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Students Protest ASUU Strike, Block Airport Road, Motorists, Commuters Stranded



Many commuters, including those travelling abroad through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, were on Monday morning stranded as students, in their tens, blocked the main road linking the airport to Ikeja and Apapa-Osodi areas of the city.

On guard at the scene of the protest are also police officers who wielded batons but maintained some distance from the protesters as they tried to ensure that the situation did not degenerate.

The protesters, under the umbrella of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) have vowed to remain on the road until the Nigerian government and the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) reach a middle ground and academic activities resume on their campuses.

It is already more than seven months that ASUU commenced its strike, which it has declared indefinite following the failure of the two parties to reach a compromise on the union’s demands.

ASUU has demanded the replacement of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) as salary payment platform with the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) which its members developed.

ASUU said rather than ensuring accountability, IPPIS has enabled fraud in the system and that it failed to accommodate the peculiarities of the university system.

The union is also requesting the release of revitilisation fund for the universities as contained in the earlier agreements signed with the government, and the release of its members-earned academic allowance, among others.


The protesters defied the early morning rain in Lagos on Monday and assembled on the main road leading to the airport and just after the toll gates.

They used their vehicles to barricade the road obstructing those driving towards the airport.

Many workers and travellers were forced to trek long distances to access the airport as the protesters continued to sing and dance in circles while officers of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of the Nigerian Police in the state were seen seen on standby in one of the videos of the protest posted on Twitter.

The protesters carried placards with various inscriptions such as; “No Work, No Pay is a Fascist Talk. Pay Our Lecturers” and “No Education, No Movement”.

Some members of NANS in the South-west region had on Thursday staged a similar protest on the Gbongan-Ibadan highway in Osun State, causing gridlock.

Similar protests had also held across major parts of the country some months ago until the students were seemingly fagged out and awaited the outcome of the negotiations between the striking unions and the government.

At the time, all the university based workers unions including the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Other Allied Institutions (NASU), Senior Staff Associatuion of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) had also declared strike.

However, in August, while other unions suspended their more than five-month-old strikes, giving the government ultimatums to accede to their requests, ASUU opted to continue the industrial action and declared it indefinite, citing government’s decision to jettison its earlier negotiated agreements through its appointed committees.

Following the stalemate and the emergence of a new NANS leadership with Usman Barambu from the Federal University, Dutse, Jigawa State, as the president, the union has renewed its threat to ground major activities nationwide.

NANS said part of its strategies is to obstruct movements across major airports “so that the members of the elite and the ruling class can be reminded of the plight of the university students.”

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2023 Elections: INEC Deploys 707,384 Presiding Officers




The Independent National Electoral Commission will deploy 707,384 presiding officers for the general elections scheduled to commence on February 25.

The commission also said that since electoral education was important, there was a need to infuse it into the National Values Curriculum of primary schools in Nigeria.

INEC National Commissioner and Chairman of its Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, stated these during the public presentation of the Electoral Education Curriculum and Teachers’ Guide for primary schools.

The curriculum which was developed by the Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening  – Sustaining Electoral Engagement for Democracy project funded by USAID and FCDO and implemented by National Democratic Institute and IFES, was in partnership with the Nigeria Educational Research and Development Council, INEC (through the Voter Education Department), National Orientation Agency, Civil Society Action Coalition on Education for All and academia from across the country.

Okoye said, “We believe that electoral education is important in the goals of our nation. Electoral education is a specialized area and that is why we have this curriculum being infused into the National Values Curriculum in our primary schools.

“For instance, for the 2023 general elections in Nigeria, the commission will deploy a total of 707, 384 presiding officers and assistant presiding officers.

“These presiding officers will be drawn from the crop of young men and women doing their National Youth Service Corps, while the assistant presiding officers will be drawn from students from federal tertiary institutions.

“It is therefore important for us to understand the importance of electoral education in the development of our democracy.

“A national civic education curriculum and teachers’ guide with a specific focus on electoral education will prepare our children for the challenges ahead and also prepare them on how to respect other people’s races and also prepare them to assume leadership in future.”

The President of IFES, Anthony Banbury, said its contribution to the project was to strengthen Nigeria’s electoral process through effective teaching and learning of civic education in primary schools.

“To catch them young, the revised curriculum is a hallmark innovation that will introduce children and youth very early to the concept, processes, ethics, and values of democratic systems and governance.

“It will be essential for the young people’s orientation to initiate a shift from the existing norms. In the long term, it will increase civic participation and knowledge of democratic systems and values, as the children of today become the adults and the voters of tomorrow,” Banbury said.

The Executive Secretary of NERDC, Prof. Ismail Junaidu, said the aim was to strengthen the fabric of the nation’s democracy for sustainable growth and development.

According to him, since the return of democracy in 1999, citizens’ participation in elections and the electoral process had remained an issue of concern.

He also said that a known reason for this was the lack of adequate electoral knowledge.

“Hence, promoting democratic electoral culture and developing civic skills are therefore necessary for well-informed and responsible participation in elections and in the electoral process,” Junaidu said.

He said that the above informed the initiative of the NERDC in collaboration with IFES to develop the Electoral Education Curriculum for primary schools in Nigeria.

According to him, the curriculum, generally, is developed to expose young learners to the rudiments of democracy and inculcate in them the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for active citizens’ participation in the democratic process.

“Specifically, the curriculum is designed to achieve five key objectives, which are to: equip learners with basic knowledge of the concept of democracy, the role of elections in democracy and good governance.

He said the choice of primary school learners was hinged on the core principle of using education as an instrument of socialisation for the young to assume adult roles for the good of society.

“Thus, the teaching of electoral education at this level will ensure that when children reach voting age, they would have already understood the fundamentals of active participation in the political and electoral process,” Junaidu said.

While commending the management of NERDC for the initiative, the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, represented by his Senior Technical Assistant, Dr Claris Ujam, said the curriculum had become a dynamic process for sustainable national development.

He said, “Every time, there are changes or developments happening around the world, the school curricula are affected.

“Therefore, the inclusion of concepts and contents of electoral education under Civic Education is in line with the drive under the Ministry’s Education for Change: A Ministerial Strategic Plan.

“This is to enable the acquisition of citizenship values and skills through quality education. The electoral education curricular contents constitute a remarkable step to create positive change in the election landscape and political development.”

The Punch

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Pro, Anti Ekweremadu Protesters Storm UK Trial




The human trafficking case against a former Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, and his wife, Beatrice, resumed in a London court on Tuesday.

However, anti- and pro-Ekweremadu protests were staged in front of the court ahead of the proceedings.

AFP reported that before court proceedings, there was a gathering of protesters, some of whom were in support of the lawmaker while others were against him.

The lawmaker was in June 2022 arrested alongside his wife at Heathrow Airport in London on the allegation that they flew a young man from Nigeria to the UK to harvest his organ.

The allegation added that the organ was meant for Ekweremadu’s daughter, Sonia, who is currently hospitalised with a kidney-related illness.

Some Nigerians had in October 2022 protested in Abuja against the continued detention of the lawmaker who has now spent 223 days in the custody of UK authorities.

Protesters, once again, gathered at the court on Tuesday to either support the embattled lawmaker or protest his continued detention in UK custody.

“I mean, this case is unbelievable,” one protester, Citizen Gbola, was quoted by AFP as saying.

“Where else in the world would you have a deputy senate president, who is still a serving senator, he’s still getting his regular wage?”

According to Daily Mail, Sonia couldn’t make it to court on Tuesday but sought permission with a psychological report by her team claiming she was not fit to stand trial.

She had pleaded not guilty to the allegation of trafficking a homeless man into the UK to harvest his organs for herself, when she appeared in court on November 7, 2022.

The young man, who levelled the allegation against the Ekweremadus, told Staines Police Station that he was made to undergo some medical tests, none of which he consented to.

A 50-year-old medical doctor from South London, Obinna Obeta, was also arrested in connection to the allegation.

During proceedings at the Old Bailey court, Ekweremadu who wore a grey tracksuit top only said “Yes, miss” when asked to confirm his name.

Seated beside the lawmaker in the dock and dressed in black was his wife who was granted bail in July 2022 while her husband was said to be a flight risk.

The Punch

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New Naira Notes: Emefiele Finally Appears Before House of Reps




The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, has finally appeared before the House of Representatives which summoned him over the crisis caused by the redesign of some naira notes and the exchange of old naira notes with new ones by the populace.

Emefiele is appearing before the ad hoc committee set up by the House to investigate the crisis, which is chaired by Majority Leader, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa.

Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, was to issue a warrant for Emefiele’s arrest over his repeated failures to answer at least four summons from the House.

The House had shelved its plan to go on break for the presidential and National Assembly elections, which was to commence on Thursday, over the CBN governor’s failure to answer the last summons issued to him by the committee.

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