​COVID-19: ASUU urges FG to mobilise varsities, research institutes for solutions

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has urged the Federal Government to mobilise and encourage universities and research institutes to find a lasting solution to the scourge of COVID-19.

Dr Dipo Akomolafe, Chairman, ASUU, Olusegun Agagu University of Science and Technology (OAUSTECH) Chapter, Okitipupa, Ondo State, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Okitipupa.

Akomolafe said that rather than rely on imported vaccines as being speculated, the government should also challenge universities and research institutes with funds for solutions to the deadly disease.

“If our universities and research institutes are mobilised and encouraged by the Federal Government, they will find a solution to the scourge of Coronavirus,” he said.

According to him, the closure of schools against the spread of COVID-19 is not really the solution but to put in place necessary provisions of facilities in schools to enable them to function safely and enforce the precautionary measures against its spread.

“From the presentation of government so far, most deaths recorded from COVID-19 were from the ages of 60 above and the range of youths was not much, so the closure of schools over COVID-19 is not the option.

“Government should make necessary provisions of facilities to schools to enable them to function safely and enforce its preventive measures to guide against the spread of the disease,” Akomolafe added.

NAN reports that Mallam Adamu Adamu, the Minister of Education, had on Thursday in a national broadcast said that schools across the country would resume on Monday, Jan. 18, 2021, with strict compliance to COVID-19 protocols.

​Armed Forces Remembrance Day: Ugwuanyi donates N10m, food items to widows of fallen heroes

Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, on Friday, donated the sum of N5 million and 150 bags of 50kg rice to widows of fallen heroes in the state in commemoration of the 2021 Armed Forces Remembrance Day.

Gov. Ugwuanyi who handed over a cheque of N5 million to the General Officer Commanding, GOC, of the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, Maj. Gen. Lasisi Adegboye, for onward distribution to the widows, at a brief ceremony held at the Parade Ground, Abakpa Cantonment, Enugu, also made symbolic presentations of the food items to selected wives of the fallen heroes.

The governor also supported the skills acquisition project of the Nigeria Army Officers Wives Association, NAOWA, 82 Division Chapter, with the sum of N5 million and made bulk purchase of the products of the trainees.

The NAOWA, 82 Division Chapter’s skills acquisition programme, according to its President and wife of the GOC, Mrs. Rasheedat Adegboye, is aimed at empowering the soldiers’ families with skills in vocational training for financial empowerment.

Responding, the GOC, 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, Maj. Gen. Adegboye, disclosed that it was because of the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic that the conventional ceremony organized annually to commemorate the Armed Forces Remembrance Day in Enugu State, did not hold at the usual venue.

The GOC thanked Gov. Ugwuanyi for deeming it necessary to identify with the military to pray for repose of their departed colleagues, those who are in the front line as well as the nation.

He also expressed gratitude to the governor for “all your support over the years to 82 Division and members of the Armed Forces in Enugu State”, stressing: “You have just replicated what you normally do”.

It would be recalled that Gov. Ugwuanyi had while taking note of the plight of 95 widows during the 2018 Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration at the Michael Okpara Square, Enugu, promised that his administration will intervene to ameliorate their sufferings, and consequently released the sum of N19 million to the 82 Division, Nigerian Army, Enugu, for disbursement to the affected women to start businesses.