Federal University Of Agriculture, Makurdi Shut Over Violent Protest


The management of the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, has shut down the institution indefinitely.

This followed a violent protest by students of the institution in reaction to an accident which reportedly claimed the lives of some of their colleagues on Wednesday in the Benue State capital.

The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Professor Richard Kimbir, informed reporters that the incident forced the school authority to closure the institution.

He said, “This morning (Wednesday), I got an information that there was an accident on campus, and a student died. So, I rushed there but I only saw the vehicle.”

“So, I rushed to the clinic where I was told that that the accident claimed one life, one of the students and the others injured were moved to the Federal Medical Centre.”

Professor Kimbir said the protests that followed turned violent and vehicles, offices and the school clinic where vandalised.

He explained that the decision to close the school was to prevent any further breakdown of law and order.

But some of the students who spoke to Channels Television insisted that three of their colleagues died, contrary to the figure given by the VC.

They said the victims were on their way to the ICT centre on the campus before vehicle conveying them had an accident.

See photos of the school after the protest below;

You Have Case To Answer, Court Tells Ogunlewe, Others

TambuwalAn Abeokuta High Court sitting in Isabo in the Ogun state capital, has ruled that the the former Minister of Works and Housing, Adeseye Ogunlewe, has a case to answer over his trial in a case of an alleged 800 million Naira misappropriation.

Ogunlewe, who doubles as the ex Pro-Chancellor of the Federal University of Agriculture, (FUNNAB), is standing trial alongside the university’s Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole, and Mr Moses Olusola Ilesanmi, (the Bursar).

The accused, through his counsel, Tayo Oyetibo, also argued that the proof of evidence produced by the complainant does not link him with the aforesaid counts nor does it disclose any prima facie against him; and that the consent of the Attorney General of Ogun State/Law officer was not obtained as required by law before filing the charge.‎

‎However, at the resumed hearing of the matter, after the adoption of the written addresses made by parties, Justice O.C Majekodunmi delivered a ruling on the application before the court in favour of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The prosecution counsel, Ben Ubi thereafter sought for commencement of trial.

He informed the court that there were three witnesses in court ready to testify but all the counsels to the three accused persons sought for an adjournment on the ground that they were just being served additional proof of evidence and would need time to study the documents.

SSANU Condemns Alleged Assault Of FUTA Members By Police

SSANU, Police, FUTAThe Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) has condemned the alleged attack of its members at the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA).

The Western Zonal Chairman of SSANU, Alfred Jimoh, made the position of the organisation known during an interview with journalists in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

As the warning strike embarked upon by the senior staff members in FUTA entered the fourth day, Mr Jimoh insisted that the purported brutalisation of their members is unacceptable.

He claimed that the employees were on peaceful demonstration before Police descended on them, saying at least 20 members of the union have been arrested.

The zonal chairman accused the Vice Chancellor of FUTA, Professor Biyi Daramola, of masterminding the attack on the SSANU members who he said were protesting peacefully without any breach of the law.

He alleged that some members of the union in FUTA were seriously injured and have been hospitalised.

SSANU has called on the Federal Government to intervene in the matter with a view to calling the Police to order, maintaining that they have no moral right to molest and brutalise innocent citizens.

The union also appealed to the Inspector General of Police and all the relevant authorities of the Police high command to wade into the crisis to encourage whistle blowing on corruption.

They asked the government to beam its searchlight on activities of some vice chancellors and prosecute those found wanting.

The VCs identified are: Professor Daramola, Professor Bamidele Oyewole of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta and Professor Michael Adikwu of the University of Abuja.

President Buhari Congratulates James Ayatse As Tor Tiv

President Buhari Congratulates James Ayatse As Tor TivPresident Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated Professor James Ortese Ayatse on his election as Tor Tiv, the paramount ruler of the Tiv people.

Professor Ayatse, a former Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, is also the pioneer and immediate past Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University, Dutsin-Ma, Katsina State.

The President believes that the academic’s emergence as the paramount ruler of the Tiv people is an affirmation of his strength of character, integrity and moral authority, garnered over the years as a lecturer, erudite scholar and administrator.

While urging all his subjects to rally round the new monarch to make his reign a resounding success, President Buhari urged the fifth Tor Tiv to use his revered office as a veritable platform for conflict prevention, peace building and development in the grassroots.

He commended the transparent process which led to the emergence of the royal father after the demise of his predecessor in 2015, HRH Alfred Akawe Torkula, Tor Tiv IV.

The President offered his best wishes to the new monarch, as he prepares to ascend the throne of his ancestors.

He pledged that his administration would continue to recognise traditional institutions as key partners in progress, so as to find lasting solutions to sensitive issues in Nigeria.

Police Charge 27 FUNAAB Students Over Violent Protest

FUNAAB, Police, Protest, Ogun, StateThe Ogun State Police Command has charged 27 students of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta over the violent protest which resulted in the destruction of at least 10 vehicles and attack on a church.

The students were arraign on a 6-count charge which include arson, malicious damage of property, unlawful assembly and rioting, at the Isabo Magistrate Court in the state capital, southwest Nigeria.

Delivering his judgement on Friday, Magistrate Oriyomi Sofowora ruled that the students could only be bailed after satisfying the bail conditions.

He stated the conditions to include two sureties of which one must be a parent and a resident in Ogun State while the other must have property worth 100,000 Naira.

The President of the National Association of Nigerian Students, Ogun State chapter,  Seun Opaleye, said the accused were arraigned after seven of the 34 earlier arrested were found not culpable by the Police.

A drama ensued when one of the students, who was taken out of the Black Maria vehicle, expected to convey them to the Ibara Prison fainted.

This drew sympathy from on-lookers who alleged that the victim was not given the necessary attention he deserved at that moment.

Meanwhile, the Special Assistant to Governor Ibikunle Amosun on Youths, Mr Clement Olusegun, faulted the claims that one of the students was shot in the head by the Police, saying he witnessed the incident.

The injured student was said to have been discharged from the Federal Medical Centre in Abeokuta, where he was taken to after the incident.

He had since been transferred to the University College Hospital in Ibadan, the Oyo State’s capital.

FG To Provide Conducive Learning Environment For Universities

universitiesThe Federal Government of Nigeria says it will provide a conducive learning environment and a level playing ground for all Nigerian tertiary institutions.

It believes that the move will develop‎ and produce graduates that can compete with their counterparts across the world.

Speaking at a Capacity and Sustainability Training Forum for Heads of African Centres of Excellence in Abuja on Monday, the Minister of Education, Mr Adamu Adamu, pledged the government’s support for the 10 African Centres of Excellence in Nigeria to enable them attain world class standard.

Mr Adamu appealed to the private sector to team up with the Federal Government to turn around the fortunes of Nigerian universities particularly in the area of research.

The World Bank representative and Task Team Leader of African Centres of Excellence for Nigerian universities, Andreas Blom, urged officials of the centres to look inward for the sustainability of the project while the Secretary General of the Committee of Vice Chancellors, Professor Michael Faborode, urged Nigerian universities to grow beyond depending on the World Bank for funding support.

The Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, Professor Julius Okojie, expressed confidence about the capacity of the project to address Africa’s developmental challenges.

The objective of the ace initiative is to promote regional specialisation among participating universities within areas that address particular regional and national development challenges.

On his part, the Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, lamented the loss of about 78 billion Naira yearly to the activities of cyber criminals who offer online study opportunities to Nigerians.

The Centres of Excellence in Nigeria are: the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Bayero University, Kano, Benue State University, Markurdi, Redeemers University, Ede and Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. Others are: University of Benin, University of Jos, University of Port Harcourt, University of Ibadan and African University of Science and Technology.


APC Mourns Audu, Restates Faith In Rule Of Law

APCThe All Progressives Congress (APC), has sadly mourned the death of its governorship candidate in Kogi State, Abubakar Audu.

The National Secretary of the APC, Mala Buni, in a statement said “Mr Audu was certainly one of our stars, a democrat par excellence, a development-oriented leader and a beacon for the liberation of Kogi State from its apparent decay.

“He was a Prince of hope, a symbol of peace and an apostle of unity and reintegration of Kogi State.

“We commiserate with his family and the great people of Kogi State for having a strong belief in Mr Audu’s capacity to redeem the state”.

The statement further read that the demise of Mr Audu had no doubt created a big vacuum in Kogi State and the APC. The party, however, said it took solace in the fact that God gives and God takes.

“He might have physically transited, but he will forever be spiritually and politically relevant not only in Kogi State but in Nigeria.

“We appeal to the people of the state to see Audu’s death as an act of God. There should be no recourse to lawlessness or vindictiveness in whatever form.

“The only honour we can do Mr Audu is to remain peaceful and resolve to be undaunted in preserving the adorable ideals he lived for. It was evident to all that he ran a good race, he played his part well and he earned a rare rating as an exemplary leader.

“We will not abandon Mr Audu even in death because his legacies are timeless, his virtues can withstand all seasons and his vision remains immortal”, the statement read.

Rule Of Law

The APC, however, urged its members and supporters in Kogi State and nationwide not to allow their spirit to be dampened by the sudden passage of Mr Audu.

“The party should be united in mourning and be encouraged to effect the desired change in Kogi State through the ballot anytime, any day.

On the Independent National Electoral Commission’s position that the November 21, 2015 governorship poll in Kogi State was inconclusive, Mr Buni said that APC was studying the declaration of the Returning Officer, Professor Emmanuel Kucha, who is the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi.

Professor Kucha had based his decision on Section M, Paragraph 4 (Page 22) of INEC Approved Guidelines and Regulations for the Conduct of the 2015 General Elections.

The APC, nonetheless, believes in the rule of law, strict adherence to 1999 Constitution and Electoral Act 2010(as Amended).

“Our government was a product of the rule of law, we have absolute faith in the nation’s law and we will not in any manner, undermine the law. Our observations and position will be within the laws of the land.

“The situation in Kogi State is a test case for the rule of law and our growing democracy. APC is committed to its pledge to ensure a sustainable democracy in the country”, the party said.

FEC Upgrades 4 Colleges Of Education To Universities

FEC upgrades 4 colleges to universitiesThe Federal Executive Council (FEC) in Nigeria has approved the conversion of four Federal Colleges of Education to full fledged universities.

The Minister of Education, Ibrahim Shekarau, who briefed State House Correspondents after the meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan, listed the Colleges that have been upgraded.

They are Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo (now Adeyemi University of Education, Ondo); Federal College of Education, Zaria (now Federal University of Education, Zaria); Federal College of Education, Kano (now Federal University of Education, Kano); and Alvan Ikoku College of Education, Owerri (now Alvan Ikoku University of Education, Owerri).

Mr Shekara also said that the Colleges were part of the 21 Federal Colleges of Education that had been awarding degree programmes in the last three decades under the close supervision of the different universities they were affiliated to.

The council also approved the establishment of the Federal University of Health Sciences in Otukpo, Benue State.

Until the approval, the university was said to be the College of Medical Health Sciences, under the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi.

World Bank Approves $150m For Nigerian Universities

World-Bank10 Nigerian universities are to get 70 million dollar financial support, from the International Development Association funding.

This is part of money approved by the board of directors of the World Bank to build and nurture specialized world-class higher education institutions on the continent.

According to the bank, the centres, which were competitively selected, would receive funding for advanced specialised studies in science and technology, engineering, mathematics-related disciplines as well as agriculture and health.

The beneficiaries are the Federal University of Agriculture, Bayero University, Kano, Benue State University, and Redeemers University, Mowe.

Others include Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria; University of Jos; University of Benin; African University of Science And Technology, Abuja; University of Port Harcourt and Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife.

World Bank Vice-President for Africa, Makhtar Diop, said: “I am excited to support these pioneering centres of excellence because they will be another step in building and nurturing specialized world-class higher education institutions on the continent.

“I can think of no better way to grow African economies, create jobs, and support research in Africa, than educating young graduates with expertise in high-demand areas such as chemical engineering, crop science, and the control of infectious diseases.”

This Africa Centers of Excellence (ACE) project, which will equip young Africans with new scientific and technical skills, will be financed through IDA credits to the governments of Nigeria (US$70 million), Ghana (US$24 million), Senegal (US$16 million), Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, and Togo (US$8 million each).

The Gambia will also receive a US $2 million credit and a US$1 million grant to provide higher education, including short-term training, to students, faculty and civil servants through the 19 ACEs.



Economist Backs Increase in Agriculture Produce

The global population is expected to grow by more than 9 billion by 2050, some Nigerians have expressed fears about how prepared the country is to ensure an increased level in food supply.

That was the focus on Channels Television Business Morning where an Agricultural Economist at Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, (FUNAAB), Prof. Bola Okuneye and the Chairman, Agricultural Group, Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry, LCCI, Wale Oyekoya, asked the Federal Government to provide more funding towards agriculture in the country, especially in the area of budget allocation to the sector.

While commending the government’s agricultural transformation agenda, they called for the sustainability of such policies and also advocated the need to come up with more policies that would encourage the private sector participation.

The analysts were also of the opinion that more attention should be given to the real farmers, particularly in the rural areas.

This can be done through the granting of loans and provision of arable land for farming.

The aspect of fish farming was also an area of concern. Prof Okuneye and Mr Oyekoya advised that a more conducive environment should be provided to encourage fish farming in the country.

This they say would help reduce the level of fish importation into the country.

Analysts Say FG’s Intervention In Agriculture Long Overdue

Analysts have said that the recent intervention in the agricultural sector by the Federal Government is late.

While examining ways by which food security can be achieved in Nigeria on Business Morning, the executive director, Admiral Agricultural and Environmental Care, Shedrach Madlion said events in Northern Nigeria, in the past 2 years, are not only natural disasters but they are human disasters.

Professor Bola Okuneye of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta supported this and added that activities of insurgent groups have led to a ‘high level of food insecurity’.

Farmers face constant oppression from terrorists, curfews placed by security agents also restrict them from attending to their farms.

While shedding light on the extent of the damage done to the sector in Northern Nigeria, Mr Madlion said the structure needed to distribute the grains appropriately is not on ground.

However, Mr Okuneye expressed hopes for the sector but called on the government to encourage youth participation by providing easy access to lands for farming.