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SSANU,NASU Begin Warning Strike, Today

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The Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) and Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU) will commence a 14-day warning strike, today.
Their decision was contained in a letter dated September 28, 2020, and jointly signed by the General-Secretary of NASU, Peters Adeyemi and SSANU President, Samson Ugwoke, and addressed to branch chairmen of NASU and SSANU.
The unions said the decision to embark on a 14-day warning strike was a fulfillment of their threat to begin the industrial action as soon as the Federal Government directs universities to resume academic activities.
The letter reads: “Kindly recall earlier information on the above subject matter wherein it was conveyed that the Joint Action Committee of NASU and SSANU would embark on a 14-day Industrial action immediately universities resume following the Covid-19 lockdown.
“Following the recent directives from the National Universities Commission (NUC) to Vice-Chancellors for the immediate resumption/safe reopening of universities, you are hereby directed to commence a 14-day warning strike effective from 5th to 19th October, 2020.”
The unions said the warning strike could snowball into full-blown industrial action if their grievances are not addressed by the Federal Government.
Some of their grievances included inconsistencies in the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) in the payment of salaries of its members; non-payment of arrears of earned allowances being owed NASU and SSANU members despite various memoranda of understanding; non-payment of arrears of national minimum wage to its members and non-payment of retirement benefits to out-gone members.
The non-academic staff unions also said lack of seriousness and delays by the government in the re-negotiation of the 2009 FGN/NASU and SSANU agreements; usurpation of the headship of non-teaching units by academic staff in clear violation of conditions of service and establishment procedures; neglect and poor funding of state universities; corruption in the university system and non-constitution of visitation panels for the universities in line with the laws as other developments that are impacting negatively on their members are reasons they are going on 14-day warning strike after which they will embark on full-blown indefinite industrial action.
“Please, note that this warning strike is the prelude to a full-blown, total, and indefinite industrial action if the grievances highlighted above are not properly addressed. JAC congresses are to be held in all branches on or before Friday, 2nd October 2020 to sensitise members and ensure the full mobilisation and compliance for the success of the warning strike,”the letter added.
Meanwhile, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), yesterday, vowed to continue its ongoing strike”.
It also accused the Federal Government of deducting check off dues on behalf of the union and refusing to remit same to the union between February and June, 2020.
ASUU, through the Chairman of University of Ibadan Chapter, Prof Ayo Akinwole, alerted there is an evil conspiracy among the ruling elite to wipe out public university education which provides education to over 90 per cent of students to elevate private universities, which he alleged they own with their collaborators.
The union has been on strike for over six months to “draw attention of government to the implications of criminal negligence of not funding public universities in the light of rising insecurity and other mounting social problems.”
According to Akinwole, the plan by the government to use salary stoppage to punish varsity lecturers for being concerned with the parlous state of affairs in the nations’ tertiary education has failed as members are resolved to ensure that government becomes responsive and responsible.

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Declare Buhari’s Seat Vacant, Owuru Urges Court

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The candidate of the Hope Democratic Party (HDP) in the last presidential election, Chief Ambrose Owuru, has approached the Federal High Court in Abuja, asking it to declare the seat of President Muhammadu Buhari vacant.

Owuru, who was among the four petitioners that went to tribunal to challenge Buhari’s re-election, in his fresh suit, sought for an order to restrain the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), from “undertaking or planning any other election into the office of the President”, in 2023.

The Plaintiff, in his suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/480/2021, maintained that Buhari is “an unlawful President that is illegally occupying the Presidential seat”.

It would be recalled that Owuru and his party, HDP, had in an earlier appeal they litigated up to the Supreme Court, insisted that the Justice Mohammed Garba-led Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, erroneously dismissed a petition they lodged against the return of Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as winner of the presidential election that held on February 23, 2019.

They specifically prayed the apex court to sack Buhari on the premise that he emerged through an illegal process.

According to the Appellants, INEC, failed to follow condition precedents stipulated in the Electoral Act, when it unduly postponed the presidential election that was originally fixed for February 16.

The HDP claimed that its candidate, Owuru, secured over 50million votes in a referendum that was conducted by both electorates and observer networks that were dissatisfied with the unilateral postponement of the presidential election by INEC.

However, in a unanimous decision, a five-man panel of Justices of the Supreme Court led by Justice Mary Odili, struck out the appeal for constituting “a gross abuse of the judicial process”.

Meantime, in the fresh suit, Owuru and his party argued that their suit against Buhari at the Supreme Court was inconclusive.

The Plaintiffs argued that the case was fixed outside the 60 days period that was allowed by the law.

Owuru asked the court to declare him the authentic winner of the last presidential poll, as well as, to issue an order for his immediate inauguration to take over from Buhari.

He prayed the court to declare that he is entitled to serve out a tenure of 4 years after his formal inauguration.

More so, the HDP presidential candidate, aside from asking for Buhari’s immediate removal from office, equally prayed the court to compel him to refund all salaries, allowances and emoluments he collected while he unlawfully stayed in office as President.

Owuru also asked the court to give an order that salaries, allowances and emoluments be paid to him from May 29, 2019, when he ought to have been sworn in, till date.

The Plaintiff further applied for, “An order of interlocutory injunction restraining the Respondents by themselves and acting through their agents, servants, privies and or proxies howsoever from any further organizing, undertaking or planning of any other election into the office of the President of Nigeria or any such other Presidential Election interfering, harassing and or disturbing the Applicant adjudged acquired right as unopposed and unchallenged winner of the original scheduled and held the February 16 Presidential Election thereof until the 1st Applicant unserved constitutional four years term of office is served pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit by this honourable court”.

Cited as 1st to 3rd Respondents in the matter were Buhari, the Attorney General of the Federation, and INEC.

Meanwhile, no date has been fixed for the matter to be heard.

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World Bank Report Exposes Buhari’s Lies, PDP Affirms

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said the report by World Bank that 7 million Nigerians have been pushed into poverty in the last year, has clinically belied the integrity posturing of President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The opposition party said the World Bank report came in the face of the recent claims by President Buhari that his administration has lifted over 10 million Nigerians out of poverty in the last two years.

The PDP asserted that the report by the World Bank has further vindicated its position that President Buhari runs an uncoordinated and clueless administration that thrives on lies, false performance claims, deceit, and perfidious propaganda.

The statement added that, “Nigerians can now clearly see why the APC and President Buhari’s handlers are always in a frenzy to attack our party and other well-meaning Nigerians whenever we point to the poor handling of the economy and on the need for President Buhari to always be factual on pertinent issues of governance in our country.

“Unfortunately, it indeed appears that Mr. President enjoys living in denial while watching millions of Nigerians go down in abject poverty, excruciating hunger, and starvation as our country now ranks 98th out of 107 in Global Hunger Index under his watch.

“Otherwise, why would Mr. President claim that his administration has lifted over 10.5 million Nigerians out of poverty while official figures even from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) show worsening poverty rate with 142.2% growth in food inflation and over 82.9 million Nigerians being unable to afford their daily meals due to the failure of the administration to take practical steps to grow and protect the food sector?

“Under President Buhari, Nigerians are now subjected to the worst form of poverty and hardship, with collapsed purchasing power, occasioned by a voodoo economy management that has wrecked our productive sectors and pummeled our naira from the about N167 to a US dollar in 2015 to the current over N500 per dollar.

“It is unfortunate that Mr. President will choose to always bandy fictitious figures and false performance claims, when he has, in a space of six years, destroyed our national productivity and reduced our country to a beggarly nation, a laughing stock and object of pity among the comity of nations.

“The PDP invites Nigerians to note President Buhari and APC’s similar false performance claims in other critical sectors, including power, transportation, road infrastructure, health, education, agriculture, security, aviation among others, where the Buhari administration has been bandying fictitious figures with no tangible project to point at.

“Our party counsels President Buhari, his handlers as well as their party, the APC, to note that Nigerians have seen through their deceitful clams.

“The PDP, once again, urges Mr. President to end his false performance claims and get more competent hands to manage the economy before every Nigerian is turned into a street beggar.”

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Amnesty Kicks As FG Pushes Social Media Regulation

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Amnesty International has strongly opposed the call by the Nigerian Government to regulate the use of social media and online broadcasters.

It would be recalled that the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, had urged the House of Representatives to include regulation of Twitter in the National Broadcasting Commission Act.

The minister made the call at the public hearing on a bill to amend the NBC Act organised by the House Committee on Information.

“I will want to add, that specifically, internet broadcasting and all online media should be included in this because we have responsibility to monitor content— including Twitter,” he said.

Reacting, Amnesty International, in a tweet via its Twitter account, yesterday, kicked against the motion.

It noted that when social media is regulated, authorities can arbitrarily have powers to shut down the internet and limit access to social media.

It further noted that criticizing the government will be made punishable with penalties of up to three years in prison.

“When social media is regulated, authorities can arbitrarily have powers to shut down the Internet and limit access to social media.

“Criticizing the government will be made punishable with penalties of up to three years in prison.

“Regulating social media in Nigeria could be easily abused to punish critics of government policies and actions, and anyone who asks difficult questions could find themselves liable for ‘diminishing public confidence in the government.’

“Seeking a law to prohibit abusive, threatening and insulting behaviour is open to very wide interpretation. This section would pose a threat to critical opinion, satire, public dialogue and political commentary,” the statement added.

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