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ASUU Sets Sunday to Decide End of Strike

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The National Executive Council of the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities will meet on Sunday, August 28, 2022 to take a decision on whether to suspend or continue with the industrial action, The PUNCH has learnt.

Sources among the union’s NEC members told our correspondent on Monday that the meeting will hold at the union’s national headquarters at the University of Abuja.

Our correspondent further gathered that the council will take a decision on the industrial action based on reports from the various state congresses.

The PUNCH reports that ASUU had on Monday, February 14, 2022 embarked on a strike.

The union had demanded for the renegotiation of the ASUU-FGN 2009 agreement; release of revitalisation funds for universities; deployment of the University Transparency Accountability System for the payment of salaries and allowances of university lecturers; release of earned allowances; and the release of the white paper report of the visitation panels to universities.

“The NEC meeting will hold on August 28, the four weeks ultimatum that we gave is expiring that same day. We will be making our decisions based on the results of the state congresses.

“The NEC has to depend on the result of the congresses. The zones have held their own congresses; the branch chairmen will also talk to their members and they will get feedback which will be transmitted to the NEC,” one of the sources said.

When asked if the union will consider calling off the strike, the source asked, “Does it look like the government wants to end the strike?”

Confirming the date of the NEC meeting to our correspondent, the chairperson, ASUU, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Dr Gbolahan Bolarin, simply said, “Yes, Sunday.”

Shortly after the commencement of ASUU strike, other university-based unions such as the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities and other allied educational institutions had also embarked on strike to push their demands.

In a bid to end the strike, the government had set up a negotiation team led by the Pro-Chancellor of the Federal University of Lokoja, Nimi Briggs, to look into negotiations with the unions.

While, SSANU, NASU and NAAT had suspended their strike actions, the negotiations between the government and ASUU had stalled.

 ‘No proscription plan’

Meanwhile, the Federal Ministry of Education on, Monday, said it was not aware of plans to proscribe ASUU.

The ministry also noted that the failure of the union to call off its strike despite the interventions of the government was unreasonable.

The ministry’s spokesperson, Ben Goong, disclosed this in an interview with our correspondent in Abuja.

Media reports had said the government was planning to proscribe the union and drag it to the National Industrial Court over the strike.

Goong said, “We are not aware of such plans. The minister gave all the updates during his press briefing with State House correspondents. If there were plans to take further steps, he would have noted it.

“As regards the next steps, the government has already inaugurated a committee to harmonise the IPPIS, UTAS and UP3; this will ensure that the government will pay with only one payment platform that will harmonise all the technical peculiarities.

“The government has also rolled out its achievements. A total of N2.5 trillion has been expended in the tertiary education sector in the past 10 years, that is even much more than the amount in the 2009 agreement. The issues about salary adjustment have also been attended to.

“If you bring some demands and almost 80% has been attended to, there is no need to drag the strike anymore. It is unreasonable for the strike to be lingering, seeing as the government has worked towards fulfilling most of the demands.

The Punch

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Adeleke Loses As Tribunal Declares Oyetola Winner of Osun Guber Election

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The Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Osogbo has sacked Governor Ademola Adeleke as the duly elected governor of the state.

The tribunal in a split document of two to one declared that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, should withdraw the Certificate of Return issued to Adeleke and issue the same to former Governor Adegboyega Oyetola

The majority judgement which was read by the Chairman, Justice Tertse Kume said Oyetola scored the majority lawful votes of 314,931 against Adeleke’s 219,666

Radio Radio Ibadan

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Katsina Youths Boo, Stone Buhari’s Officials During Visit in Protest to Hardship

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President Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday, commenced a two-day official visit to his home state of Katsina where he inaugurated some projects executed by the state government.

However, his first day in the state was marked by a protest by youths decrying the hardship in the country.

The youth staged the protest a few minutes after noon, shortly after the President inaugurated the Kofar Kaura Underpass in Katsina.

The protesters caused a commotion at the Kofar Kaura Underpass where they threw stones at the crowd after Buhari left the area.

The boys also set up bonfires along the Yahaya Madaki Way, a few metres from the underpass, while shouting: ‘We don’t need you,’ ‘We no go do,’ in Hausa.

A viral video showed a mass of youths violently denouncing the government as they engaged some policemen on the road.

The development is coming 72 hours after the Presidential standard bearer of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, was stoned by suspected hoodlums at a campaign rally in Katsina.

The thugs reportedly threw stones outside the campaign venue, damaging several vehicles.

“Our candidate had met with women in a town hall and then held a hugely successful rally at the Muhammad Dikko Stadium. However, on his way to the airport, hoodlums attacked the car our candidate was riding in with heavy stones from his driver’s side causing substantial damage to the vehicle,’’ the Head of Media, Obi/Datti Presidential Campaign Council, Diran Onifade, disclosed in a statement.

Buhari had finished the ceremony and left when the youth stormed the underpass and started shouting, ‘Bamuyi,’ ‘Bamuyi’ (We are not interested.)

They also threw stones at the convoy of state government officials departing the project site.

They were subsequently dispersed with tear gas by security personnel.

One of the youth said they were protesting the hardship in the country, adding that they wanted to draw the President’s attention to the situation.

One of the protestants declared,  “ We are suffering; no job; no life…no money…”

But the spokesman for the Katsina police command, Gambo  Isah, said there was no protest.

He noted, ‘’The President was neither booed nor his convoy stoned. I was part of the convoy. The President successfully inaugurated the project. We were at another inauguration when we learnt that hooligans known as kaoraye were fighting one another at Sabwa ungwa area and we went there. We arrested no fewer than 10 of them and an investigation is already going on.”

The Special Adviser to the governor on Security Matters, Ahmad Katsina,  did not respond to inquiries on the youth’s actions.

The Punch

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Festival of Joy Promo: Ibadan Hosts Another Draw

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Globacom, on Thursday, held a draw in Ibadan, Oyo State capital to pick the winner of another 3-Bedroom apartment in the ongoing Glo Festival of Joy promo.

The event was held at Gloworld, Challenge, in the presence of several Glo subscribers who were in the shop to transact business.

Commenting about the exercise, a walk-in customer, Mr. Matthew Aina, who drew the winning number, commended Globacom on transparency of the draw, while Mrs. Taibat Azeez, who also witnessed the emergence of another house winner, said the exercise was fair enough.

The three-bedroom apartment will be presented to the winner, who was informed by Glo officials after the draw at a presentation ceremony scheduled for Friday, January 27, 2023.

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