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ASUU Strike: Consider Briggs Committee’s Report First, NAPATAN Tells Buhari

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Parents under the aegis of the National Parents Teachers Association of Nigeria (NAPTAN), have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to first take a look at the report of the Prof. Nimi Briggs-led committee that met with the national leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), before appealing to Nigerians to prevail on the union to call off its strike.
The association said it is when that is done that the government would be able to know which aspect of the committee’s recommendations it can implement.
The National President, Alhaji Haruna Danjuma, said this in a chat with newsmen, yesterday.
This is just as ASUU has described the call by the president as a sleep walk approach to governance that is highly unfortunate.
Both were reacting to Buhari’s call on Monday that well-meaning Nigerians should prevail on the union to call off its over four months strike.
Danjuma wondered when the Federal Government would consider the report of the Briggs committee that was submitted to it over a month ago.
“My advice for the government is to first attend to the report of that committee and see what it can do about it. Let the government first make its position on the report public and known to all. It is when that is done that critical stakeholders in the sector can see how they can come in.
“If the president works on the report, no matter what the decision of the government is, that is what will inform the intervention of those who want to mediate. The mediators will know what to do and what to base their actions on.
“For instance, if the committee says ASUU is demanding N10 and it recommends that the union be given N5 and even if the government says it only has N3 to give, then NAPTAN or any other group will know what to go and plead with ASUU for. Yes, the future of our children is critical and should not be toyed with and we are calling on all parties to find a way out of the face-off as quickly as possible,” he said.
ASUU, in a statement titled, “President Sir: When and why enough cannot be enough,” said the strike has lingered because of inaction on the part of the government.
The statement was endorsed by the Chairman, Lagos Zone of ASUU, Dr Adelaja Odukoya.
It read in part,”It is with painful and heartfelt amusement that we received your comical statement and laughable call yesterday that ‘enough is enough’ on the almost five-month old strike action of our union, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), occasioned and forced on us by the crass insensitivity, non-challant disposition, ineptitude and crass indifference to the fate of public university education in the country under your leadership.
“That all other unions in the nation’s public university system as well as unions in other tertiary educational levels in the country are also on strike for similar reasons, belied and exposed the ridiculous disposition and propaganda to paint our union black in the face of the Nigerian public who has seen through the shenanigan, deliberate, systemic and orchestrated agenda of the present government.
“This is not only to undermine but to comprehensively destroy public university education in unpatriotic obedience to the slavish and destructive command of the neoliberal high command to which the soul of this administration and her forbears seems to be irrevocably sold.
“The fact that the president unfortunately and sadly taken and embraced an attitude of mute indifference and unedifying quietude in the face of calamitous consequences a neglected education sector could foist on generations of Nigerians, including those yet unborn is a clear signpost of leadership failure.
“Nigerian public university students remain at home while our dear president and his cronies lavish valuable time on partisan party political activities, family egoistic ceremonies and global junketing, and to have finally woken up to address the issue of the national strike in the nation public universities in a season of Eid Adha celebration – season that calls for utmost and supreme sacrifices exemplified by Prophet Ibrahim should elicits both spiritual and popular condemnation.
“The choice of this solemn occasion to trade blames rather than making sacrifice as the season demands appears more of gross lack of understanding of the enormity of the crisis. The usual window-dressing and buck-passing and inability to rise up to serious occasion affecting our country particularly the nation’s education sector is rather unfortunate.
“This is underscored by the sleep-walk disposition of the un-presidential response to an issue which has been prolonged and exacerbated due to presidential inaction.
“Mr. President sir, for ASUU this strike action should not have lasted beyond the first week after it was declared because the issues at stake were neither new nor do they require rocket science to resolve given that there had been MoUs and MoAs as well as a duly renegotiated ASUU-FGN Agreementcompleted way back May 13, 2020 before your government which you and your administration neglected and refused to implement and signed.
“Our Commander–in–Chief, if only your administration has taken the sacred responsibility for education and the future of the Nigerian youth seriously, this latter day unconvincing lamentation without doing anything would have been unnecessary. Your Excellency, your position is to be on top of issues and solve national problems no matter how tough the situation instead of hopeless lamentation and sermonizing.”
The union said enough would not be enough unless the government does the needful.
The Briggs committee was set up by the government to renegotiation the 2009 Agreement with ASUU and submitted its report to the Education Minister, Malam Adamu Adamu, over a month ago.
In a recent interview with newsmen, the National President of ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, said the government promised getting back to his union immediately it gets the report but nothing has been done since then.
Issues in contention include the payment of Revitalisation Fund, payment of salaries and allowances, use of University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), instead of Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS), as the payment system in the universities, provision of adequate funding and facilities, among others.

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Inflation: Govs Meet Buhari Over Economic Woes, Insecurity, Today

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Worried by the economic woes in the country, the 36 governors would, today, meet at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa in Abuja, to discuss the way forward.
In a statement, yesterday, the Director, Media and Public Affairs of Nigeria Governors’ Forum Secretariat, Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, declared that the state of the nation’s economy would dominate conversations during the meeting.
According to the statement, “several governors reasoned that it is high time to tell each other the bare truth by confronting each other on the situation and brainstorming on it.”
The statement noted that: “This formed the basis for resorting to an in-person meeting which since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has been relegated by the states’ executives.
“Two things will feature prominently in the conversation: the economy and security. This will be the first time in the year, contrary to media reports that governors had collectively advised the president on the weeding of fifty-year-olds from the federal civil service and other spurious suggestions meant to impose further hardship on the people, that governors will collectively meet to consider a total overhaul of the nation’s economy.
“The meeting which, according to the invitation issued by the Director-General of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Mr Asishana Bayo Okauru, will commence at 2pm. It begins with the launch of the Primary Health Care Leadership Challenge Fund, followed by the launch of the World Bank SFTAS charter before the real conversation on the state of the economy begins.
“There will also be such regular updates as the CARES programme and the chairman’s remarks. All governors are warmly welcome.”

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2023: Momodu Urges Atiku To Sign Peace Pact With Rivers Gov …Says Fear Of Wike, Beginning Of Wisdom In PDP

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A former presidential aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dele Momodu, has suggested a solution to the rift between the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, and Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike.
Momodu suggested that a close-door dialogue between Atiku and Wike would resolve the rift between the two politicians.
There has been a rift between the pair after the PDP presidential primaries in Abuja.
Weighing in on the face-off, the veteran journalist said both politicians should possibly sign a pact and agree on deliverables.
Momodu said the fallout of the PDP post-national convention crisis has shown that Wike was a force to reckon with in the party ahead of the 2023 presidential election.
According to Momodu: “What I would advise Atiku Abubakar to do today is to sit down one-on-one without no other person present with Governor Wike and agree on deliverables, if possible, sign an agreement.
“The situation in PDP shows what Wike is in the equation of things in Nigeria. If you have a man who is your best governor across the board, across party lines, Wike stands out as a fantastic performer.
“Today, the fear of Wike is the beginning of wisdom in PDP, there is no question about that. Wike is smart, he knows the game he’s playing, and what he wants to do is to force a deal with the party. That’s my own reading of the situation.”

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Wike Labels Disgruntled Elders As Traitors …Says He’s A Fulfilled Leader …He Was Best Performing LG Chairman In Rivers -Odili

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Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has accused some elders of ganging up against him because they did not scale through the primary to be the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.
The governor explained that some of them, on his 2021 birthday, who indicated interest to fly the ticket, but failed at their bid to clenching it are now in Abuja plotting against him.
Wike spoke, last Monday, during the 74th birthday reception organised to honour the former Governor of Rivers State, Dr. Peter Odili, at the private residence built and donated to him by the state government in Old Government Residential Area, Port Harcourt.
The governor said those elders came to him in their own accord and showed a commitment that they would stay to see through what they came to convince him about.
“On my last birthday, 12midnight, some of our elders called me that they want to see me. They came to me and said they came to wish me happy birthday.
“Then, they presented me a letter that I should run for president. All of them including Dr. Abiye (Sekibo) signed the document.
“I say okay, you people too should go and give me someone who will be governor after me. They all sat there, looking left and right.
“I asked them, those of you who are interested to be governor should raise your hands. Everybody raised his hand. One person didn’t raise his hand, Senator Bari Mpigi. I asked why he was not interested, he replied, sir, let me hold what God has given me. I don’t want to lose the two.”
Wike noted that the elders also signed to a document that they would abide by whatever becomes the outcome of the governorship primary.
But governor expressed the regrets that since they were not successful, they have turned around now to allege that he was pursuing a third term bid.
“Some persons don’t know the history. They go and tell all kinds of story. But the truth is this; all of them (elders) signed the document prepared by O.C.J. Okocha that whoever I will bring, they will abide by it.
“But now, they went to Abuja that I must not be vice president. I also read, yesterday, when I was in Paris, one of them saying that I told him that if they do to me what they did to Dr. Peter Odili; that I will collapse the system.
“I am not an ungrateful person; and I will never be ungrateful in my life. What’s important is that I have done well as a governor. I am happy and I am leaving office a happy man.”
The Rivers State governor recalled that when Dr. Peter Odili was to run for the office of the president, he had a large crowd following, happily.
He noted that when the issue of governorship of Rivers State was to be decided and he did not give those who wanted it, they all left him, ran to Abuja to thwart his presidential ambition.
Wike, however, said he has been holding on to the advise of the former governor, hence he was not surprised at the turn of events and the outcome of the PDP presidential primary.
He described Dr. Peter Odili a true leader of men, who groomed many, and supported a lot of persons to political lamplight, particularly in Rivers State and across the country.
“There was a time every political class abandoned Odili. This is a man who gave us everything. Some people called him ‘Mr. Donatus’. There was no abuse he did not get. Everybody he tried to help their families, at the end of the day, all betrayed him.
“For us, we have used him as a school, and we thank him for making himself available for us to use him to learn so that we won’t be shocked of whatever that is going to happen.”
Wike expressed delight at the opportunity to have known Odili and being able to celebrate him.
He pointed to the several support and the gains from the political tutelage under Odili that had made him accomplish his political successes.
He reiterated that Odili’s benevolence made it possible for Ikwerre sons to emerge governors of Rivers State.
In his response, the former Governor of the state, Dr. Peter Odili said, himself and his wife, Hon. Justice Mary Odili (rtd) were overwhelmed by the birthday gift, courtesy of the state government.
Odili explained that during his tenure as governor, Wike was the best performing council chairman in the state.
He lauded Wike for investing in human capacity development, infrastructure and building the best law school campus in Port Harcourt.
In his goodwill message, Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, harped on the need for all Nigerians to work together to enthrone fairness, justice and equity in all facet of society, which Odili has always stood for.
Also speaking, Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, noted that Odili was a great leader who had impacted on many lives across the country.
Similarly, former Cross River State Governor, Donald Duke, commended Odili for being a role model and comporting himself very well after leaving office.
In his homely at the thanksgiving mass, Monsignor Pius Kii, said Nigeria missed the opportunity of having Dr. Peter Odili as their president because he would have used his farsighted ability, courage and adaptive capacities to solve Nigeria’s many problems.
Similarly, the Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo, felicitated with Dr. Peter Odili, as he celebrated his 74th Birthday, last Monday.
In her goodwill message in Government House, Port Harcourt, Banigo said as the father of the modern Rivers State, Odili has continued to be a great leadership icon, whose leadership style impacted positively on the lives of Rivers people and beyond during his tenure as the governor of Rivers State.
Banigo, who expressed gratitude to Odili for his support to the Wike-led administration, described him as a philanthropist per excellence, a great patriot and astute statesman.
The deputy governor while wising him many happy returns, prayed the Almighty God to continue to bless and keep Odili in good health.

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