he has directed the nation’s Armed Forces to take the anti-terrorism fight to the insurgents.

According to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President disclosed this in a message he sent through his Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari, to the Borno State governor, Babagana Zulum; the Shehu of Borno and the Zabarmari community where 43 rice farmers were killed by insurgents on Saturday.

The statement was titled, ‘High powered government delegation visits Maiduguri, President Buhari vows to end terrorism’.

According to Shehu, the President, in his message, described the massacre as “senseless, barbaric and gruesome murder.”

He further quoted Buhari as giving assurances of his continuous commitment to fighting insurgency and all forms of insecurity in Borno State and all over Nigeria.

He said Buhari committed himself to making more resources available to the military to prosecute the war, adding that he will “work closely with neighbouring countries on bilateral and multilateral levels to ensure that there is no hiding place for the terrorists.”

According to the statement, the President said, “Nothing is more important than ensuring the security of lives and property of the people. Everything is secondary when security is at a stake.

“As we mourn the loss of our sons in Zabarmari, the Armed Forces have been given the marching order to take the fight to the insurgents, not on a one-off, but on a continuous basis until we root out the terrorists.”

The President also commended Zulum for his leadership in running the affairs of the state.

The presidential aide said apart from the message from the President, the President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, spoke for the government team to the state.

Zulum was also quoted as thanking the President for “ensuring relative peace since his assumption of office,” stating that the situation is better than he met it.

The statement added, “The governor presented a number of requests on behalf of his people, including that the youth of the state should be enlisted in military and paramilitary organisations to play their roles in the defence of the nation.

“He called on the Federal Government to assist in the repatriation of Borno indigenes in camps in neighbouring countries and requested the National Assembly to tweak the draft budget now before them to allow better allocation of resources for the North East sub-region, which he alleged is being side-lined.

“At the palace of the Shehu of Borno, His Eminence Abubakar Umar Ibn Garbai, the traditional ruler described as ‘madness,’ the gruesome killings and urged his subjects to pray and offer useful information to the security agencies.

“He thanked President Buhari for his efforts in returning normalcy to the state.”

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It’s Official! Biden Appoints Nigerian-Born Adewale Adeyemo As US First Black Deputy Treasury Secretary

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US President-elect Joe Biden on Monday formally appointed Nigerian-born Adewale Adeyemo as the Deputy Treasury Secretary.

Biden also tapped ex-Federal Reserve chair, Janet Yellen, to lead the Treasury.

“It’s official! Wale Adeyemo becomes the first-ever Nigerian American Deputy Secretary of the US Treasury, in the history of the country!! Congrats to Wale,” the Chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa tweeted on Monday, confirming the appointment of the former senior international economic adviser during the Obama administration.

AFP reports that Adeyemo, a former deputy national security advisor and current president of the Obama Foundation non-profit, would be the first African-American in that role.

If confirmed by the Senate, Yellen, 74, will be the first female Treasury head in its history, and likely be tasked with breaking the deadlock over aid in Washington, should lawmakers not come to an agreement before Biden’s January inauguration.

“We face great challenges as a country right now. To recover, we must restore the American dream — a society where each person can rise to their potential and dream even bigger for their children,” Yellen tweeted.

“As Treasury Secretary, I will work every day towards rebuilding that dream for all.”

Other officials announced on Monday include veterans of former president Barack Obama’s administration, several of which the Biden transition team noted would break racial barriers in their positions.

“As we get to work to control the virus, this is the team that will deliver immediate economic relief for the American people during this economic crisis and helps us build our economy back better than ever,” Biden said in a statement.

Biden’s other nominations include Neera Tanden, president of liberal think tank Center for American Progress, as head of the Office of Management and Budget. If confirmed, she would be its first South Asian head.

Also tapped was Dean of the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, Cecilia Rouse, as chair of the Council of Economic Advisors, the first African American in that post.

Adeyemo graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, with a bachelor’s of arts, before moving to Yale Law School, where he bagged his Juris Doctor for further studies in specialized law.

While at Yale, he was the co-director of, project on law and education for the university.

Before his appointment as the President of Obama Foundation, Adeyemo was the deputy chief of staff at the department of the treasury, a position he held for three years.

He has served in various positions at the treasury, including senior advisor to the chief of staff and deputy executive secretary.

Adeyemo also worked as the chief of staff at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau from 2010 to 2011.

He was an editor for the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution from 2008 to 2009.

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Hoodlums Attack Lagos Firefighters, Destroy Fire Engine

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Officials of the Lagos State and Rescue Service have been attacked by suspected hoodlums at the Agege area of Lagos State.

Three firemen were injured, according to a statement by the acting head of the agency, Mrs. Margaret Adeseye, on Monday.

Adeseye explained that a fire engine belonging to the Agency damaged by hoodlums, who attacked the officials in the course of duty on Sunday.

She expressed displeasure over the “incessant attacks on firefighters in recent times for yet to be identified reasons”.

She recalled that the attack on the firefighters and the engine occurred after officials of the agency were prevented from attending to a fire incident at Nmani Street, Dopemu Agege, in Orile Agege LCDA, Lagos.

“Three firemen from a crew of four were injured and the Agency’s vehicle, Agege Fire Eagle C07, damaged by the hoodlums after preventing the personnel from performing their official duties in October.

“It took the intervention of a team of policemen from Alabo Police Division, led by Supol Bako Muhammed before normalcy was restored at the fire scene,” Adeseye added.

She noted that the injured officers were treated at Agege General Hospital, while “investigations about the incident are on-going to effect the arrest of culprits and ascertain the cause of the attack”.

 

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