His release by the abductors comes one week after students of the University, especially his students at the Department of Linguistics and Communication appealed for his unconditional release and sought immediate action from the security agencies, as well as the State and the federal governments.
A First-Class traditional ruler, Aaron Ikuru of Ikuru Town in the same Local Government Area was also kidnapped on the same day from his palace.
While Dr. Jones Ayuwo was released earlier today, the traditional ruler is still with his abductors.
The family of the lecturer and the Police in Rivers State are yet to give details of the release.
The Federal Government says that the incessant face-off between the governing councils of universities and the institutions’ authorities over the running of the day-to-day activities in the universities will no longer be tolerated.
The warning was handed down by the Minister of State for Education, Professor Anthony Anwuka, during the 31st convocation ceremony of the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT), Rivers State.
The Minister who represented President Muhammadu Buhari at the occasion also stated some new policy direction in the university system across the country.
“We must stop housing those who are adventurers, who have no business being in the universities to be in the university. In that wise, it’s being proposed and it will fly that at the end of this academic year, any student that fails to get up to 0.5 GPA should seize being a student of the university.
“The universities will continue from now on to house people who are serious with what they have come here to do. If you score less than 0.5 in your GPA, you are out and out for good.
“Secondly, Mr Vice Chancellor, starting from this year, JAMB has been advised to stop sending students to our professional universities with unrelated disciplines.
“If you are a University of Agriculture, your business should be agriculture; not in medicine, not in law, not in accountancy. Science and technology must remain University of Science and Technology.
“If states wish to have conventional universities, then they must speak to the Federal Government and such schools will be given to such states,” Professor Anwuka said.
A Dangerous Trend
The Vice Chancellor of UNIPORT, Professor Ndowa Lale, on his part, lamented the rate at which student unionism degenerates into what he described as a dangerous trend for the university authorities.
Professor Lale called on the Federal Government to regulate the operational structure of Students’ Union Government, adding that they pose threat to the statutory administration of the universities.
“Union leaders ascribe to themselves funny sounding titles as executive president and commander-in-chief of Aluta forces, secretary general and head of service, chief judge, senate president, honourable speaker of parliament, special advisers, woman leader, chief whip, stakeholders and so on.
“All these high sounding offices operate under the auspices of a Students’ Union Government which now operates at parallel point with the appointed authority of the institution,” he claimed.
The convocation ceremony was witnessed by dignitaries such as the Deputy Governor of Rivers State, Ipalebo Banigo, who represented Governor Nyesom Wike; Vice Chancellors from other universities and top government officials among other guests.
Rivers Hoopers have continued their fine form in the Nigeria Premier Basketball League with a slim 59-53 win of the Oluyole Warriors in a weary match up in Port Harcourt.
Point Guard, Chimobi Azubuike, scored 16 points while Somto Chukwu Managor and Moses Godffrey added 8 apiece and 6 rebounds in a very close encounter in Hoopers fourth straight win of the season.
The former champions went into the game in confident mood after wrapping up three straight wins. Although both sides started slowly as no shots were made in the first two minutes of the first quarter.
It was Friday’s hero, Ronald Alalibo whose shot in 8:30 opened the basket for both teams followed up by 3-pointers from the opposing side sparked the game to life.
Azubuike’s double shot with less than 40 seconds on the clock ensured the Port Harcourt side head to the second quarter with 15-13 lead.
The Petroleum Engineering student of the University of Port Harcourt continued from where he left off in the first quarter with two straight shot within few seconds of the second .The game was tied in different occasion, 2:57 25-25, 0:54 27-27 before Moses’s three point shot before the buzzer gave Hoopers the lead going to the break 30-29.
Similarly, Azubuike continued with his brilliant performance in the third quarter with two steals and it also recorded tied points from both teams in 6:26 36-36, 5:45 38-38.
The host, however, got a 10-point lead 54-44 in the fourth with less than five minutes on the clock but the Warriors successfully reduced the deficit but could not snatch the win as they were made to do catch up till the end of the game.
The excited Ogoh Odaudu dedicated the double win to Hoopers’ fans.
“It is a great feeling and it’s something we could have done over and over again during the regular season. It is the last time our fans would see us play this season so we had to give them something to go home with. So the double win was not for us but for our fans.
“If you look at both teams you could see that fatigue had set in a little bit because it was a strenuous game yesterday (Friday) both teams burnt themselves out and today (Saturday) fatigue started setting in and it was a slow and unimpressive game but most importantly is that we came out top.” Odaudu said.
Oluyole Warriors coach, Taye Shobolu hopes his team can still make the last four from the Atlantic Conference of the DSTV Basketball League.
“I am not disappointed. My players did their best and you all can see that the score is so close. Delta Force still have a game in Lagos against Nigeria Customs and the outcome of the game will determine our fate.” Shobolu explained.
Rivers Hoopers will next play Conference leaders, Kwara Falcons on May 27 and 28 in Ilorin which will be the team’s last game of the regular season. Falcons have remained unbeaten on home court.
The dust generated by the protest that rocked the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) in the Rivers State capital on Monday is yet to settle.
The students have insisted that some of their colleagues were shot by the Police during the protest; a claim the Police has debunked.
An amateur video made available to Channels Television showed protesting students of the University of Port Harcourt carrying the body of a slain student who they claimed was killed during the protest.
The Deputy Commissioner of Police in Rivers State, DCP Mobolaji Odesanya, dismissed the allegations of the students when he took journalists to the university on a fact finding mission.
“On the issue of fatality, last night there was a case of a body that was recovered but very far from this area. The corpse is presently at the mortuary and ready for autopsy. Apart from that, (there is) none other.
“In any case, the Police did not move into this campus until very late around 9PM to 10.30 PM when the VC wrote officially to the Police to move in,” he said.
Thousands of the aggrieved students protested against what they call the unjustified increase in tuition and other charges.
Meanwhile, the Vice Chancellor of the university, Ndowa Laale, has insisted that the students were peddling false information, claiming that there was no increase in tuition fees.
He said that the 45,000 Naira the students referred to was not school fees but a summation of charges for running the school.
“Because it is traditional among students not to write exams, those who have even paid of this ninety-something percent joined the less than 10% to make sure that the exam did not hold.
“That is all that is responsible for the massive destruction you see across the campus.
“Since I have been lecturing in the university system without any break of service for 34 years, I’ve never seen anything like it in any university. It was well orchestrated, I don’t know what they intended to achieve.
“I understand that some of them were in touch with some persons who, for whatever reasons, want the VC out. Therefore, they thought that if they did that, the VC would be removed.”
There was commotion on Monday in Port Harcourt, as students of the University of Port Harcourt protest hike in school fees.
Thousands of the aggrieved students protested against what they call the unjustified increase in tuition and other charges.
They laid siege on the school premises, blocking the Choba end of East-West Road in the Rivers State capital and stopping any academic activities from taking place in the university.
According to them, the school authorities are insensitive to their plight and vowed to intensify their protests until the management of the school responds to their demands.
Meanwhile, the Dean of Student Affairs of the university, Otto Ekpenyung, who was only available to speak to Channels Television on the phone said he was trying to handle a flash point at the time of that.
He promised he would speak later on the issue.
Security agencies were also seen positioned to check the situation from getting out of hand.
The Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas limited (NLNG) has constructed multi-million Naira engineering laboratories at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.
At the commissioning of the multi-user laboratories, the Managing Director (MD) of NLNG, Mr Babs Omotowa, said the project, which cost 340 million Naira, was part of the company’s contribution to complement the various efforts of the government in stimulating the growth of research and science education in Nigeria.
Mr Omotowa also explained that the laboratory, which was equipped with the state of the art facility, would provide the staff and students of the university easy access to world class facilities that would, among other benefits, enhance their academic performance and improve their skills.
The building has six different laboratories – Materials Characterisation Laboratory, Soil Testing Laboratory, Materials Testing Laboratory, Mechatronics Laboratory, ICT Laboratory and Environmental Laboratory.
The project, which is part of NLNG’s University Support Programme, is driven by the company’s desire to develop engineering education in Nigeria.
The MD also disclosed that the company would spend 340 million Naira on the construction of modern engineering laboratories, equipped with cutting-edge technology, in five other universities.
University of Ibadan, University of Ilorin, University of Port-Harcourt, University of Maiduguri and University of Nigeria, Nsukka are the benefiting universities.
He explained that the universities were selected based on rankings by the National Universities Commission (NUC) and their long standing contributions to the development of local capacity in Nigeria.
The Vice Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University, Professor Ibrahim Garba, told the gathering that the commissioning of the multi-user laboratories was the first of its kind, since the inception of the institution.
He noted that the facility would avail students and lecturers of the institution the opportunity to conduct their research in the field of engineering technology.
He also called on other corporate organisations to emulate NLNG.
The Minister of State for Education, Professor Anthony Anwuka, while commending the management of NLNG for the laudable initiative, that the administration of President Buhari was committed to giving the education sector face-lift.
Appeals have continued to come from different quotas for peaceful polls in the rescheduled March 28 and April 11 general elections.
The University of Port-Harcourt Alumni Association, members of the civil society and other concerned individuals on Thursday, asked Nigerians to come out en mass to vote without causing trouble.
They also appealed to security operatives to be on the alert.
Acknowledging the transformation agenda of the present administration, the group advised voters not to be intimidated by tension in the atmosphere, noting that they have the freedom to make their choice by going to the polls.
Lieutenant-General Kenneth Minimah stated that the Armed Forces, the Police and other security agencies have made adequate arrangements for security, ahead of the general elections commencing on Saturday.
He urged Nigerians to turn out en masse and vote candidates of their choice without fear for their safety.
A Lecturer at the University of Port Harcourt, Sosiri Joabi-Peterside, has said efforts made by political parties, in order to win the forthcoming governorship election in Osun State has created tension in the state, emphasising that Nigerians and politicians need to accept the result of the election to guard against violence.
Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, Mr Joabi-Peterside stated that the words of politicians impose threats to the citizens and the country as a whole. He emphasised that government should protect the Nigerian youth and its environment for the forthcoming election.
“We are trying to deal with the security issues in the country and to have another one at hand is a serious problem.
“Majority of Youth Corps participate in electoral work while serving their father land, this corp members take part in the election process, without security properly given, they could become victims,” he said.
He, however, said he foresees threat of violence in the forth coming election because most political parties direct all political representatives to mobilise in a particular area which may cause serious threat to peace and security in the State.
“Knowing the way each politician operate, each of them would want to move to a particular state with their security aide and you will have a lot of security issues,” he said
He also noted that the government needed to make sure election was peaceful in that state, pointing out that the situation that had happened in Ekiti State might also be reflected or may be reversed in the election, making each party to struggle to ensure they win the election.
Mr Joabi-Peterside insisted that the voice of the people should be heard, which is the essence of a democratic government.
He therefore urged Nigerians to accept whatever result comes out of the forth coming governorship election in Osun state.
10 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.
Nigerian actor, Charles Inojie on Saturday said the Federal Government should have channeled the resources used for the ‘Good People, Great Nation’ rebrand Nigeria project into the movie industry, Nollywood, as that “would have achieved more results.”
“A project like that should have taken the Nollywood on the driver’s seat to achieve greater results,” he said. The Theatre Arts graduate of the University of Port Harcourt said on Sunrise that the University’s Drama School is the best in the country as it has produced many top wigs presently dominating the industry.
While predicting the turn of events in the industry for 2014, Inojie said: “We can only move forward” as “all hands are on deck to build on the gains of 2013.”
He added that the industry would experience a lot more international collaborations.
Seven out of the 18 persons arrested for the killing of the four University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) students in Omuokiri–Aluu community were on Thursday discharged by a Chief Magistrate court following the advice from the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP).
The Magistrate, Emmanuel Woke discharged the seven after he read the advice dated 25th January 2013 before the court.
He said that the seven persons were arrested and charged to court based on suspicion.
The advice also indicted one Hassan Welewa and 10 others for negligence in preventing the killings and active participation in the murder of Ugonna Obuzor, Toku Lloyd, Chiadika Biringa, and Tekenah Elkanah.
Channels Television correspondent, Grace Ekang, reports that the magistrate told the court that the 11 accused were to face other charges from the DPP.
13 persons including the 59-year-old traditional ruler of Aluu, Alhaji Hassan Welewa, were in October 2012 arraigned before the Port Harcourt Magistrate Court, over their alleged role in the killing of four students of the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State.