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Strike: ASUU dismisses FG threat, insists no agreement reached

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities says no agreement has been reached with the Federal Government on any of the contentious issues holding back the resumption of students.

It also denounced a Twitter handle credited to the union as saying students should prepare for resumption nect week

Contrary to the position of the government that all the contentious issues except one have been resolved, President of ASUU, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, says none of their demands has been met by the government.

Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Sonny Echono, said in Abuja that only one issue was outstandaing.

Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, is also optimistic that the dispute would be resolved this week at the meeting of the two parties and the strike called off.

But Ogunyemi said they had not reached any agreement that could be described as concrete enough to make its lecturers resume from the seven-month strike.

The union also rejected claims that eight out of the nine demands raised by ASUU had been met.

He said, “As far as we are concerned, nothing has been delivered to our members and our members don’t want empty promises. Let us take the issues one after the other.

“The withheld salaries of our members which is between four to eight months have not been paid; if paid, accounts of our members would have been credited. Same for earned academic allowances, they are yet to be paid.”

The ASUU president also said visitation panels were yet to be constituted for the universities, adding that the issue relating to the proliferation of tertiary institutions by state governors had not been resolved.

He asked, “So, on which of these issues has the target beneficiaries seen any concrete action being taken? We are getting to understand the way people in government work.

“When they are still discussing with you, they will go to town and tell people what has not been done. Their intention is to paint ASUU as the aggressor.”

The ASUU president said the union would not feel threatened by a warning by the government that it could invoke labour laws if a resolution was not reached between the two parties.

The union went on strike to pressure the government to address its concerns about remuneration, working conditions, earned allowances and obsolete infrastructure, among others.

The union also kicked against a salary payment platform introduced by the government, the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) and has come up with its own system.

Meanwhile, ASUU has denounced the Twitter account, registered in its name, which asked students of public universities to prepare for resumption as a positive outcome was expected from the union’s meeting with the FG on Wednesday.

Ogunyemi described the information as fake news, saying that the union had not operated any Twitter account.

He said, “Those people are impersonators; they are impostors. They are using that Twitter handle and other Twitter handles to create confusion. We don’t know anything about the Twitter handle and we never said what they are attributing to us.

“That is not the way we share our information; we have a way of sharing our information and that is why we are advising our friendly media to always double-check with us anything they are in doubt of. ASUU will never say any such thing on Twitter.”

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Kanu not in court, case adjourned till Oct 21

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Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, will remain in detention till October 21, 2021.
He was due to be in court on Monday but the Federal Government did not arraign him.
Kanu, who was reportedly arrested in Kenya last month, has been in custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).
Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday adjourned the case till October 21, 2021, over the failure of the Federal Government to arraign him.

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Insecurity made FG to retain DIGs, AIGs, says minister

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The Federal Government on Monday explained why it retained some Deputy Inspectors-General of Police and Assistant Inspectors-General of Police after the appointment of Usman Baba Alkali as Inspector-General of Police.
Minister of Police Affairs, Muhammad Maigari Dingyadi, said the high level of insecurity made the government to retain the senior police officers.
He stated this during the decoration of 24 newly promoted Commissioners of Police to AIGs.
No senior police officer with the rank of AIG or DIG went on compulsory leave when Baba was appointed IGP.
Dingyadi stressed that was the first time of such development in recent history of the Nigerian Police Force.
He said, “The government deliberately took this position to have many hands in the force. With this action, the Police Force has retained experienced professionals that would contribute towards sustaining the relative peace of the country.”
The minister added that the criteria for the appointment of the new AIGs were purely on merit, professional conduct, and individual performance, urging the newly appointed AIGs to redouble their efforts to curb insecurity.
He reiterated that President Muhammadu Buhari has directed Salaries and Wages Commission to come out with new salary structure.
He said, “To whom much is given, much is expected. Officers should re-double their effort in the fight against insecurity which had bedeviled the country today. A lot is expected of you in contributing your quota towards the sustainability of peace and unity in the country.”

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Four more Kaduna school students escape from bandits captivity

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Three students of Bethel Baptist High School, Kaduna, have escaped from their captors.
They escaped from the camp on Monday where they were kept since July 19, 2021.
An aunt to one of the students, who craved anonymity confirmed this on Monday.
According to her, the teenagers had spent five days roaming inside the forest before they finally met another herder who directed them out of the forest.
It was also gathered that one of the escaped students who could recall his father’s phone number borrowed a phone to call home before his father went to pick them up.
“The children were found around Kasuwar Magani on Sunday evening hours after 28 students of the school were released by the bandits. It was the school management that called my in-law to inform us,” she said.
Two other students had escaped from the camps before they were recovered by the police.

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