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.

NAMA, NIMET, NCAT And AIB Get New Bosses

Avaition: NAMA, NIMET, NCAT And AIB Get New BossesPresident Muhammadu Buhari on Monday approved the appointments of four persons to head some key agencies in Nigeria’s aviation sector.

The approval was made public in a statement signed by the Permanent Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Aviation, Sabiu Zakari.

The affected agencies are: Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria, as well as the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB).

Captain Fola C. Akinkuotu, who is a seasoned transport pilot, flight and aircraft maintenance engineer, airline chief executive and a trained aviation industry regulator, has been appointed the Director General of NAMA.

The Deputy Vice Chancellor at the University of Abuja, and a professor of geography with specialty in Environmental Application of Remote Sensing, Sani Abubakar Mashi, becomes the Director General of NIMET.

According to the statement, Captain Abdulsalam Mohammed is the new Rector at NCAT, while Mr Akinola Olateru is the Commissioner for AIB.

Captain Mohammed is an alumnus of NCAT and a renowned civil aviation trainer and examiner with accreditation by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority and the Federal Civil Aviation Administration.

Mr Olateru, on his part, is an engineer of international repute, a trained air accident manager and a certified safety officer with aircraft maintenance engineering licences in Nigeria, USA and the United Kingdom.

Judges’ Arrest: Former British Cop Berates Execution Of ‘Sting Operation’

vince-onyekwelu-judges-arrestThe arrest of some court judges by a combined team of Police and DSS officials in the early hours of Saturday, October 8 has continued to generate reactions.

While various judicial stakeholders have criticised the government for the arrest, a former British police officer, Vince Onyekwelu, has picked holes in the level of expertise displayed by the DSS during its execution of the operation.

The security analyst told Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily how the arrest should have been carried out, since it was believed to be a sting operation.

“We have to understand (that) one of the major concepts of a sting operation is deceit.

“When you talk about deceit, sting operations are planned to have this element of propaganda, element of treachery, element of ‘make believe’ (and) element of trying to deceive a potential criminal,” he explained.

Outer Shell

Speaking on Thursday’s edition of the programme, Onyekwelu expressed disappointment that Governor Nyesom Wike was able to interrupt the arrest of one of the judges at his residence in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.

He stressed the importance of the strategy that ought to be used and questioned if the security operatives were capable and competent to carry out such operation.

“For example, there is what we call ‘the outer shell’.

“You have to block the entrance (and) position men at critical areas.

“It makes me to ask questions how come the Governor had access to go through this outer shell (and) come to the epicentre that he was able to influence what was going on there.

“You’re supposed to have an outer shell that is well-trained to contain and to stop any kind of politically exposed person that have got so much power.

“He (Wike) can tell you his concerns (while) you record them in your notebook and promise to get back to him in the next 24 hours, but not to give him access to influence what is going on,” he stated.

Although the DSS later justified its action by giving reasons for the arrest, the operation attracted criticisms from several notable Nigerians and professional bodies, including the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) which asked the executive to release of the detained court justices.

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Human rights activist, Mr Femi Falana

Human rights activist, Mr Femi Falana, however, blamed legal practitioners for the harassment of judges.

The agency subsequently released all the judges on self-recognition one day after their arrest but they are to report at the agency’s office when requested to, as the investigation and preparation to charge them to court continue.

The judges are accused of misconduct, corruption and had been under investigation by the DSS.

Judges Arrest: I Have No Objection To DSS’ Action – Abu Hamisu

Dr. Abu Hamisu, As reactions continue to trail the arrest of some judges over the weekend, a lecturer at the University of Abuja, Dr. Abu Hamisu, says he has no objection with the involvement of the Department of State Services (DSS) in the arrest.

The lecturer at the Political Science Department is of the opinion that if the government feels the DSS could play a crucial role in its anti-corruption campaign, there is nothing wrong with it.

“We’ve been advocating for collaboration and synergy building in such a way that all the security agencies can tap into the professionalism of one another depending on the case they want to prosecute.

“If (the) EFCC, ICPC and the government of the day feel that the DSS can be really decisive in the fight against corruption in this country, I have nothing against that,” the political scientist said.

Speaking on Tuesday on Sunrise Daily, Dr. Hamisu believes corruption is the cause of Nigeria’s underdeveloped stage, reiterating his stance on the DSS’ involvement.

“The most important thing is to ensure that corruption is really dealt with because the basis of our underdevelopment as a nation up to this very moment is corruption.

“For me, it’s something that has to do with those that are leading us and if they feel that they can give us result and DSS can play a role in this, I have no objection,” he insisted.

The academic warned that the future of the Nigerian child was at risk and called on stakeholders to tackle its menace headlong to ensure a brighter future.

“All we want is to ensure that we have a better future for our children.

“The future that we did not enjoy, the future that corruption denied us because some people were saddled with responsibilities that they abused and perverted,” he lamented.

Face-off With Wike

Dr. Hamisu’s remarks followed a face-off between the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike and some DSS officials who were on an assignment to arrest a Federal High Court judge in Port Harcourt.

Nyesom-Wike-Governor-of-Rivers-State
Governor Nyesom Wike prevented the arrest of a judge in Rivers State

On getting wind of the planned arrest, Governor Wike went to the residence of the judge with the aim of averting the arrest.

He stated that it would not be appropriate to arrest a judge at an odd hour when he has not been declared as a criminal, but invited to have a chat which they said was the motive of the arrest.

The arrest caught the attention of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) which asked the executive to release of the judge and some order court justices.

While a human rights activist, Mr Femi Falana, blames legal practitioners for harassment of judges, the DSS gave reasons for the arrest.

The DSS subsequently released all the judges on self-recognition.

However, they are to report at the agency’s office when requested to, as the investigation and preparation to charge them to court continue.

The judges are accused of misconduct corruption and had been under investigation by the DSS.

Nigerian Economy Difficult But Encouraging – Tinubu

tinubuA chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and former Governor of Lagos State, Mr Bola Tinubu, has described the state of the nation as difficult but encouraging.

He said this at the combined convocation ceremony of the University of Abuja, where he spoke on behalf of the recipients of the university’s honorary degrees.

Honorary degrees were awarded to the former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Idris Kutigi; former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Aloma Mukhtar; former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and former Vice President, Dr. Alex Exwueme who was represented by his daughter.

Asiwaju Tinubu thanked the university for the honour and encouraged everyone to see the convocation as the chance for a new beginning in the task of nation building.

The APC leader was of the view that the present situation facing the country requires all Nigerians to make sacrifices and persevere.

Similarly, the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Micheal Adikwu, encouraged the graduates to take active roles in pulling the country out of its present economic downturn.

The occasion was to formally give awards to graduate and postgraduate students from 2009/2010 session to the 2014/2015 session in the University of Abuja.

Over 25,000 persons bagged various degrees, with eight students completing their courses with first class honours and 2,324 students with second class upper division.

Traditional rulers, federal ministers, federal lawmakers, and captains of industry, all gathered for the combined convocation ceremony.

Jonathan Sends New Ministerial Nominees To Senate

JONATHANNPresident Goodluck Jonathan has forwarded the names of two ministerial nominees to the Senate for screening and confirmation.

They are the Corp Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps, Mr Benjamin Osita Chidoka, and a lecturer at the University of Abuja, Dr Abubakar Suleiman Olanrewaju.

President Goodluck Jonathan had on Tuesday sworn in four new ministers who he said would help beef up the performance of the administration.

They include the former Governor of Kano State, Ibrahim Shekarau, as the Minister of Education, Dr. Steve Oru as the Minister for the Niger Delta, Prince Clement Adeyeye as Minister of State for Works and Abdul Bulama as Minister of Science and Technology.

The swearing-in ceremony was followed by the decoration of President Jonathan by the Corp Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corp, whose name has been included in the latest ministerial nominees’ list, Mr Ostia Chidoka, as the Grand Patron of the Special Marshal of the Nigerian Road Safety Commission in recognition of the President’s reform programmes in the road sector.

University of Abuja Shut Indefinitely

Uni AbujaFollowing recent protests by students at the University of Abuja, authorities have announced an indefinite shutdown of the school until further notice.

An official statement from the office of the Vice-Chancellor made the announcement after fresh protests on Monday morning at the university staff quarters.

According to the statement, all students are to vacate the hostels and university premises immediately adding that “further developments on the matter would be communicated in due course.”

At main campus of the school, a notice has been placed in all departments and hostels ordering every student to leave the school compound immediately.

Tear gas canisters were reportedly shot in the air to enforce the students’ eviction from the hostels and the mini campus and many had been seen packing their luggages preparing to leave.

Meanwhile students, with the theme “BringBackOurExams” were protesting the lecturers’ strike which had entered its third week.

Members of the Governing Council of the University have, however, announced a meeting for Tuesday.

UniAbuja Crisis: Management Is Toying With Our Future – Student

The President, University of Abuja Medical Students Association, Uchenna Anyanwu has said that the school authority has had series of meetings with the students that have yielded no result yet.

Speaking on Channels Television breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Uchenna said the school is yet to do something about their situation, he stated that being in the school for eight years in 300 level they keep hearing different stories from the authorities.

He said the only news that’s was passed across to them was that the senate of the school had a meeting once and said they will transfer the medical students to other accredited medical schools but they are yet to implement that.

Mr Uchenna said that in 2005, when the they were about to enter the school, they never knew there will be issues with accreditation knowing the school had a reputation, he said since eight years the university has been battling with the first stage of accreditation.

He said last year April 5th the students went to the Ministry of Education and met with the minister and she asked if they wanted to stay or to be transferred to other schools. According to him, he said when they went back to see the minister, the Vice-Chancellor of the school assured the minister that the accreditation issue will be granted within 6 months.

He said they also went to the Nigerian University Commission (NUC) and they were assured that the situation will be fixed within one month, he emphasized that there has been one story or the other and no result yet.

Don’t Give Up, Keep Protesting, Lawyer Advises UniAbuja Students

A lawyer, Malachy Ugwumadu has advised the students of the University of Abuja to continue protesting the non-accreditation of their courses after spending at least 8 years studying, adding that “the students are wielding their legitimate right.”

Mr Ugwumadu, while discussing the issues surrounding the University of Abuja on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, said that the whole brouhaha reeked of ‘corruption.’

Students in three different faculties, Vet medicine, engineering and medicine recently took to the streets to protest the non-accreditation of their courses, blocking the street and disrupting ongoing school examinations.

Speaking to Channels Television, the Vice Chancellor of the university, James Adelabu said that the issue of accreditation of medical programme is almost complete.

Corruption

However, Mr Ugwumadu voiced his suspicions of corrupt practices at the management level.

“I think that at the heart of this crisis is the question of corruption,” he said.

He described the issue as fortunate.

“It is one problem-too many. They have a recurrent student uprising.”

He ascribed the university’s challenges to its failure to relocate to the permanent site where larger facilities, infrastructure and basic necessities that will effectively qualify the faculty will be available. These are criteria the National Universities Commission (NUC) looks out for in accrediting an institution.

Compensation

The protesting  students of the institution have demanded monetary compensation of N10 million each as well as transfer to other universities, in order to progress in their academic pursuit.

Mr Ugwumadu agreed that money cannot compensate the number of years wasted but said that financial gratification might not essentially be the motive.

He said a transfer to another university “would also be a serious breach of the contract”.

The students should intensify their agitation. The students should reach out more effectively, the students should get much more organised.

He admonished them to be idealistic but  added that they shouldn’t throw caution to the wind. “You can effectively secure what you are entitled to.”

He called on the commissioner of police to advise the students on how best to get the attention of the presidency.

UniAbuja Students Disrupt Examinations

Examinations at the University of Abuja have been disrupted following protests by students against non-accreditation of some courses at the university.

The school consequently announced postponement of examinations till Monday, the 18th of February.

But the students who were dispersed by security operatives threatened to continue if the issue is not resolved.

Hundreds of students were at the gates of the University of Abuja main campus.

The students embarked on a protest to disrupt examinations fixed by the school.

They vowed to prevent examinations until all pending issues of non-accreditation of courses are immediately resolved.

In April 2012, the Federal Government had approved N2 billion for the school to resolve all issues of non-accreditation but the Vice-Chancellor said he only accessed the money last month. The students are however angry over the seemingly unending promises.

The students proceeded to the mini-campus were there was heavy security presence to prevent any violence but in spite of this, they made desperate attempt to seal up the premises to drive home their grievance.

Some lecturers in solidarity with the students revealed that the vice-chancellor has done more harm than good with the failed assurances to the students. They ask the Federal Government not to keep silent over the white paper report submitted to it.

In the meantime the students have vowed to continue disrupting examinations fixed by the school until there is a concrete solution to resolve their plight.

Police arrest 18 over Fulani-Gwari clash in Abuja

The police in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have arrested 18 suspects in connection with last weekend violent clash between Fulani herdsmen and Gwari communities in Gwako village in Gwagwalada area council.

The Federal Capital Police Chief; Mr Adenrele Shinaaba told Channels Television in Abuja that the suspects have given useful information to the police and investigations are near completion.

On its part, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) stated that although some of the victims have been released from the hospital while a four year old boy died yesterday at the camp as a result of inadequate medical treatment.

At the Internally Displaced Peoples’ (IDPs’) camp within the University of Abuja, workers of the National Emergency Management Agency were seen trying to move the displaced people to a new location provided by the University authority until a counter directive was given by the police to stop the plan for security reasons.

Complaints of disorderliness and open defecation were made by the IDPs around the school premises.

Inspite of this, the head of rescue team; Mr Lugard Slaku says there is no cause for alarm and that the relief materials are adequate.

The vice-chairman of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Rarer association; Mr Abubakar Sulaiman also disclosed that some of those hospitalised have been discharged as he also confirmed the death of the four year old boy.

The police have given assurance that its investigations will help to fish out the perpetrators and prevent further crisis.

Two Killed, 1,500 Persons Displaced In Abuja Communal Clash

A communal clash over the weekend erupted in Gwako Village in Gwagwalada Local Government Area of the Federal Capital Territory between Fulani and Gwari residents claiming two lives and displacing 1,500 people from 27 communities.

The prompt intervention of the security agencies including personnel from the police, Nigeria Security And  Civil Defence Corps and military had helped to curtail the escalation of the crisis which started Saturday as a result of encroachment of a herd of cattle into farmlands in the area.

The Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Muhammad Sani-Sidi who commended the FCT Minister, Senator Bala Muhammad for the promptness of his agencies and his physical presence at the scene, appealed to the warring parties to live peacefully with one another and eschew any form of violence as we enter the New Year.

Sani-Sidi who disclosed that two lives were lost and 27 communities affected, said that over 1500 internally displaced people are currently squatting in a temporary camp on the permanent campus of the University of Abuja in Gwagwalada area.

The Minister of FCT, Senator Bala Muhammad who led other government agencies to assess the impact of the incidence appealed to the communities to remain calm as the government would ensure that the causes of the crisis would soon be addressed so that they could return to their homes.

The Minister had asked NEMA to provide more amenities to the victims in the camp as he also constituted an emergency team for conflict resolution and relief distribution to the affected communities which had membership from response agencies and Urban Affairs Department of FCTA.

Minister Visits Gwako Village

Meanwhile the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Senator Bala Mohammed today (Sunday) visited the site of the Fulani/Gwari incident which led to the death of two in a village in Gwawalada Area Council.

The incident which took place last night led to about 200 persons to seek refuge at the University of Abuja Permanent Site.

Commiserating with the internally displaced at the University Site, Sen. Bala Mohammed said his Administration was concerned about the incident because the history of relationship between the Gwaris and Fulanis has been a very cordial one.

He urged them to take heart and not take any action that will be seen as a reprisal attack.

The Minister said President Goodluck Jonathan who has already been briefed about the incident enjoins both communities to live in peace and harmony with one another. He announced that relief materials including food, water, mattresses and blankets have already been sent to them and they will continue to be looked after by FCT Administration and NEMA.

Senator Bala Mohammed who visited the incident site with FCT Police Commissioner and Commander of the Guards Brigade, and other top FCT Administration officials assured the displaced communities that all measures will be taken to ensure the security and protection of lives and property.

On his part, the Sarkin Fulani, who spoke on behalf of the Fulani Communities now residing temporarily at the University Campus, thanked the FCT Minister and President Goodluck Jonathan for coming to their rescue.

He assured them that they will continue to live in harmony with the Gwaris in the FCT, while urging the government to ensure that such incidents do not happen again.

Meanwhile the FCT Minister has called for a meeting tomorrow (Monday), which he will be chairing at Gwagwalada Area Council.

The meeting will held with leaders of both Fulani and Gwari communities, the Gwagwalada Area Council Chairman, traditional rulers of Gwagwalada with a view to making sure that peace between the communities is maintained, as well as finding lasting solution to such mishaps.