ASUU vows to commence strike, says ‘we’ve lost trust in FG’

The Academic Staff Union of Universities on Friday expressed doubts over the ability of the Federal Government under the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to resolve the lingering crisis in the education sector, particularly the universities.

The union said an indefinite strike will commence.

The union described as “shameful” the continued defence of IPPIS by the Federal Government despite reported fraud in it’s implementation as indicated in the 2021 report submitted to the National Assembly by the Auditor General of the Federation.

In a statement on Friday, ASUU lamented the numerous past negotiations and agreements with the Federal Government on how to revamp the education sector but which the government had shown no commitment to implement.

The statement signed by the Chairman of ASUU, University of Jos branch, Dr Lazarus Maigoro, read, “In the last one year, our Union has been engaged with the federal government and its officials over demands which, if met, would lift the standard of our battered tertiary institutions, especially the universities. The undisputed crisis in our educational sector has met, as with other consequences, nothing but the same response. Our union states very clearly that we appreciate the interest demonstrated by the Nigerian Inter-religion Council with a view to resolving the current impasse.

“However, it is not rational to continue to return to the same physician for the cure of an ailment iatrogenically introduced by him or one in which he has failed to cure or bring relief to his patient.

“From historical experience, we can conclude that NIRECs efforts with agents of government will be more prone to bringing further pain and anguish to the system. This will surely be the case if NIREC’s intervention ends with a palliative solution. This will lead to another phase of the same crisis. For the avoidance of doubt, our Union ASUU, has had several meetings with the Minister of Labour, Officials of the Federal Ministry of Education, the NUC, and NITDA and, very recently with the Chief of Staff to the President.

“All these meetings have not calmed our members as the following issues still remain unresolved.
The recent comments by the spokesman to the President, Mr. Femi Adesina that government will keep to the promises, rings very hollow to us. The government’s pattern of response to the issues is that of a serial promise-breaker. Like an unfaithful spouse, they are unable to match their words with action which is affecting the education sector negatively. We are tired of their deceit and IT IS TIME FOR US TO ACT. We want to inform Nigerians, that we are tired of fruitless meetings with the Minister of Labour, NUC Executive Secretary, Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission, NITDA, and the Chief of Staff to the President. If they ever want us to listen to them, they should first of all act on the promises they have already made.

“In the meantime, we are resolved to proceed on an indefinite and comprehensive strike until fidelity returns to our relationship with the government and our demands are met. We are tired of the back and forth.”


Insecurity: 400 ethnic groups decry daily killings, urges FG to be proactive

No fewer than 400 ethnic nationalities in Nigeria on Thursday called on the Federal Government to be more proactive in dealing with the growing spate of insecurity in the country.

According to them, Nigeria youths cannot continue to witness such mindless killing of Nigerians in their numbers on a daily basis.

The nationalities under the aegis of Nigeria Ethnic Nationalities Youth Leaders Council said they have taken notice of the level of insecurity in the country which had now reached a very alarming level.

The President-General of NENYLC, Terry Obirh, spoke on behalf of the organisation during a press briefing in Abuja attended by its Secretary-General, Oladotun Hassan and Publicity Secretary, Emmanuel Zopmal.

He said, “Our stand is that the Federal Government needs to be more proactive in dealing with the growing spate of insecurity in the country as we cannot continue to witness such mindless killing of Nigerians in their numbers on a daily basis.

“The main essence and purpose of government is the protection of lives and properties but this appears to have been defeated in Nigeria. On a daily basis, Nigerians are being mowed down and roasted like chickens for no fault of theirs, except the fact that they are Nigerians.

“We say today that enough is enough and urge the security agencies to sit up. We have heard so many words without action from the government, we have had enough rehearsed condolence messages from the government, what we demand now is an end to the massacre of Nigerians under whatever guise.

“The council equally took notice of the pervasive corruption in Nigeria. We are concerned about the level of corruption in governance in Nigeria. This has to a large extent impeded development in the country, with resulting infrastructural decay across the country. The humongous annual budget of the country has not in any way translated to development.

“There are no commensurate development indices vis-a-vis the trillions of naira released every year as capital expenditure. The reason for this gap is not farfetched- it is buried in the graveyard of corruption.

“Worthy of mention is also our uncompromising position on the need for a united Nigeria, cautioned against inflammatory statements ahead of the 2023 general election.

“To this end, we urge politicians to put the interest of the country above self; they should see themselves as vehicles for national cohesion and not as agents of disunity. This is why we note with serious concern some unguarded utterances by political actors across the country, especially with regards to the 2023 general elections.

“The Independent National Electoral Commission has a big role to play. It must give all interested parties equal opportunities in the 2023 general elections to ensure the emergence of credible leaders.”

Also speaking, NENYLC organising secretary, Okwu Nnabuike, who urged Nigeria youths to participate actively in 2023 politics, called on political actors to be fair to all political zones in elections.


2023: INEC partners CSOs to enhance stakeholders participation

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is partnering with some prominent Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to create a platform for key stakeholders in the electoral process to share experiences and build public confidence in the electoral process, ahead of the 2023 general election.

To this end, a committee of INEC-YIAGA joint national conference on the 2023 general election has been inaugurated to among other objectives, identify and popularize innovations and reforms designed to enhance the integrity of the 2023 polls.

The planning committee which has National Commissioner, Prof. Abdullahi Abdu Zuru, as chairman is also to explore and build strategic partnership for improving the democratic qualities of the 2023 general election and provide stakeholders opportunity to give account of their preparedness for the election.

Members of the committee are drawn from INEC and partnering organisations such as; YIAGA Africa, the European Union (EU), The Albino Foundation, Nigerian Women Trust Fund, ACE Foundation, International Foundation for Electoral Support (IFES) among others.

Inaugurating the Committee at a brief ceremony held at the INEC Headquarters, Abuja, on Wednesday, Chairman of INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu underscored the immense contributions of CSOs to the development of democracy in Nigeria.

He recalled the successes achieved through partnerships with various CSOs in a bid to strengthen the electoral process and mobilize citizens for participation in the electoral process.

The committee members present at inauguration included the Chairman Professor Abdullahi Abdu Zuru, Samson Itodo Cynthia Mbamalu, Michael Agada, and Bakara Yetunde all of YIAGA Africa, Jake Epelle of Albino Foundation, Obaje Ukeh of IFES, Laolu Olawumi, EU; Obinna Osisiogu, ACE Centre and Mufuliat Fijabi, Nigeria Women Trust Fund.

Other members of the committee are: the Chief Technical Adviser to the Hon. Chairman of INEC, Prof. Bolade Eyinla, Special Adviser to the Hon. Chairman INEC, Prof. M.J Kuna, Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi, the D-G of The Electoral Institute, Dr. Sa’ad Umar Idris, Director VEP, Ayodele Aluko; Director EPM, Aminu Idris; and Engr., and Director Planning and Monitoring, Paul Omokore, as Member / Secretary.

Other co-opted members are; Director Commission’s Secretariat, Mrs. Maryam Iya Musa, Director, Health Services, Dr. Ajoku G.N, Lebari, Director Security Samson Ndu, and Ag. International Cooperation& Partnerships, Kemi Oyeyemi.

The Committee has 2 weeks to submit its report.

Responding on behalf of the committee, Samson Itodo of YIAGA Africa appreciated the commission for deeming the committee fit to carry out the tasks.

He said the Committee would ensure that the 2023 general election met international best practices.

Samson Itodo renewed his call on President Muhammadu Buhari to assent to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill to enable the commission and other stakeholders prepare ahead of the 2023 general election.