Atiku Will Not Handover Federal Universities To States – Paul Ibe

INEC Denying Atiku Access To Election Materials Despite Court Order, Says PDP
PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.


Paul Ibe, the Media Adviser to Atiku Abubakar has said that the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will not handover Federal Universities to state governments if he becomes president in 2023. 

Ibe who is media aide to the former Vice President, said the Atiku camp has noticed with dismay the mischievous misinterpretation of what the PDP flagbearer said at the plenary of the 62nd annual conference of the Nigerian Bar Association as it relates to education and how to address the crisis in the sector.

“For the avoidance of doubt, Atiku did not say that he will handover Federal Universities to state governments if he is elected president come February next year.

“The report is false, untrue, unfounded and not a true reflection of what Atiku Abubakar said while responding to a question on devolution of powers, a key component of his policy framework,” Mr Ibe argued in a statement on Monday.

According to the him, what the PDP presidential candidate referred to was his plans for a phased devolution of power to the federating units.

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“The report in some sections of the media is therefore a misleading and false account of what transpired when the PDP Presidential candidate fielded questions as a panelist at the opening ceremony of the NBA conference.

“In answering the question posed to him, Atiku Abubakar merely recalled his engagement with a university professor where he argued that the United States of America shared similarities with the first set of universities in Nigeria which belonged to the regional governments and noted that with proper planning and phased devolution of power, federal universities that have now become unwieldy could be made to work better under the component federating units. He also maintained that education would remain in the concurrent list under his administration when elected.

“The report was clearly a misleading one designed to cast aspersion on the person of the former Vice President and to create an impression that he will shirk his responsibilities if he is elected president in the next presidential poll due in February 2023.

“We wish to restate Atiku Abubakar’s avowed commitment to education as a game changer for socio-economic development and national security. He remains concerned about the prolonged strike by university teachers and restates his position that under his watch the ASUU-FG imbroglio will be better managed in the interest of both the students and academic staff.

“To underscore his commitment to address the structural deformities in our system, the former Vice President also disclosed that he had empanelled a committee of judiciary experts to draft a presidential position paper which will guide his administration, if elected, from day one, on the terms and conditions of transfer of power and resources to the other layers of government aimed at making the federal government leaner and more effective in its core functions,” Atiku’s spokesman explained.

He implored media organisations to be wary of unfounded stories in the course of carrying out their constitutionally guaranteed responsibility of informing, educating and entertaining the people.

Sacked VCs: House Calls On FG To Put Decision On Hold

imo-state-house-of-asemblyThe House of Representatives has called on the government to put on hold its decision to remove the vice chancellors of five federal universities.

Moving the motion in the House of Representatives, Rep. Adamu Shekarau, believes the decision violates enabling laws covering appointments and removal of vice chancellors.

He stated that the body would soon go on strike over the suspension of vice chancellors from some institutions, and prayed that the House Committee on Tertiary Institutions would investigate and report to the House.

The lawmakers said unions in the universities have given notice of possible strike to protest the removals.

Speaker of the House, Honourable Yakubu Dogara, called for a vote, saying that All hands must be on deck to ensure that it [the strike] does not happen”

The Committee on tertiary education is to investigate the matter and report to the house in two weeks.

FG Directs Federal Universities To Re-Open

The Federal Government has directed vice-chancellors of all Federal universities currently on strike to immediately re-open for academic and allied activities as directed by their pro-chancellors.

Minister of State for Education, Mr Nyesom Wike gave the directive and also asked the vice-chancellors to ensure that staff who resume for work are provided with the enabling environment to carry out academic activities.

He added that any staff who failed to resume on or before December 4, 2013 automatically ceases to be a staff of the institution and that vice-chancellors are allowed to advertise vacancies for their positions in their institution.

Mr Wike further said that the Federal Government has come to the conclusion that the continued industrial action is an attempt by the Academic Staff Union of Universities to sabotage all efforts to address the issues, despite the commitment of government.

As a responsible government it cannot allow the continuous closure of public institutions as this poses danger to the education system and the future of Nigerian youths.

The National Universities Commission (NUC) has been directed to ensure compliance of the directives by the various institutions.

ASUU Strike: Education Minister Has Not Helped Matters

A public affairs analyst, Chima Nnaji, has said that the Minister of Education, Ruqayat Rufai is not helping the on-going industrial strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and accused of treating the situation in an off-handed manner.

“The Minister of Education has not being helping matters” by “talking glibly.” This, he said, is a very cheap way of looking at a very serious problem.

He said “she ought to sit with her team to take a very incisive analysis of the issues moving forward”.

Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, Mr Nnaji said “she ought to sit with her team to take a very incisive analysis of the issues moving forward”.

The strike action embarked upon by the union is currently in 6th week, however, students may have to wait some more before an agreement is reached between the body and the Federal Government.

Mr Nnaji said “it appears it’s still a long wait” but added that the strike may be called off “anything from next week Tuesday, if it is possible.”

He accused President Goodluck Jonathan and government officials of paying little or no attention to the problems of the education sector and focusing attention on 2015. It is very unfortunate thing because “education is the most primary thing government should provide.”

“The ministers, governors, president, all the people in government are geared towards 2015.”

First, government must accept responsibility because “an agreement is an agreement” and must be respected.

The ASUU strike is happening at a time where there is proliferation of federal universities but “if you do not prepare the child of today for tomorrow, there is no future for this country.”

He addressed the issue of unqualified lecturers and called them to examine themselves. “How many of them are good enough to teach. What is the content of their teaching?”