Poetry has been adjudged to be therapy for solving societal challenges as scholars at the first Professor Kontein Trinya International Symposium at Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, expressed.
The symposium which had its theme as “Therapoetics: Affective Literature”, was organised with the Department of English and Communication Art in honour of Kontein Trinya, a Professor of Poetry at the university, was held at the school premises, recently.
The keynote speaker, Professor Onyemaechi Udumuku, posited that in a nation like Nigeria that desire positive change, that poetry has the capacity to reduce the numerous challenges confronting the country , if applied effectively.
Udumuku attributed the effectiveness of poetry in this regard to its ability to stimulate creative and critical thinking that make society better.
Similarly, the lead paper presenter, Dr. Psalms Chinaka, while admitting that it would be difficult to have a perfect social, economic, and political system in Nigeria, noted that poetry could stimulate better policies that would guide the system of governance to improve the well-being of citizens.
Earlier, the Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Okechuku Onuchuku, has asserted that when people are properly mentored, they affect society positively, emphasising that those who fail to mentor others to take over from them have failed humanity.
Onuchuku described the event as the first of its kind in the university and “the best way to celebrate a good man.”
On his part, the former Vice-Chancellor of the university and chairman of the event, Professor Ozo-mekuri Ndimele, noted that the days when a teachers’ reward was in heaven were over, adding that the reward of a teacher is in the products of those he mentored.
Ndimele also described Professor Trinya as a humble and practical Christian, whose life style is worthy of emulation.
The former vice-chancellor commended the Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, for appointing Professor Onuchuku to oversee the affairs of the university, and applauded him for sustaining development of the institution.
In the same vein, the chairman of the symposium organizing committee, Dr. Progress Umor, disclosed that the event was organised “to honour a perfect gentleman who is down to earth.
Umor also pointed out that the symposium would become an annual event where scholars would “further expand the ideas and research focus of Professor Kontein Trinya.”
By: King Onunwor
Respect Court Order, Resume Work, FG Tells ASUU
The Federal Government has advised the Academic Staff Union of Universities [ASUU] to resume work and stop taking laws into its hands.
The government said the eight months old strike by ASUU was in defiance of the interlocutory injunction by the National Industrial Court [NICN], which restrained the union from further action.
In a statement in Abuja, yesterday, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige said a new directive by ASUU, exhorting its members to continue with strike action is an unwarranted lawlessness, adding that “the Federal Government strongly frowns at this”.
The minister, in a statement by Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations, Ministry of Labour and Empliyment, Olajide Oshundun, accused the leadership of the union of misinforming and misleading its members and warned of consequences of contempt of court order.
According to him, “The union is dishonest and misleading its members and the general public, that it has filed an appeal as well as a stay of execution of the order of National Industrial Court on September 21, 2022, though it has none of this.
“Rather, ASUU only filed an application for a permission to appeal the order. It also attached to the application, a proposed notice of appeal which it intends to file if the leave to appeal is granted. The application for a stay of execution as of this moment, has not even been listed for hearing.Where then is ASUU coming from?
“It is therefore contemptuous, dishonest and misleading for the union to tell its members that it has not only appealed the interlocutory injunction by the National Industrial Court, directing it to call off strike and return to work, but that it also has a stay of execution’’.
The minister once again called on the union to respect the court order and return to work while negotiations are concluded on the remaining issues in contention.
The statement also denied reports that the minister walked out of the meeting between the House of Representatives and ASUU last Thursday, 29th September, 2022, explaining that the minister left the meeting to attend to other pressing matters with the permission of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila after making his presentation.
It stated that the Secretary to the Government of the Federation was earlier granted such permission by the Speaker.
The statement further recalled that at that meeting, Senator Ngige addressed the two major issues over which ASUU is still on strike.
“On renegotiation of salaries and wages of lecturers, I sympathize with ASUU just like other Nigerian workers. The economy is bad and hard time, biting hard on everybody. ASUU deserves no blame”.
They know that many times during reconciliation, I said that left to me, this is what lecturers will get. I know the enormity of the work they do and have brothers who are also lecturers.
“The Briggs Committee was the product of reconciliation of my ministry,which had to move to the ASUU’s direct employers, Ministry of Education for a Collective Bargaining Agreement, so we can arrive on what is good to be paid to ASUU, subject to approval by the President.
“The President has a Presidential Committee on Salaries and Wages chaired by the Minister of Finance, with myself as co-chair and other members – National Salaries Income and Wages Commission, Budget Office etc. Every MDA whether drawing from the treasury or not, must pass through this committee on any issue concerning salaries for approval, before transmission to the President. The report of the Briggs Committee did not unfortunately pass this route”, the statement added.
The minister revealed that when the issue of payment platform – UTAS came up on January 9, 2020, he was the one that persuaded the President to give the platform a trial in the spirit of Executive Order 3 and 4.
He said, “The SGF supported me. That was how I took it upon myself to write to all the parties, Communication and Digital Economy, NITDA, ASUU and others. At a point, I had to spend three and half hours at the Office of the Accountant General, while UTAS was on demonstration because we must support this platform that promised to save us foreign exchange.
“If the system is good, we adopt it for the whole country but meanwhile – the hardware is not there. How do you do it? The test- the three of them – IPPIS, UTAS, U3PS have failed the test. Do you recommend something that has failed a test? So, no matter how I love ASUU, I won’t support something that failed a test.
“I had advised ASUU when the first result came, to have UTAS do a handshake with IPPIS so as to capture all the university system peculiarities. They accepted but while negotiation was going on, they went on strike”.
Ngige also narrated how the medical doctors once threatened to go on strike over IPPIS.
“But their peculiarities have now been captured by IPPIS, even those teaching in the universities with special allowances. About a year ago, NARD wrote me that they would go on strike if we don’t put them on IPPIS. This is because all their peculiarities have captured and no one is losing anything”, he said.
UNIPORT Denies Online Recruitment Rumours
The University of Port Harcourt, Choba, in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State, has denied social media reports that the federal education institution was recruiting new staff to boost its manpower base.
A statement signed by the institution’s Public Relations Officer, Dr Sam Kpenu, at the weekend, indicated that the social media report was false, unfounded and baseless, adding that the tertiary education centre has not approved any recruitment process at this time.
The statement read in full: “The attention of management of the University of Port Harcourt, has been drawn to a publication making the rounds on social media to the effect that the university is recruiting new staff.
“The management wishes to state in clear terms that it has not issued any advertorial for any recruitment exercise.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the university only advertised for the appointment of Director of Works and Services, Director of Procurement as well as Director of Physical Planning and Development.
“If and when the university needs more employees, the recruitment exercise would be made official and appropriately channelled through its website @www.uniport.edu.ngas well as mainstream/conventional media outlets.
“Members of the public are, therefore, enjoined to distance themselves from such fraudulent online advertorial, as it can only be the handiwork of fraudsters who are hell-bent on swindling unsuspecting members of the public.
“This fake recruitment exercise has been reported to the security agencies. It is the hope of management that the long arm of the law will soon catch up with those involved in this unwholesome practice”.
By: Nelson Chukwudi
‘Incessant Strike, Destroying Varsity Education In Nigeria’
The Registrar and Chief Executive Officer, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, has disclosed that incessant strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) was destroying university education in Nigeria.
He added that the union must realise that the country was no longer in a military regime, hence, there must be a paradigm shift as you cannot do the same thing the same way all the time.
Speaking at the grand finale of the 2022 Independence Day Essay competition organised by the Osun State Government in Osogbo, Oloyede, who was represented by JAMB’s Director of Legal Services, Abdul Wahab Oyedokun, said stakeholders must find a way for a workable education within the available legal framework.
He said that over 40 percent of the tertiary education applicants have neglected the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) has their first choice in the last 20 years due to incessant strikes by ASUU.
He said, “Osun State is a state of pride. We have history; Ife is the origin of Yoruba. We have culture Osogbo is the centre of culture. We have education great Ife (OAU) is here, Osun State University is coming. Unfortunately, with respect to ASUU, we are destroying Ife ‘OAU’ with this incessant strike.
“I know as a matter of fact that about 20 years ago, more than 40percent of students make OAU their first choice university, but today OAU is not 1 to 10 in terms of a number of applications.
“We commend Osun State Government for this initiative for this wonderful initiative this is taken place in a society where others are prioritising things that are of no benefits, that will bring no future to the children.
“We are at the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, we are working towards building a better successor generation for Nigeria and the only way to do that is to guarantee the integrity of our examination process”.
Speaking, the Commissioner for Regional Integration and Special Duties, Engr. Olalekan Badmus, said that the state government under the watch of Governor Adegboyega Oyetola moved to celebrate Nigeria’s Independence Day Anniversary from the mere march past by students to a healthy competition in the year 2020.
A 200-level Medical student of OAU emerged winner of the tertiary category, the runner-up from University of Ibadan, Aremu Abass Bolarinwa, and third position from the University of Ilorin, Adeyemo Festtus Olaoluwa.
No fewer than 93 secondary school students participated in the secondary category, themed, “Reawakening the Passion for Agriculture to Ensure Food Security in Nigeria, Which Way Out?” and for the tertiary institution category, “With Abundant Resources Nigeria can Leverage on to Develop, The Nation’s Economy can be Turned Around to Make the Country a Prosperous Nation, Do You Agree?”.
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