ASUU Owerri Zone Demands Immediate Payment Of Emoluments

ASUU, JAMB Act, amendment Executive members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Owerri Zone, comprising five universities in Anambra, Imo, and Abia states, have raised their voices against the persistent shortfalls in payment of their emoluments by the Federal and State Governments.

In a press briefing in Awka, the Anambra State capital, the representative of the Zonal Coordinator and Chairperson of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Mr Uzochukwu Onyebinama, noted that the ASUU has been battling this issue since 2015.

While highlighting the various amounts owed the universities in the region, Mr Onyebinama stated that the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, had been experiencing steady shortfalls in payment and as at January 2017 it had amounted to over 88 million Naira and hit 170 million Naira in February.

That of the Federal University of Technology (FUTO) Owerri, as at February 2017 was put at 157 million Naira, while the situation at the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture had increased to 136 million Naira.

Mr Onyebinama then stated that they were not demanding new salaries, rather, they were demanding what was legitimately theirs.

He maintained that the issue was capable of truncating the smooth running of programmes in universities across the country.

He therefore demanded an immediate payment of all emoluments, saying “We unequivocally demand the immediate release of payment of our entire outstanding salaries and remittance of all authorized deductions in order to avert the impending industrial disharmony in our universities”.

Keep Faith, President Buhari Will Take Us To Promised Land – Adesina

Femi Adesina, 5,000 nairaThe Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, has urged Nigerians to keep faith with the current administration’s commitment to take “Nigeria to the promised land.”

He said President Muhammadu Buhari is fulfilling his campaign promises to Nigerians, particularly in stimulating the economy for job creation, anti-corruption campaign and security of lives and property.

He made the statement while addressing a delegation of Northern Youths Initiative for Peace and Good Governance on Tuesday in Abuja.

“I am glad that majority of Nigerians are still with President Buhari.

“The excitement and jubilation, around the country, that greeted his return to Nigeria recently is a clear testimony of the love, confidence and belief, which Nigerians have in his leadership.

“We are witnessing a positive turn around in the economy, agriculture, the fight against corruption, job creation and I am very confident that President Buhari will lead Nigeria to the Promised Land before the mandate given to him by Nigerians lapses in 2019,” Adesina said.

The Special Adviser, who received the Sardauna Leadership Award, “Icon of Societal Transformation”, thanked the Group for the honour, noting that he was motivated to serve in government because of the personality and integrity of the President.

In his remarks, the President of the Northern Youths Initiative, Comrade Muhammadu Abubakar, described Adesina as an exemplary leader.

“You are a Goldfish that has no hiding place.

“We northern youths, under the aegis of Northern Youth Initiative for Peace and Good Governance, honour you as Garkuwan Matasan Arewa (The shield of Northern Youths), for your invaluable contribution to the country and inspiring role to the upcoming generation,” he added.

Buhari Condemns Killings Across Nigeria

Southern Kaduna: President Buhari Orders Strong ActionNigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, has condoled with the government and people of Benue state on the recent attack on a market in Zaki Biam by gunmen which resulted in the loss of lives.

This was revealed on Tuesday, March 21, in a statement signed by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina.

“The President condemns the wicked attack and directs security agencies to begin immediate investigation with a view to bring the perpetrators of the act to book.”

President Buhari, while sympathising with those who lost their loved ones, also prayed that God comforts the grieving families and grants the souls of the victims eternal rest.

Furthermore, he condemned the wanton killings in other parts of the country and challenged security and law enforcement agencies to rise to the occasion and bring the attacks to an end.

“We must condemn inhuman and unnecessary shedding of human blood all over the country.

“We seem to have lost value for human life, which is sacred. Man is the glory of God’s creation and nobody has the right to unjustly and unlawfully take another person’s life in a reckless manner”, the President said.

He enjoined all citizens to learn to live together in peace and brotherhood and not allow little misunderstandings to degenerate into heartless acts capable of straining the bonds of nationhood.

Ogun Govt. To Plant 1.5 Million Trees Across Forest Reserves

Ogun, NLC, TUCThe Ogun state government said it is planting about 1.5million trees in 2017.

This is to regenerate seven of its depleted forest reserves, which have been degraded to about 5% of their original capacity by activities of illegal timber operators across its forest in the state.

This disclosure was made by the State Commissioner for Forestry, Mr. Kola Lawal, during the International Day of Forestry with the theme ” Forests Energy” held in Abeokuta, the state capital.

The Commissioner said that the state government is reviewing its various laws on forestry to strengthen existing laws, and recommend stricter punishment for illegal operators across the state.

”We have nine forest reserves in Ogun state, seven out of the nine have been degraded to about 5% of their original capacity but the state government under Governor Ibikunle Amosun, has done a lot in its afforestation programme, for example, in 2016 we planted 500,000 seedlings, this year (2017) we are planning to plant 1.5 million seedlings so that we can regenerate our forest reserves”.

”We know the government alone cannot do it, that is why we are frightening our relationship with private investors and private sectors”, he said.

The Commissioner further said: ”The current forestry laws in place was last reviewed in 2006 but because of the governor’s mission to rebuild the state, we are reviewing the existing laws because they can no longer stand the challenges of the current time, this you are going to see in the next couple of months when the reviewed laws are going to be presented to the State House of Assembly for passage”

” Most of the laws are obsolete, that is why we need to have a look at them with a view of reviewing them, there are some without punitive measures which allow these people to do whatever they like in the reserves, we know we should strengthen and enhance the law to be able to arrest the situation” he concluded.

Gov. Fayose Declares Support For LGs’ Autonomy

Ayodele Fayose, Ali Modu Sheriff, PDP, Ahmed MakarfiThe Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, on Monday, declared his support for total autonomy of the third tier of government, calling on other governors to follow same in bringing development to the grassroots.

The Governor also pardoned a local government staff and Deputy President of the Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) in Ekiti State, O.B. Olatunde, who was dismissed from service for alleged rudeness to the governor over salary crisis.

The affected LG staff was alleged to have rudely addressed the Governor when a directive was given on how certain money should be disbursed being recommended by the State Joint Allocation Committee.

Fayose gave the indication after meeting with the NULGE’s reconciliation delegation led by its National President, Ibrahim Khaleel, in Ado Ekiti, the state capital, to appeal to the Governor to rescind his pronouncement on the erring staff.

Fayose, while briefing the delegation said: “There should be a government that the people at the grassroots can refer to as their own. When you cede the LGs to the people, then nobody can blame a governor for the inefficiency at that level.

“I want to appeal to my colleagues to embrace total autonomy to all the 774 LGs in this country”, he said.

On the punishment meted out to the Deputy President, Fayose said: “I have decided to shift ground on this matter, after the recommendation of the committee because of the swift way Mr. Khaleel handled the matter. Unionism is not always about confrontation, but about respect and reconciliation”.

“I want to commend the NULGE delegation for the show of solidarity and I want to tell you that rather than dismissal, the government will look for alternative punishment to serve”.

Mr. Khaleel, who described Fayose as the “voice of the voiceless”, said: “I decided to honour Governor Fayose because I saw him as part of this fold, He is a comrade governor because he represents the voice of the voiceless in Nigeria.

“In the recent time, Governor Fayose has been speaking for the commoners. He has been fighting their courses and he deserves our respect. I want to thank the governor for this mutual respect and I want to assure you that your relationship with the LG staff will remain intact’.

SERAP Calls On FG To Investigate Amnesty International Office Attack

Alleged Corruption: SERAP Writes Buhari Over SGF's CaseThe Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), has called on both President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo, to urgently instruct appropriate authorities to promptly and thoroughly investigate the attack on the Amnesty International office in Nigeria, and ensure the safety and security of its staff.

It would be recalled that a group of protesters on Monday, barricaded the Abuja office of Amnesty International and asked the international organisation to quit Nigeria within 24 hours.

In a statement signed on Tuesday, by SERAP Deputy Director, Timothy Adewale, the organization called on Buhari and Osinbajo to “Act swiftly to end the attack, intimidation, harassment and threats against Amnesty International Office in Nigeria and its staff.

“Any failure to hold to account those who may be responsible will invariably increase the vulnerability of civil society in the country, and strengthen the perception that attacks against the Non-Governmental Organization (NGOs) and the human rights workers can happen with impunity.”

“If the Buhari government does not take all necessary measures to immediately end the mob attack on Amnesty International or any other civil society group for that matter, SERAP will be compelled to take appropriate legal action nationally and internationally including approaching the United Nation (UN) Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights Defenders for remedy.

“SERAP will continue to work to challenge any attempt to restrict, silence or eliminate the voices of credible civil society in the country.

“We urge the presidency to speak out strongly against intimidation and harassment of Amnesty International office in Nigeria and its staff.

“Investigating the attacks against naming and shaming the sponsors and bringing them to justice will send a powerful message of protection and support to civil society groups who stand up to speak truth to power.

“Any attack on Amnesty International office in Nigeria or harassment and intimidation of its staff members is an assault on the entire human rights community in the country.

“This government has an obligation to support and protect civil society groups and human rights defenders against violence and sponsored attacks.

“Nigeria is a democratic society and the government can’t just sit back and watch reprisals, threats and increasing hostility to Amnesty International in particular and the NGO community in general.

“Under the Constitution of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and International Human Rights Law, everyone whose rights are violated are entitled to a right to an effective remedy.

“Exposing human rights violations and seeking redress for them is largely dependent on the degree of security enjoyed by civil society groups and human rights defenders.

“Protecting NGOs against sponsored attacks and ending impunity for such attacks is therefore a critical element in the promotion and protection of human rights in this country.

“While some may not like to hear these things Amnesty International has said, this in no way justifies this kind of mob attack on its office and staff members.

“The authorities should show its commitment in protecting the right to freedom of expression and guarantee conditions for civil society to flourish.”

UN Pledges Support For Nigeria Against Insurgency

UNThe United Nations (UN) has pledged to work more closely with Nigeria in tackling its increasing humanitarian challenges and to support the Nigerian Army’s reviewed counter-insurgency operation in the north-east.

The Special Representative of the UN Secretary General to West Africa, Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas, gave this assurance during a visit to the Chief of Army Staff, Major-General Tukur Buratai, in Abuja.
Dr Chambas said that the UN would fully cooperate with the Nigerian authorities and its armed forces to stem the tide of terrorism within its territory.
However, he appealed to the Nigerian armed forces to give attention to the growing humanitarian crisis occasioned by the Boko Haram insurgency.
He said that addressing the humanitarian aspect of the problem would go a long way in winning the confidence of the civil populace.
In response, Major-General Buratai reaffirmed the new focus of the military operation in the north-east, identifying humanitarian assistance and protection of human rights as priority areas.

Earlier, Dr Chambas had visited President Buhari on Friday to discuss issues of insecurity and terrorism.

Budget Implementation Will Be A Major Focus – Gbajabiamila

Femi-GbajabiamilaThe majority leader of the House of Representatives, Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila says a 100 per cent budget implementation will be one of the major focus of the 8th Assembly now that the principal officers of the National Assembly have been chosen and the lawmakers are set for work.

Gbajabiamila told Journalists that the 8th Assembly would open up its books to the public with a breakdown of what lawmakers earn to allow public scrutiny and end the unfavourable speculations over salaries of lawmakers at the National Assembly once and for all.

Nigerian Army Pulls Out 33 Generals

nigeria armyThirty-three retired Generals of the Nigerian Army Corps of Artillery were on Friday pulled out of service in Kaduna State, North-west Nigeria.

The retired officers comprise of 12 Major-Generals and 21 Brigadier Generals, including a former General Officer Commanding 1 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Lawrence Jokotola.

In a valedictory speech, Major-General Jokotola, who spoke on behalf of the retired generals, expressed hope that the current security challenges in the Northeast are surmountable if only the old ideals of military training, good administration and discipline are maintained.

He commended the Army authorities for re-engaging a number of its retired officers to serve as consultants and instructors at the Nigerian Army School of Artillery (NASA), Kachia in Kaduna State, stating that such sharing of knowledge and expertise will be of immense benefit to the serving officers.

The Generals retired between 2005 and 2013, having served for the mandatory 35 years in service.

Having served their fatherland meritoriously, the officers were formally pulled out at a colourful ceremony that was attended by their friends and family members.

Despite the heavy downpour, a colourful match past and parade were held in honour of the retired Generals.

General Jokotola, in his speech, pledged that the retired officers would continue to keep the Nigerian Flag high by providing timely, accurate and effective fire support in the fight against all forms of external and internal aggression.

The General urged the serving military personnel to continue to be loyal, extra-vigilant, and however expressed the conviction that the Nigerian military would overcome the current security challenges in the country.

Other retirees also expressed their gratitude to the Army and Nigerians for the opportunity to serve the nation.

The Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, Mr Bala Bantex, who represented the state Governor, Nasir El-Rufai at the occasion, commended the effort of officers and men of the Nigerian Armed Forces in trying to restore peace to all troubled parts of the country.

Nigerian Special Athletes Continue To Impress In Los Angeles

los angelesTeam Nigeria has won nine medals at the ongoing Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles. The medals are six gold and three silver.

The star boy of day-5 is Sunday Olowoniyi. The 20-year-old beat Panama’s Loaiza Tamir and South Korea’s Jeong Seong Jun by three games to top the men’s singles division six and win another table tennis gold for Nigeria.

Victoria White set the ball rolling on day-4 of the competition, winning gold in table-tennis. It was an almost flawless performance by the young Nigerian who defeated her opponents from India, Macau and the United Arab Emirates without dropping a game in her division.

Rasaq Muraina and Jeffrey Olu-Imaferami continued the gold rush for Nigeria with excellent displays in badminton, adding to the cycling gold won by Emuwa Chidubem in the 500 meters time trial.

Sikiru Sadiq threw a distance of 6.72 meters to win silver in the 4kg division mo8 shot put event, while the basketball team rounded off proceedings with an exciting 28-23 win over Belgium.

Once again, Moshood Popoola emerged the star of a good team performance scoring 10 points and recording 10 rebounds. The next game is a top of the table clash against Korea.

Team Nigeria started their campaign at the Special Olympics World Games with Tejumoluwa Ogunlela winning silver in division 15 of the 100 metres women’s freestyle.

Adebiyi Olatunji and Adedamola Roberts consolidated to win gold and silver in division 17 of the 100 meters men’s freestyle event.

On day-2, Nigeria crushed South Africa 6-0 in division one of the unified soccer event. Two first half goals from Daniel Osadolo ensured a great start at the Balboa Sports Center.

In the second half, Coach Stephen Adeyomo’s team turned up the heat on their opponents with further goals from Abubakar Adebayo and Eziema Chukwudi, ensuring a comfortable win.

On the same day, Nigeria defeated Canada 33-21 points in Basketball, to advance to the next round. The West African team dominated the first quarter 17-9, but the Canadians fought back in the third to reduce the deficit. The 4th quarter saw another close battle, before Nigeria eventually pulled away late in the game.

With athletes such as Sadiq Sikiru, Chidubem Emuwa, Fatai Fatimoh and Mbum Esther also receiving medals for successful outings in shot put, cycling and standing long jump.

Team Nigeria will be hoping the medal chase continues before the competition ends on August 2, 2015.

The 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games opened on July 25, 2015 in  Los Angeles, California. The 2015  Games feature competitions in aquatics, gymnastics, track and field, basketball, football (soccer) and many other summer sports involving 6,500 athletes with intellectual disabilities from around the world.

Robbers Attack Commercial Bank In Kogi State

robbers attack in kogi stateArmed robbers, on Friday morning, attacked a commercial bank in Okene Local Government Area of Kogi State and killed two policemen in an attempt to break into the banking hall.

Channels Television gathered that the gunmen, numbering four, arrived at the premises of the bank which is situated along the Local Government Secretariat at about five minutes before nine o’clock in the morning and started to shoot sporadically.

This left passersby, traders and motorists scampering for their lives while the shooting lasted.

According to Kogi State Police, all attempts by the robbers to gain entrance into the banking hall proved abortive as they were successfully repelled.

While the Police lost two of their men in a gun duel with the suspected armed robbers, two of the robbers were also killed.

One, who was shot in the head, died instantly, while another one who was shot in the lap died in the hospital were he was being treated.

Police IG Explains Reasons For Removal Of Checkpoints

IGPThe Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr Solomon Arase, says he ordered the removal of police checkpoints on the highways upon assuming office to reduce bribery and corruption.



Mr Arase gave this explanation during one of his routine visits to commands during which he holds security briefs with the commissioners.

The Police boss on his visit to the FCT Police Command, said that such roadblocks encouraged corruption among some of his officers who collect bribes from commuters on the highway.

The IGP said that such act only reduced officers of the Police Force to mere beggars and had also brought the image of the force to disrepute in the past.

Mr Arase then emphasized the need for officers to carry out their duties professionally.

The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Commissioner of Police, Mr Wilson Inalegwu, however, appealed to the IGP to create more commands within the FCT.

According to him, the current population of the capital city has overstretched the FCT Police Command.

The IGP has made similar visits to Lagos, Anambra, and Plateau States recently to hold the same meeting with their commissioners.