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VC Blames Union Leaders For Varsity’s Strikes

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Vice Chancellor of Edo State-owned Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma, Prof. Sonnie Adagbonyin, has blamed the incessant strikes in the institution on union leaders’ refusal to understand the peculiarities of the university’s operational system.
The VC, who said this in an interview with The Tide’s source in Ekpoma, stated that the state government had never reneged on its financial obligations to the institution.
The source reports that staff unions of the institution embarked on strikes over claim of unpaid salary arrears, among other demands, before the State Government suspended their activities on campus in May.
Adagbonyin explained that the State Government had never failed to release the monthly subvention to the institution.
“We must understand that like all universities, AAU has its own peculiar system of operations. It relies on subvention from the State Government, while the university’s Management augments from fees paid by students.
“And we must emphasise that government has never failed in bringing its own component of the subvention. There is no month that government has reneged in paying subvention to the university.
“The union’s quarrel is that it is not as much as it used to be. But they have also failed to realise that within the university system, our capacity to discipline the resources and all the things that we do also have a role to play in sustaining us as a university.
“That has been the missing link. People just look at the amount government brings and begin to complain. How can this be enough to pay this or salary and can this settle the whole issues on ground.
“I want to say that what has always created a backlog of unpaid salaries is not what government brings. It is not the IGR the university generates. It is the consistency in the fragmentation of academic calendar.
“And I think that it is what offended government to the extent suspending activities of unions in the institution.
“For me, I like the spirit of unionism because of its principle of fundamental rights to take care of members’ welfare.
“But here in AAU, strikes were no longer ideologically centered. Strikes became politicised, which began to negatively affect both academic and social space.
“I hope that unions will begin to see that it is not the number of strikes that make a university grow, but the capacity to recognise that developmental strides can be made when we allow the system work the way it should work”, the VC said.
He VC urged the students to be the ombudsman, challenge and criticise but should know that it couln’t be an alternative to management.
“You can’t begin to take the roles of management. Management is management and unions are unions; Unions should unionise and should allow management to manage affairs of the institution.
“The roles will obviously become conflicting when every decision management takes is challenged by unions.
“He said unions were more important in fighting for members’ welfare, ensuring that there is due diligence in the system.’’
According to the VC, “no responsible management worth its salt should be afraid of that role. But you must know your limitations as unions because you must first subject yourself to constituted authority.
“But when you now begin to think you are the authority because you belong to a union, of course, there will be conflict which will generate to a situation of reckless irresponsibility”.
Meanwhile, the school’s management said it had lifted the suspension on two of its principal staff facing allegations of abuse of office and financial impropriety.
This is contained in a statement by its institution’s Public Relations Officer, Mr Larry Isiraoje, and made available to The source in Ekpoma.
It said the School’s Special Intervention Team had directed management to lift the suspension on the Provost, College of Medicine and the Acting Dean, faculty of Basic Medical Sciences.
It, however, added that “the investigation of the allegations of abuse of office and financial impropriety made against them is ongoing.”

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Niger Delta

Ibom Developers Prioritise Health Through Medical Outreach Programmes In A’Ibom

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On February 6 and 7, 2024, Ibom Developers took a significant step towards improving the health and well-being of residents in the Ikot Okwo, Ikot Ikwot, and Ndauku communities of Ikot Abasi Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State through its two-day comprehensive medical outreach programmes. Operating under the theme ‘Good Health Your Greatest Asset,’ the initiative’s primary goal is to facilitate the early resolution of community health issues, recognising the pivotal role that timely intervention plays in safeguarding the overall well-being of the community.
Good health is vital for the sustainable development of host communities, serving as a foundation for economic and social progress.
A healthy population is more productive, enabling greater workforce participation. Sound health reduces healthcare costs, encouraging economic stability. Socially, it enhances the quality of life, ensuring communities thrive.
Speaking at the events, Mrs. Dorothy Akpan Robert said, ‘‘Our community is grateful for this generous gesture, and we sincerely acknowledge Ibom Developers’ dedicated efforts and compassion. This initiative by the company empowers the community by fostering a culture of health consciousness and preventive care.’’
Public health involves preventing diseases, promoting health, educating communities, providing healthcare access, maintaining a healthy environment, and being prepared for emergencies. This helps build resilient communities, a priority for the company.
Also speaking, Chief Ukpe Uyo Amanama said, ‘‘Ibom Developers’ medical outreach programme is a testament to the transformative impact that community-driven health initiatives can have on the lives of individuals and the health landscape of a region.’’
The medical camps, conducted by Ibom Developers, targeted prevalent health concerns in the region, addressing key diseases that have a substantial impact on the communities, such as malaria, typhoid, blood pressure, cough, and skin rashes. Medical supplies were provided during the medical outreach programmes. Sugar tests were also conducted given the increasing rates of diabetes in the region. Those diagnosed were provided with guidance on lifestyle changes.
Dignitaries present at the programme were Mrs. Dorothy Akpan Robert – Women Leader, Ndauku Community; Prince Felix Albert – Vice Council Secretary, Ndauku Community; Chief Happy Negro Dickson – Compound Head of Dickson Family, Ndauku Community; Chief Akpan Amos – Compound Head of Ikot Esighe Family, Ndauku Community; Chief Akpan Amos – Compound Head of Ikot Esighe Family, Ndauku Community; Chief Ufot Frank Udoekpo – Compound Head of Udoekpo Family, Ndauku .

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Niger Delta

Edo Labour Party Aspirant Writes INEC Over Party Congress

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Labour Party (LP )aspirant for the Edo State governorship election, Olumide Akpata has said the political party is not ready for its primary poll.
The former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, (NBA), said this in a letter dated February 18 and addressed to Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman of the Independent National ELectoral Commission (IINEC) and alleged that the party leadership is plotting to handpick a candidate for the election.
It would be noted that the Labour Party had initially fixed February 22 as the date for the conduct of its primary but later shifted it to February 23.
The letter reads, “i write to you in my capacity as an aspirant for the Edo State gubernatorial ticket on the platform of the Labour Party.
“The purpose of this letter is to bring to your attention the lack of preparedness and transparency surrounding the labour party’s planned primaries to produce a gubernatorial candidate for the forthcoming gubernatorial elections in edo state.
“As you are aware, the Electoral Act 2022 mandates political parties to conduct transparent primaries to produce candidates and also mandates the Independent National Electoral Commission (“INEC” or “the commission”) to stipulate timelines for conducting these primaries.
“Numerous aspirants, including myself, have observed with dismay the conspicuous absence of transparency in the process, which has led to a mass exodus of aspirants from the race.
“All of the aspirants, without exception, who have withdrawn from the process so far, have voiced concerns about its undemocratic nature.
“While some have diplomatically cited “personal reasons” for withdrawing, others have been more forthcoming in directly alleging that the party leadership plans to handpick a preferred aspirant regardless of the outcome of any primaries held.”
Akpata added that his attempts to get the leadership of the party to provide accountability fell on deaf ears.
“I have become constrained to speak out at this point because my repeated attempts to get the party leadership to see reason and provide transparency around preparations for the primaries have failed to elicit any positive response.
“Rather, my candid inquiries have been met with disdain and an attempt to bully me into silence.
“I am aware that INEC has demonstrated courage in the past to stand on the side of due process in political parties and entrench internal party democracy. the LP’s primaries in Edo State provide you with another opportunity to walk the talk.
“Mr Chairman, if things go awry, it could result in pre-election disputes to which INEC will inevitably be joined as a necessary party, thereby tying down its already meagre resources and leaving the commission to grapple with yet another unnecessary and avoidable display that could have been averted had the right thing been done and the warning signs heeded.”

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Niger Delta

Gunmen Shoot Dead Councillor In Delta As Police Launch Manhunt

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A Councillor representing Owhase Ward in the Udu Local Government Area Legislative Council, Delta State, identified as Honourable Festus, has been shot dead by unknown gunmen.
The Tide’s source gathered that the councillor was shot in the head by gunmen on Monday at his residence.
The source who confirmed the incident to our source said his death was related to cult activities.
The State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Bright Edafe, who also confirmed the incident stated that the police had begun intense discreet investigation and manhunt of the assailants.
“Yes one Festus was shot on his head by unknown assailants, the wife informed the brother. We are searching for his killers,” Edafe said.

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