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Strike: RSUST/UOE Staff Want Dialogue With RSG

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Nigeria’s First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan (right) and Founder, Women, Peace and Development Initiatives, Dr Bolere Ketebu, during the meeting of female leaders and stakeholders from Plateau State at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, last Friday.

Nigeria’s First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan (right) and Founder, Women, Peace and Development Initiatives, Dr Bolere Ketebu, during the meeting of female leaders and stakeholders from Plateau State at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, last Friday.

Striking lecturers at the Rivers State University of Science and Technology (RSUST) and the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education are insisting on continuing with their strike except the state government is ready to go into negotiation.

Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) at Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Dr Ugochukwu Ake told newsmen yesterday that the only way to resolve the prolonged labour dispute was for the state government to enter into dialogue with them.

He said, “the strike is still on and there is nothing anybody can do about it … and the strike would come to an end if we reach concrete agreement with the state government on finding ways to implement the ASUU agreement of 2009. And so we are appealing that the best way out of the whole thing is how to work out that agreement.”

But chairman of ASUU in the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, alleged that the state government had refused to dialogue with the union.

He described as false claims that the state government had demonstrated willingness to dialogue with the university teachers, insisting that no such effort had been made.

He stated that the lecturers were not bent on receiving extra salaries as claimed in some quarters but were demanding that working and teaching environment be improved in order to raise quality of tertiary education in the state.

Meanwhile, the Student Union Government (SUG) in RSUST has appealed to the government and ASUU to sheathe their swords and return to the negotiation table.

The President of the Student Union Government of the institution, Comrade Faith Nwaonu said that the body would not watch from the sidelines again since they had lost one full academic year due to the impasse.

He noted that the SUG would convene an emergency congress today towards finding amicable solutions to the problem, pointing out that a lot of the students were tired of staying at home because of the strike.

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RSG To Clamp Down On Illegal Private Schools …Approves Amendment Of State’s Education Law …. To Provide Stiffer Penalties, Sanctions On Breach Of Govt Policies On Education

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The Rivers State Government has taken concrete steps to check the illegal proliferation of sub-standard private schools, with the consolidation of two extant laws in the state.
Addressing journalists after a State Executive Council meeting presided over by the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike at the Government House, Port Harcourt, yesterday, Rivers State Commissioner of Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, said that the state government would continue to improve the quality of education in the state.
He said: “Council today approved the amendment of the Education Law in the state by consolidating Rivers State Education Law Cap 47, Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria (1999) and the Rivers State Education Private Schools Law Cap 48 Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria (1999) under one legislation.
“This is to provide for stiffer penalties, sanctions to prevent the breach of government policies on education as contained in the extant laws.
“Council took this decision to check the present situation of indiscriminate proliferation of private schools in the State without compliance with basic requirements with respect to standards, curriculum, content and facilities.
“The overall goal is to ensure the development of quality education in line with the New Rivers Vision of the present administration.”
The council approved the dissolution of the Petroleum Monitoring Task Force in the state.
The State Executive Council advised members of the Public to stop dealing with the dissolved Task Force.
The Rivers State Executive Council warned motorists against indiscriminate parking of vehicles in front of Port Harcourt Mall.
He said henceforth, motorists who park in front of the Port Harcourt Mall would be sanctioned.
The commissioner stated that the Rivers State Executive Council appealed to residents of Port Harcourt to bear with the state government on the ongoing construction of three flyover bridges and other roads.

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Going Too Far…

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In his first broadcast to Nigerians after his longest stay away from the country on medical vacation during his first tenure, President Muhammadu Buhari used this expression “going too far…” The issue was that during his absence there were some agitations to rekindle Biafra, restructuring, etc. So, it became necessary to warn such agitators that they were going too far. Nigerians had expected in vain to hear their President say something about his prolonged health vacation and other matters relating to it, but something else was more important.
Perhaps, some well-meaning Nigerians may not be going too far in drawing the attention of the Federal Government to certain issues that should be of concern to a responsible leadership. Two of such issues were raised in The Tide newspaper, Wednesday, January 8, 2020, namely: “Nigeria Now Fulani Republic” (Page 6) and “You Are Fanning Embers of Civil War, Kuka Tells FG” (Page 7).
Alaigbo Development Forum (ADF) condemned the recent Federal Government’s Visa Free Policy for Africans. Chairman, Central Planning Committee of ADF, Dr. Onyi Gbiyie, called for thorough examination of an alleged January 13, 2018 call by National Movement of Fulani in Nigeria, “for all Fulani in Africa to prepare, get armed and come over to Nigeria for an immediate and inevitable Jihad 9war) ,“ Has this a connection with the Visa Free Policy for Africans?
The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Most Rev. Matthew Hassan Kuka, was quoted as saying that “The Federal Government is using different methods to achieve the same goal of Islamic dominance…” He went on to say: “if the people in power don’t do enough to integrate Christians, then they give oxygen to Islamism. If they have countries where everybody in power is Muslim, then you give vent to the idea that Islam should be supreme.”
In the Guardian newspaper of August 27, 2009, one Edwin Madunagwu wrote as follows: “if the ruling classes and blocks continue to behave as if Nigeria is their property and Nigerians are their slaves – to exploit as they wish – and if popular – democratic and Pan-Nigerian forces cannot remove them from power, then a fate worse than disintegration will befall us.”
It is a historical fact that religion is often co-opted and used as an instrument of power hustling and influence peddling. Those who pursue such strategy for political purpose rarely go too far before they encounter bitter challenges. Neither can a peaceful and stable polity come about through subterfuge.
It does not require the crafting of a bill on hate speech to reposition Nigeria or get maximum support of Nigerians. Neither should the settlement of the Fulanis in diaspora take some clever forms that would create some animosity in the country. Those pursuing such projects by subtle means would not go too far before they would encounter oppositions.
Why was it considered expedient to disburse the sum of N100 billion to the Miyetti Allah group by the Federal Government, when Ruga project could not fly? Similarly, why was IPOB considered so dangerous to warrant declaring it a terrorist organisation, while repentant Boko Haram terrorists are being re-cycled into the Nigerian armed forces?
Did the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) go too far by asking “how many Christians are heading any of the security agencies in the country”? Or did a former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, go too far when he raised an alarm about possible moves to Islamise and Fulanise Nigeria? Surely, a man in that position must have some reliable intelligence reports to be able to make such a weighty allegation.
If there is anything going too far in Nigeria, it is the joke in some quarters that Nigerians have become so gullible, malleable and docile that they can be recolonised. It is true that the military laid the foundation during several years of intervention in politics, but it would be false to assume that a state of docility can remain so indefinitely. One may not be going too far to ask if the nation’s armed forces are truly neutral, nationalistic and democratic in temperament! Also include the security apparatus.
To go too far is to do things in excess and cross the line of decency with impunity. Political chicaneries and religious zealotry can be taken too far when compulsion rather than conviction becomes a means of winning the minds of people.
Even the Holy Quran stresses this issue of a free volition, saying: “Let there be no compulsion in religion. Truth stands out clear from error. Whoever rejects evil and believes in God hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold that never breaks.”
The origin of the “Arab Spring” began with the use of compulsion and intimidation to win popular acceptance. It was a proof of the truth that taking the docility of the masses too far and the use of the instrument of intimidation, can be counter- productive. There come a time when the merchants of power can run short of ideas and when prevailing tools of coercion can no longer perform magic. It is usually then that the deficiencies and hidden agenda of power holders can come to light. Things would fall apart!
The issue of one group taking an undue advantage of another group considered as weak, docile or conquered, can create instability in society. Be it in economic, political, religious or a combination of many forms, domination is a factor that raises tension. It is quite worrisome that the issue of resource control in Nigeria is not being seen as the basis of social justice. The use of “gun-boat diplomacy” of which the Ken Saro-Wiwa saga is a reminder, would not always be a winning streak.
A highly placed elder statesman said that the treatment given to Niger Delta people should not be taken too far. Those who lead others should go far enough to feel the pulse of the mases.
B. Nmirize

 

Bright Amirize

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CAN Spits Fire As Boko Haram Beheads Christian Leader …Accuses Buhari Of Working With Insurgents, Wants Service Chiefs’ Sack …Atiku, Amnesty International Condemn Terrorists’ Act

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Terrorist group, Boko Haram, has killed the Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Michika Local Government Area of Adamawa State, Rev. Lawan Andimi.
The news was first broken by journalist, Ahmed Sakilda, on Twitter, yesterday.
He said, “To break some news items can traumatise. I’m battling with one of such. Reverend Andimi, abducted by Boko Haram was executed yesterday (Monday). Rev. Andimi was a church leader, a father to his children and the community he served. My condolences go to his family.”
Andimi, who was declared missing on January 3, 2020, had in a video published on January 5, confirmed that he was in the custody of Boko Haram.
Andimi had pleaded with the Adamawa State Government and the CAN leadership to come to his rescue.
He claimed that he was not maltreated by his captors as they were taking good care of him.
The cleric, who spoke in Hausa and English intermittently, urged his family not to be afraid, adding that he would return home safely if it is the will of God.
He said, “I have never been discouraged because everything is in the hands of God. God who made them to take care of me and leave me alive will touch them… So, I am appealing to fellow reverends, particularly my President, Rev. Joel Billy, who is a strong man of love that he will do his best to speak with our governor and other necessary agents for my release.
“These people (Boko Haram) have been doing well to me. They have been feeding me with what I want to eat, and they provided me with a nice place to sleep, a blanket and everything. So, they have not done anything wrong to me, and I believe that God, who made them to act in such a way, is still alive.
“By the grace of God, I will be together with my wife, children, and colleagues, and if the opportunity has not been granted, then maybe it is the will of God. All well-wishers and colleagues should be patient. Don’t cry, don’t worry but thank God for everything.”
However, the Adamawa State Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has confirmed the execution of its Chairman of Michika Local Government Area, Rev Lawan Andimi.
The spokesman for the CAN President, Rev. Bayo Oladeji, confirmed this to newsmen, yesterday.
“It is unfortunate what has happened. A statement will be issued soon,” he said.
Reacting, the Adamawa State Chairman of CAN, Bishop Dami Mamza also confirmed the incident.
The beheaded church leader served as the Local Council Chapter Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and also a pastor with the Church of the Brethren (EYN) at the District Church Council of Michika.
He was abducted when the insurgent group attacked the town on January 2 around 7:00 p.m.
Rev. Lawan Andima was 58 years old, married, and the father of nine children.
It was gathered that the Boko Haram sect executed Lawan Andimi, last Monday afternoon weeks after he was declared missing on January 3, 2020.
Mamza said that the terrorists, who earlier demanded a ransom of £2million, rejected an offer of N50million before they killed him.
The CAN chairman also disclosed that two pastors in the state were killed at the same time.
He, further, called on the Federal Government to wake up to its constitutional obligations.
Andimi’s disappearance followed a foiled attack on Michika Local Government Area in Adamawa by Boko Haram.
In a video, Andimi, while pleading with the authorities, commended his captors for treating him well.
He urged his family members to pray for his release, adding that if he is not released, maybe it is the will of God.
Also reacting, Amnesty International Nigeria condemned the murder of Rev. Lawan Andimi by Boko Haram.
In a statement, yesterday, the Director of AI Nigeria, Osai Ojigho said the organisation was appalled by reports that the Chairman of a local chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Reverend Lawan Andimi, was killed by Boko Haram.
“With this horrific murder, and an increasing number of attacks in recent weeks, Boko Haram has again shown its brazen disregard for the sanctity of life. These deplorable crimes must not go unpunished.
“It is appalling that Boko Haram followed up the killing of Rev. Lawan Andimi on Monday with an attack on his village – in Chibok Local Government Area of Borno State. Targeting civilians is a crime under international law.
“Boko Haram must immediately stop its attacks on civilians. All those responsible for war crimes and other human rights violations and abuses in Nigeria must be brought to justice in a fair trial.
“The human rights group has now tasked authorities in Nigeria to re-double their efforts in ensuring the rescue of hundreds of civilians still detained by Boko Haram.
“Since December, last year, Boko Haram has been escalating attacks on civilians, commuters, infrastructure and humanitarian facilities across North-East.”
Andimi was abducted by Boko Haram when they attacked Michika on January 3.
Initially, he was declared missing but later appeared in a video released by Boko Haram, wherein he pleaded with authorities to secure his release.
Michaka and some other areas in North-East Nigeria have been repeatedly attacked by Boko Haram.
Reacting, the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Samson Ayokunle yesterday, described the killing of Adamawa State CAN Chairman, Rev. Lawan Andimi as gruesome, unfortunate and a shame on the federal government.
Andimi was abducted by Boko Haram on January 2 when the insurgents stormed the community.
Ayokunle faulted the security architecture of the country, wondering: “What has become of Intelligence gathering of our security agencies? Is this government and the security agencies still claiming that the war against these criminals in religious garments has been won despite all the killings?
“Is the government sincere in fighting these terrorists or merely paying lip service to the war against the insurgency? Is there any hope that our security is guaranteed under this government?”
A statement issued by the Director, Legal and Public Affairs, CAN, Evangelist Kwamkur Vondip said: “The President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Samson Ayokunle and indeed the entire CAN leadership and the Nigerian Church are deeply saddened with the news of the gruesome murder of Rev. Lawan Andimi the CAN Chairman Michika Local Government Area and the District Church Council Secretary of the Ecclesiya Yan’uwa a Nigeia (EYN) Church in Michika, Adamawa State.
“We recall sadly that late Rev. Lawan Andimi while in captivity made a passionate appeal to the leadership of his church and the Federal Government to come to his rescue. The church did everything within her reach to secure the safe release of this pastor gentleman but it was not possible because they didn’t have the military power to do so.
“Just last Sunday, a clergyman, Rev Denis Bagauri was murdered by unknown gunmen in his residence at Mayo Belwa of Adamawa State. The church views the unabated kidnappings, extortions and killings of Christians and innocent Nigerians as shameful to the government that each time boasts that it has conquered insurgency”.
CAN said it was reprehensible and saddening that each time the government comes out to claim the defeat of the insurgency, more: “killings of our people are committed. In the light of the current developments and the circumstantial facts surrounding the prevailing upsurge of attacks against the church, it will be difficult for us to believe that the Federal Government under President Mohammadu Buhari is not colluding with the insurgents to exterminate Christians in Nigeria bearing in mind the very questionable leadership of the security sector that has been skewed towards a religion and region!
“Is that lopsidedness not a cover up for the operation of the insurgency? If not, why couldn’t the well equipped security agents of Nigeria get this man killed rescued?”
The religious body further urged the federal government to ensure the release of the prisoner of faith, Leah Sharibu and hundreds victims in the Boko Haram and ISWAP captivity before it is too late.
CAN said: “A government that cannot protect the governed is a failed government. Can the government tell us what they did since Rev. Andimì cried out to them for help?
“If the security agencies claim the terrorists are operating outside the country, why is it possible for these hoodlums to invade the country, kill, maim, burn and kidnap without any convincing checks on the part of the security agencies?
“Since the government and its apologists are claiming the killings have no religious undertones, why are the terrorists and herdsmen targeting the predominantly Christian communities and Christian leaders?
“If the security agencies are not living up to the expectations of the government, why hasn’t it overhauled them with a view of injecting new visionaries ones into the security system?”
CAN said as long as government continues to live in denial and fail to face the reality: “these criminals will not stop their criminalities. We are almost losing hope in government’s ability to protect Nigerians, especially Christians who have become endangered species under its watch”.
Ayokunle called on the International community and developed world like the US, the UK, Germany, Israel and others to come to: “our aid of Nigeria, especially, the Nigerian Church so that we might not be eliminated one by one.”
However, CAN said: “The President of the Christian Association of Nigeria Rev. Dr. Samson Supo Ayokunle and indeed the entire CAN leadership and the Nigerian Church are deeply saddened with the news of the gruesome murder of Rev. Lawan Andimi the CAN Chairman Michika Local Government Area and the District Church Council Secretary of the Ecclesiya Yan’uwa a Nigeia (EYN) Church in Michika, Adamawa State.
“We recall sadly that Late Rev. Lawan Andimi while in captivity made a passionate appeal to the leadership of his church and the Federal Government to come to his rescue. The Church did everything within her reach to secure the safe release of this pastor gentleman but it was not possible because they didn’t have the military power to do so.
“Just last Sunday, a clergyman, Rev Denis Bagauri was murdered by unknown gunmen in his residence at Mayo Belwa of Adamawa State.
“The Church views the unabated kidnappings, extortions and killings of Christians and innocent Nigerians as shameful to the government that each time boasts that it has conquered insurgency.
“CAN deeply sympathises with the immediate family of Late Rev. Andimi, President and members of EYN Church, the government of Adamawa State and the entire Nigeria Church.”
CAN also wondered what was the essence of SIM card registration if the authorities cannot use it to track down these killers who rely on phones as a mean of communications to do their criminalities?
“What has become of Intelligence gathering of our security agencies?
“Is this government and the security agencies still claiming that the war against these criminals in religious garments has been won despite all the killings?
“Is the government sincere in fighting these terrorists or merely paying lip service to the war against the insurgency?
“Is there any hope that our security is guaranteed under this government?
“Can the government tell us what they did since Rev. Andimì cried out to them for help?
“If the security agencies claim the terrorists are operating outside the country, why is it possible for these hoodlums to invade the country, kill, maim, burn and kidnap without any convincing checks on the part of the security agencies?
“Since the government and its apologists are claiming the killings have no religious undertones, why are the terrorists and herdsmen targeting the predominantly Christian communities and Christian leaders?
“If the security agencies are not living up to the expectations of the government, why hasn’t it overhauled them with a view of injecting new visionaries ones into the security system? As long as the government continues to live in denial and fail to face the reality, these criminals will not stop their criminalities.
“We once again call on the International community and developed world like the US, the UK, Germany, Israel and others to please come to our aid of Nigeria, especially, the Nigerian Church so that we might not be eliminated one by one.
“We cannot loose hope on divine protection and the power of our Lord Jesus Christ to expose those behind the sponsorship of terrorism in Nigeria and to get Nigeria safe from the arms of the criminals. We shall remain constant and not bow to the antics of terrorists and their sponsors. We know that very soon, God will unmask these ungodly and wicked elements amidst us and their collaborators in Jesus Name.
“We urge all Christians to set three days apart this week to fast and pray for Nigeria.”
The Kaduna State Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev John Hayab has condemned the killing of the chairman of CAN in Michika Local Government Area of Adamawa State, Rev Lawan Andimi by Boko Haram, saying it’s a “sad day for the church in Nigeria.”
In an interview with newsmen, Hayab said it is not enough for the government to “condemn” the killings but the government must take concrete steps to protect the lives of Nigerians.
“The news of the killing of Rev Andimi by Boko Haram has added to sorrows, pains and suffering that the church is facing in Northern Nigeria. This sad news is coming just a day after our dear President Buhari met with the British Prime Minister.
“What other evidence do those in authorities in Nigeria want from us to convince them that our members, Pastors and fellow citizens are no longer safe?
“We have said the condemnation of atrocities without any concrete action is not good enough,” he said.
The CAN chairman said people living in the northern part of the country are living in fear of their lives because of the activities of the Boko Haram terrorists and other security challenges.
“How do you expect a person living in fear to do something meaningful for himself and his country?” he asked.
He added that the killing of the cleric was “another sad day for the Church in Nigeria and for the country at large especially for those who care and value human lives.
Our condolences to Rev Andimi’s wife, children and the church in Northern Nigeria. Let us not give up our salvation is near.
“We are calling on the Federal Government and our security agencies to God and to fellow citizens about the state of insecurity. We are praying for divine intervention since no one knows who is the next target”, he said.
Nevertheless, former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar has reacted to the beheading of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Chairman in Adamawa State.
Reacting to this development, Atiku said the killing was saddened, saying there was a compelling need to re-calibrate the nation’s security architecture.
“This development saddens me. There’s a compelling need to recalibrate our security architecture.
“I sympathise with the family of Pastor Lawan Andimi and the entire body of CAN in Nigeria. May the soul of the deceased Rest In Peace”.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari administration has come under attack over the reported execution of the Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Michika Local Government Area of Adamawa State, Lawan Andimi.
This was made known, yesterday by a journalist known to have access to Boko Haram, Ahmed Salkida.
His killing has since raised diverse reactions from Nigerians on social media.
Some Nigerians called on Buhari to sack service chiefs and stop telling lies about the eradication of Boko Haram.
Some of the comments read; @Akeemrahman “Sack all the service chiefs now; they are ineffectual and not knowledgeable enough to stop the wanton waste of innocent lives.”
@Godday_Parker “Where are those northerners that said Christians are not being persecuted in Nigeria? It’s time the nation disintegrated. May the blood of these innocent souls being spilled every day be upon all those who contributed to Buhari’s re-elections.”
@Godswilluv “Are we to keep suffering this concurrent mayhem just to keep one Nigeria. These Islamic Jihadists have massacred the chairman of CAN in Michika, Adamawa State. Once again I ask is keeping unworkable Nigeria more precious than humanity.”
@IkeBright “Tomorrow they will come and tell that some repentant Boko Haram members are undergoing rehabilitation.”
@Adeoluwa5 “Despite all the calls made. May the Lord grant his family the heart to bear the loss.”
@Martinluther_Charles “And our president is busy setting Boko Haram prisoners free there is something they are not telling us.”
@Felixakponwei “Yet there is a pastor as Vice president without any say! Sometimes, we find it very sad to understand the atrocity of the so-called leaders on a disguise as the government of the day. Human blood means nothing to them. If Christians are not careful what happened in turkey years back will repeat itself here in Nigeria. My sincere condolences to the family of the pastor! God we need you in Nigeria more than before, come and wipe away the so-called evildoers in Jesus Name.”
@Jahson “So sorry, so Buhari could not rescue this man, oh! My God, so they have killed this man, and Malami is fighting over the establishment of Amatekun and they cannot provide simple security to Nigerians, may his soul rest in peace.”
@PeterIroegbu “Yet the security outfit being floated by some regions is being frustrated by the government. I guess their preference is that we all have our throats slit in our sleep. Nigerians wake up and learn!…the danger is much closer than we think, evil under the guise of government.”
@King Saldee “This is barbaric, after I watched his video praising how they treated him and calling for stakeholders to pay his rescue no one did something about, later the hypocrites in authority will start lamenting how they put in the effort to rescue him with made-up stories!
@AllenEke “Any government that failed to secure the life of her citizens should be asked to resign. What are we waiting for?
@AliSubi “We thank God that the clergyman held on to his faith. He hasn’t denounced his faith. We sympathize with his family and the entire Christian community in Adamawa State.”

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