Connect with us

Uncategorized

You can’t fight insecurity while students are not in school, ASUU tells FG

Published

on

ABUJA—The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has told the federal government that it cannot fight ongoing worsening insecurity in the country so long as it continues to “keep students at home.”

ASUU President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, who said this on Monday, in his goodwill message at the Maiden Nigerian Medical Association, NMA’s Annual Lecture in Abuja said Nigerians should hold the government accountable for its ongoing strike, explaining that it did everything possible to avert the situation to no avail due to government’s nonchalance to issues that led to its strike.

He alleged that ministers of education, labour, and finance and the Chief of Staff to the President flouted President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive to engage it in a meeting to find immediate solutions to the crisis.

According to reports by Vanguard, the union president who was represented by his Vice President Prof. Chris Piwuna, at the event with a theme:” Brain Drain and Medical Tourism: The Twin Evil in Nigeria’s Health System”, explained that during a visit by the Sultan of Sokoto, five weeks ago, the president directed the ministers and his Chief of Staff to immediately hold a meeting with ASUU for a quick resolution of the ongoing strike, alleging that they instead ignored him.

“We hope that the evil in the medical system which has transformed to all the sectors of the Nigerian state would be curtailed and brain drain will be a thing of the past but as it is now, the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is the one keeping Nigerian students at home and Nigerians must rise to challenge this government for what they are doing. They cannot fight insecurity if they are keeping the students at home,” he said.

”We have been talking about the state of the universities and how academic staff fare. We have been on strike for about eight weeks to nine weeks now.

“The president of this country, President Muhammadu Buhari had directed about five weeks ago, when the Sultan of Sokoto visited him, that the Minister of Education, Minister of Finance, the Minister of Labour, and the Chief of Staff to the President should meet with us in his office, that has not been done. That meeting has not taken place, five weeks ago that the president gave the directive,” he lamented 

”Outside the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, NUC, who has attended virtually all our meetings, not a single one of them has been there, even the Minister of Labour himself.”

“We have met with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, about three times. We have met with the President of the Senate three times, we have met with the Sultan of Sokoto, we have met with Dr. Kayode Fayemi, the governor of Ekiti State, what else do you want us to do? What else do Nigerians want us to do?” He asked.

He continued,” There are two vice-chancellors seated in this hall, they know exactly what we mean when we say universities are not funded.”

He said payment of tuition by students as one of the ways of addressing poor funding was not the way to go given that parents, especially at the local level were finding it difficult to feed.

“Nigerians, you have been talking about people paying school fees, that tuition fees should be introduced, they said that is one way we can fund our universities. If we can all go to our local governments and just ask the people in our local governments, whether they can pay tuition, and they accept, we will go with it.

“There is nothing that we haven’t done to avoid the strike. When we talk of tuition in our universities, it is as if parents don’t pay. You pay for your children off-campus, you pay for their feeding, you pay for their field trips, you pay for everything, and they say we should introduce tuition, perhaps if the majority of Nigerians in our local governments can feed, then we will say that we are ready for it, other than that, we are not,” he added.

Uncategorized

FG set to resume Abuja-Kaduna train services eight months after attack

Published

on

By

Abuja—The Federal Government says train services on the Abuja-Kaduna rail line will resume this November.

The Minister Of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo made this known on Monday while giving the score card of his ministry in Abuja, this is according to reports by Channels TV.

He said adequate security has been put in place to ensure the safety of passengers but did not give any specific date for the resumption.

Sambo said the ministry has learnt enough lessons from the attack in March that led to the suspension of train service on the Abuja-Kaduna route.

The minister also noted that a system has been put in place that will ensure prompt monitoring of movements on the rail tracks.

According to him, the system would afford President Muhammadu Buhari, concerned ministries and agencies as well as security agencies the opportunity to see what goes on on the tracks without delays.

The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) suspended train service along the route after Boko Haram terrorists attacked a moving passenger train in Kaduna on March 28, 2022.

The insurgents had blown up the rail track and bombed the moving train, killing some and abducting more than 60 passengers. The unprecedented attack had attracted international and national outrage.

The terrorists, who attacked the train in Kaduna, released hostages piecemeal with the last release being on October 5, 2022.

Distraught family members had protested several times to demand the release of their loved ones.

Sambo had said the Abuja-Kaduna rail line will not resume until all those kidnapped by bandits in March are rescued and reunited with their families.

A terrorist negotiator, Tukur Mamu, was on September 6, 2022, arrested in Cairo, Egypt while on his way to Saudi Arabia and returned to Nigeria the next day.

The Department of State Services (DSS) had alleged that Mamu, who negotiated between terrorists and families of kidnap victims, was part of an international terrorist network and used the cover of journalism to perpetrate his deeds.

Popular Kaduna-based Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, to whom Mamu is an aide, had faulted the arrest of Mamu.

Gumi had asked the security agency to charge Mamu to court if it had any evidence against him, rather than keeping him in custody.

But the DSS, in its reaction, said it would not be distracted by some skewed narratives in the media and requested to be left alone to concentrate on the ongoing investigations, the outcomes of which it said have remained ‘mindboggling’.

Continue Reading

Uncategorized

Eruani’s donation is unparalleled, says activists, chides critics of Bayelsa businessman

Published

on

Yenagoa—The National President of the Niger Delta Nonviolence Agitators Forum (NDNAF), Comrade Wisdom Oniekpar Ikuli has hailed the president of Azikel Group, Dr. Godbless Azibapu Eruani (CFR) for donating food and other relief materials to flood victims in Bayelsa State.

Ikuli said with the exception of the intervention of the state government, Eruani’s donation to the Bayelsa flood victims is so far unparalleled.

In a statement on Thursday, the ex-agitator while commending Eruani’s gesture hinted that the businessman has donated over 8,000 bags of rice and 1,000 pieces of mattresses to be shared across the eight Local Government Areas in the state.

“So far, besides the Bayelsa State Government that led the Relief distribution campaign with N450Million and the recent announcement of an additional N450Million, making it N900Million.

“Few other publicly spirited individuals have also reached out including Mr. Peter Obi; Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party (LP) who gave an undisclosed amount which is promised and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar; former Vice President and Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) but that of Dr. Godbless Azibapu Eruani CFR; the President of Azikel Group which has raised a lot of dust remains the highest.

“Dr. Eruani has procured 8000 Bags of 50KG Bags of Rice for onward distribution to the 8LGAs in the state, meaning 1000Bags per LGA. Presently, the market price of 50KG in Bayelsa state is N50,000.00. Meanwhile, the 8000 Bags were bought at the cost of N45,000.00 per bag.

“Going by my elementary knowledge of arithmetic, you have 45,000×8000 = N360,000,000.00 in the figure while in words, it is Three Hundred and Sixty Million Naira.

“The above excludes logistics and the transportation of the rice from Abuja where they are moved to Bayelsa state.

“Very importantly, earlier Dr. Godbless Azibapu Eruani CFR had sent 1000 mattresses to Bayelsa state so that they can be distributed to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). The market price of one of those mattresses is not less than N5000 but let us use N5000 as the benchmark, N5000×1000 = N5,000,000.00.”

The activist further chided those he said have been writing unprintable things on social media about Eruani since the announcement of his donations.

He added that Eruani has no obligation to donate but did so out of his compassion and his humanitarian character.

Godbless Azipabu Eruani

He said, “Surprisingly, most of those negative words are coming from people whose supposed ‘political godfathers’ have not donated a grain of rice to IDPs not even to them the ‘master am loyal boys’.

“For the records, Dr. Eruani is not under any obligation whatsoever to donate relief materials to anyone.

“He left the government over 15 years ago or thereabout where he only served as special adviser and commissioner at a time Bayelsa State allocation was very low so he cannot be accused of making his present wealth through government.

“His donation was not political but was purely on compassionate and humanitarian grounds. But come to look at it, even if it is political, how much have their godfathers with ambitions and those who are already contesting donated? ”

While also lauding the Eruani for being conferred with the national honour of the Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (CFR), Ikuli noted that Bayelsans do not value their own.

Ikuli who is also the Executive Director of the
Centre for Peace Advocacy and Social Rehabilitation (CPASR) described Eruani as an illustrious Ijaw son whose hard work he said has seen him make strides in the aviation, marine and other sectors with employees from different racial backgrounds.

He further hailed him for his philanthropic engagements, noting that the businessman has sponsored academic scholarships and skill acquisition programmes for many people over the years.

“This is a young man whose hard work has made him succeed in the aviation sector, marine, and other areas. He owns 3 aeroplanes and 2 gelicopters.

“He owns fleets of dredgers with Azikel Dredging Company as one of the leading dredging companies in the country and Africa as a whole.

“This is one illustrious son of the Ijaw Nation that has employed many whitemen as pilots with many blacks and Bayelsa state making the highest percentage of his workforce.

“He has given scholarships to countless numbers. Same with many he has sponsored them to acquire skills in many trades that have made them self-reliant and useful to society. The above excludes the multitudes that depend on him for their daily upkeep,” he noted.

He however urged “youths to think of channeling our God-given intellectual prowess into gainful ventures instead of always attempting to trivialize or water down the genuine benevolence, goodwill and philanthropic gestures of others.

Continue Reading

Uncategorized

Flood: lawmaker, commissioner give cash to affected constituents in Yenagoa

Published

on

….as beneficiaries express gratitude

Yenagoa—The lawmaker representing Brass Constituency I in the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Dr. Daniel Charles, on Thursday gave cash donations to his constituents who have been affected by the rampaging flood in Yenagoa, the capital city of Bayelsa State.

According to a statement by the Media aide to the lawmaker, Munafa Richard Clever, the cash donation exercise was successfully carried out without consideration of party affiliations and with the help of the commissioner for special duties, Bayelsa East, Hon. Preye Brodrick and other stakeholders from Brass Constituency I.

The lawmaker empathized with the flood victims, saying the funds will serve as an emergency relief measure to cushion the devastating effect of the flood for victims.

Expressing gratitude to the lawmaker for the gesture, a stakeholder of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and indigene of Twon Brass, Mr. Dan-Suobo Bewa Ockiya said the intervention was timely and came at a time when material and financial resources of victims of the flood were dwindling.

He prayed for replenishment for the leaders who made the cash gift possible.

“The flood amelioration package gifted us by two of our leaders came at the best of times, when all material and financial sources of hope were invisible but God did the miracle by using Hon. Commissioner Preye Broderick and Hon. Daniel Charles to provide a lifeline.

“I truly appreciate the gesture from the bottom of my heart and pray that God refills till there is an overflow. Thank you so very much, my leaders and friends,” he said.

Similarly, Mr. Yibo Ebenezer Oti, an indigene of Liama expressed gratitude to the lawmaker on behalf of beneficiaries from Liama community in Brass constituency I.

Oti commended the Brass Constituency I PDP leaders for reaching out to their constituents affected by the flood and added that the gesture was timely.

According to him, “On behalf of the good people of Liama community of Brass constituency 1, ward 6 residing in Yenagoa, the State capital of Bayelsa State, I appreciate Hon. Daniel Charles and the Honourable Commissioner for Special Duties Bayelsa East in the Prosperity-led Administration of Governor Douye Diri, Hon. Preye Brodrick for reaching out to our people to help mitigate our plight by providing cash gifts & succor in the cause of the ravaging flood.

“The kind gesture is very timely and a welcome development to show leadership capacity in representing us.”

Oti further called on government at all levels as well as relevant agencies and well-meaning individuals “to partner to mitigate the effect of the flood hazard that has so far caused untold hardship on our people.”

He further expressed optimism that Bayelsans would surmount their current challenges in no distant time.

Continue Reading