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I Will Honor Agreements With ASUU – President Buhari

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On Tuesday, President Muhammadu Buhari reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment to keeping promises made to the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to avoid disruptive strikes, provide uninterrupted academic programs, and increase education funding.

He provided the promise while receiving members of the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC) led by the Co-Chairs, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, Sultan of Sokoto, and Rev’d Dr Samson Olasupo Ayokunle, President of the Christian Association of Nigeria.

The President praised NIREC’s leadership for intervening in ASUU’s year-long strike and holding meetings with the parties, saying that no society that desires to do well neglects its educational system and all of its components.

President Buhari urged NIREC that in its subsequent consultations with members of ASUU, it is important that they share with them that Government regards them and the service they provide to the nation very highly.

A statement issued by Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity), quoted him as saying: ”However, they should be cognizant of the fiscal pressures that we are currently facing. Nevertheless, we remain committed to honouring our promises.

”For their part, I would like to encourage ASUU to continue to work with us towards finding resolutions to the challenges that confront us.

”My administration is committed to this engagement and dialogue, and I urge them to stay the course towards a joint resolution in the best interest of our children and nation.”

Responding to issues raised by the leadership of NIREC on finding sustainable solutions to the perennial and disruptive strikes that threaten the sanctity and integrity of the nation’s university system, the President said he had directed his Chief of Staff, the Honourable Ministers of Labour and Employment and Education to make resolving this issue a priority.

The President said he had received a briefing from the Minister of Labour, detailing the current position given the various interested parties, stressing the need to: ”To show our commitment, several payments have been made over the last 6 months, addressing several of the issues you raised – details of which the Minister of Labour and Employment can make available to you.

”Funding has also been provided for infrastructure development across several public universities and several of them have begun drawing down on this facility to improve their level of infrastructure

”Finally, and perhaps the most contentious of issues regarding the decision to use either the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) or the University Transparency Accountability Solutions (UTAS).

”As you may be aware, IPPIS was introduced as a means of blocking leakages. Through IPPIS, the Federal Government was able to save over N100 billion annually from the core civil service alone. In view of the resistance from ASUU, we devised UTAS which is now on the table.

”I have also been informed that the System Assessment Report conducted by NITDA has been shared by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy to all stakeholders including ASUU, and they are to make the appropriate modifications and report their recommendations.”

CAN President, while speaking on behalf of the Council, said the meeting with the President was on the single point of averting strikes in the universities and the challenges of ASUU, which they consider to be of national interest.

Dr Ayokunle told the President that from NIREC’s meeting with ASUU on January 10, 2022, the university lecturers outlined that the bone of contention between the Union and Federal Government centred on eight issues including inconclusive renegotiation of the 2009 ASUU-FGN agreement, UTAS, IPPIS and distortion in salary payment challenges.

According to him, other contentious issues are visitation panels to Federal Universities report issues, funding for revitalisation of public universities, earned academic allowance, state universities and promotion arrears.

The NIREC leadership, while acknowledging that some of the issues have been addressed by the Government, appealed to President Buhari to direct the immediate return to the table to conclude the re-negotiation of the 2009 agreement.

”If the renegotiation process continues to the conclusion, issues that the Government is not comfortable with can be re-negotiated with a view to reaching only implementable agreements. We believe that with renegotiation in place, other issues will be adequately addressed along the line,” the NIREC Co-Chair said.

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[VIDEO] Herdsmen Kill Bus Conductor In Lagos Over Cow’s Death

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Persons identified as herdsmen have stabbed a bus conductor to death for killing a cow in Lagos.

This happened in the early hours of Monday and became public in a viral video from the scene of the accident.

According to one of the videos making rounds on social media platforms, the incident occurred at Mowo on the Lagos-Badagry Expressway, close to President Muhammadu Buhari Estate.

The commentator in the video said the bus conductor, who fled after the accident that led to the death of the cow, was killed close to a police checkpoint.

The driver, who was said to be heading to Badagry from Mile 12, was said to have fled as soon as he sensed danger.

This made the herdsmen go after the conductor of the bus with registration number: FKJ 756 XH.

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JUST IN: Olukayode Ariwoola To Be To Sworn In As Acting CJN

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Report has it that plans are underway to swear in Olukayode Ariwoola as a tentative replacement for the former CJN, Tanko Muhammad so as to leave no vacuum.

Ariwoola is the next highest-ranking justice of the supreme court and he is expected to take over in an acting capacity from Monday.

According to the procedure for the appointment of the CJN, the Federal Judicial Service Commission (FJSC) shortlists two or three most senior judges among the supreme court justices and sends their names to the National Judicial Council (NJC) which then selects one candidate and forwards it to the president before it goes to the Senate confirmation.

But to leave no vacuum, an acting CJN must be appointed.

ABOUT OLUKAYODE ARIWOOLA

Ariwoola was born in Iseyin, Oyo State, on August 22, 1958. He had his primary education at the Local Authority Demonstration School, Oluwole, in his hometown between 1959 and 1967. He then moved to Muslim Modern School in the same town from 1968 to 1969 before graduating to Ansar-Ud-Deen high school, Saki area of Oyo, for secondary education.

He earned his law degree at the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) in 1980 and a year later he was called to the Nigeria bar and got enrolled as a solicitor and advocate of the supreme court.

He kicked off his career as a legal officer in the Oyo state ministry of justice and stayed in the role until he moved into private practice in 1988.

Ariwoola spent less than four years in private practice before he was whisked back into public service.

Between 1988 and July 1989, he was a counsel in-chambers of Ladosu Ladapo before moving to establish his own legal firm named “Olukayode Ariwoola & Co”. Three years later, he was called to the bench.

Ariwoola was back in public service by 1992 when he was appointed a judge of the superior court of record in Oyo.

He was named the chairman of the Oyo state armed robbery tribunal between May 1993 and September 1996.

In 2005, he then rose to the position of a justice of the court of appeal and he held the position before he was appointed a justice of the supreme court of Nigeria in 2011.

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Ekweremadu: Immigration Dismisses Organ Donor’s Underage Claim

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The Nigeria Immigration Service has stated that it followed due process in issuing a Nigerian passport to Mr. David Nwamini, who was allegedly trafficked to the United Kingdom for organ harvesting by former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu.

David had allegedly claimed to be a minor after he arrived in the UK where he was to donate his kidney to Ekweremadu’s daughter.

However, photos of his Nigerian passport, making rounds on social media, showed his date of birth to be October 12, 2000, placing him at 21 years old.

Making comment on the controversy surrounding David’s age, Mr. Idris Jere, the Comptroller General of the NIS, at a press conference on Sunday, said Nwamini is indeed 21 according to his record in the possession of the NIS, discarding claims that the Service didn’t thoroughly vet the documents provided by the applicant.

Jere said, “The fact of the matter concerning the case above, therefore, is that Mr. David Ukpo Nwamini applied and paid for the e-passport using the NIS portal after which he approached the passport office in Gwagwalada, FCT Abuja, on November 2, 2021, for his interview.

“To support his application, Mr. Nwamini presented all necessary documents required including his birth certificate issued by the National Population Commission, showing October 12, 2000, as his date of birth; his National Identification Number, issued by NIMC corroborating the date of birth; a Certificate of Origin issued by Ebonyi State Government Liaison office in Abuja, and a guarantor’s form duly signed.

“NIS relies on documentation supplied by other agencies and we are not under any obligation to go to those agencies to verify those documents. What we do is that we look at the documents and applicants physically. Once that is done, we go ahead to process.”

Meanwhile, the Senator representing Bayelsa West, Mr. Seriake Dickson, has told Nigerians not to hastily pass judgment against Ekweremadu and his wife, Beatrice.

Dickson said this in a statement he issued on Sunday titled, ‘The Ekweremadu I know will not traffic an underage boy for organ harvesting.’

Dickson said, “I am sure from the beginning when this story broke that the Ekweremadu I know could not have taken an underage and underprivileged young man, smuggle him out to harvest organs for whatever purpose.

“The circumstances surrounding this will fully come to light in the cause of investigation.

Also reacting, the Ebonyi State Government, in a statement signed by the Commissioner for Information, Uchenna Orji, in Abakaliki, on Sunday urged the UK authorities to exercise caution in the investigation of circumstances leading to the arrest and eventual trial of the senator and his wife.

The statement read, “Ebonyi State Government is following up the turn of events and twists that followed the medical intention of the former Deputy Senate President’s family.

“While we urge the UK Government to act progressively and meticulously and critically look at the intention (Mens rea) and the minds of the detained family and please give them the benefit of the doubt, we enjoin the public, especially those with shades of opinions and surge of anxieties to remain calm as we hope to see light at the end of the tunnel.

“The state government is reaching out to the family of David Okemini Ukpo from Ebonyi State, whose information to the Metropolitan Authority of UK orchestrated the criminal charge against the senator and his wife. The state government stands with Senator Ike Ekweremadu at this trial moment and hopes that the truth and nothing but the truth shall guide the outcome of the matter.”

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