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FG may break ASUU strike with another option

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The Federal Government may soon call the bluff of the Academic Staff Union of Universities over the union’s insistence on getting the government to meet all its demands before ending its prolonged strike.

ASUU has asked students idling at home to get themselves busy with some vocational skills, travel and have fun, an indication that it is not ready to end the strike soon.

It also insisted on getting the government to adopt the union’s payment platform endorsed in addition to securing enough funds for the upgrade of the universities, apart improved salaries and welfare package.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, said the strike would be resolved by next week after the meeting between the Federal Government team and the union leaders.

He said if the matter was not resolved by then, government would explore the provisions in the labour law and other channels.

The union said the strike was over the failure of the Federal Government to keep to the 2019 Memorandum of Action between them as well as the disagreement over the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System, which ASUU rejected.

Ngige, who spoke on Politics Today on Channels Television on Friday, said the government had met six of the union’s nine demands and that they would meet again next week with the hope of ending the prolonged strike.

He stated, “Even if countries go to war, at the end of the day they come to the negotiation table. I’m inviting them (ASUU) next week. We are doing side meetings on our part and we are collating everything. I’m collating responses from the Accountant General of the Federation’s Office and everybody who has something to do with this matter.”

He also said, “By next week, we will conclude this matter. There are so many options left. We have the labour laws and I have options left to me in the labour laws. I have other channels.”

The minister said government had agreed to give the University Transparency Academic Solution, the payment platform proposed by ASUU, a trial.

He however said the feedback he got from the National Information Technology Development Agency, the agency mandated to follow-up the trial with ASUU, showed they had just concluded the first phase and that the second phase to assess the functional requirement of UTAS had not been done.

He added, “UTAS has yet to be ready but government will not discourage them. And we have told them there is no need using the same old method of strike to make demands since such had been deployed since 2017.”

On the revitalisation fund, he said government had agreed to release N30bn out of the N40bn demanded by the union as the payment for November 2019 and September 2020, adding that the remaining N10bn would be staggered.

Ngige said, “A committee that looked into the needs assessment of universities held a workshop on how funds could be generated came up with the recommendation that other things could be done to raise funds because revitalisation cannot be done through the budget, especially when the country is running a deficit budget.”

 

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Deborah’s killing un-Islamic, barbaric — Hausa community

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THE Special Assistant to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa on Security Matters and youth leader of the Hausa community in Agbor, Ika South Local Government Area of Delta State, Junaidu Imam, has condemned the killing of the 200- level Home Economics student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto, Deborah Samuel over alleged blasphemy, describing the killing as barbaric and un-Islamic.

 

Imam who doubles as the Chairman of, the United Rainbow Peace Movement, URPM, while reacting to the dastardly act, contended that the killing of Deborah was against the teaching of any religion in the world, noting that such practice was not an Islamic act as Islam promotes civility and peaceful coexistence.

 

While insisting that no individual was given the authority to kill, he said: “No matter how grievous an offence is, even if it attracts capital punishment, the Prophet allows retracting blasphemous pronouncement, which means the offender can evade the punishment. Whatever the version, her killing was despicable. She has the right to a trial before the abysmal level of her execution.

 

“The version I heard was that Deborah said Muslims were sending content to the class WhatsApp group. On that basis, the girl has freedom of expression. Islam says you cannot impose your religion on others. A verse also said ‘your religion is for you and theirs is for them’. So, as Muslims, you don’t cross the path. Everyone is entitled to their religion. Therefore, nobody can ascertain that Deborah has abused our Prophet Mohammed as it is the duty of the court to establish the fact.”

 

“They are not supposed to take it upon themselves to kill, beat, burn, destroyed place of worship and people’s property based on what they judged as blasphemy,” he further explained, even as he called for justice for the lynched NCE undergraduate.

 

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AbdulRazaq clinches Kwara APC guber ticket, talks of beating own record

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Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara state was Thursday evening reelected as the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2023 General elections.

The governor was the sole aspirant in the exercise that took place inside the Banquet Hall of the government house, ilorin where 965 delegates were expected to vote for him.

At the end of the exercise, Chairman Governorship/ House of assembly primaries sent by the National leadership of the party from Abuja ,Prof Emmanuel Dandaura who led the team that supervised the election said that there were 961 valid votes, and 4 invalid votes.

Professor Dandaura asked whether there was complaint from anyone to which there was no response. He therefore declared the governor as the gubernatorial candidate of the party for the 2023 governorship elections.

Governor AbdulRazaq in his acceptance speech assured that he would not take the support of the delegates and other stakeholders in the ruling party for granted.

He noted that,”2023 is the year to make it clear to the doubting Thomases that the revolution of 2019 was not a fluke”, stressing that “It is the year to reaffirm our decision to reclaim our dignity and have a state that serves everyone equitably.

“We must therefore keep what is left of our patrimony, and by all democratic means avoid a relapse to the years of the distress, Governor AbdulRazaq said.

He also said that, “between 2019 and now, the trajectory of Kwara State has changed. We have registered a bold presence in the comity of decent and respected states. We have positive strides and indices in education, health, access to water, improved youths engagement, gender mainstreaming, support for farmers and the vulnerable, and rural development to show for our mandate.”

Today, he said, that ” no part of Kwara State is left without government presence. Our politics has also evolved. The destiny of Kwarans is no longer tied to any particular person. That is the bold message from our primaries.”

Governor AbdulRazaq however said he’s not perfect, saying, “Are we perfect? No, we are not. What is not debatable is the magnitude of progress that Kwara has made over the last three years. We can only beat our own records of achievements.”

He also said, “So, we will campaign on our records of improving the lots of our people and reasserting the leadership position of Kwara State.

“We will campaign on our record of courageously opening up the democratic space for all. We will campaign on our records of courageously opening up our books for public assessments in our strong belief that perfection belongs to God alone. In doing so, we are steadily improving the old system and achieving more efficiency.”

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Alleged killing of Timothy: Ibadan based Radio CEO, Hamzat regains freedom

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THE Chief Executive Officer, CEO, of an Ibadan based Radio Station, Agidigbo FM, Alhaji Oriyomi Hamzat, who was arrested and whisked to Abuja, on Thursday, has regained his freedom, we reliably gathered this morning.

Recall that Hamzat was arrested by Force Intelligence Bureau, FIB, operatives over his alleged role in seeking justice for a gruesome murder of a Postgraduate student of the Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, Ile Ife in Osun State, Mr. Timothy Adegoke.

Recall also that Adegoke died in one of the hotels belonging to the Maye of Ife, Chief Ramon Adedoyin late last year. Adedoyin and some of his hotel staffers have been arrested and currently facing murder charges in connection with the killing.

A competent Radio station source, however, who did not want his name in print told Our Correspondent that: “Oga, Alhaji Hamzat, will reunite with us today. He will be in Ibadan from Abuja any moment from now.”

Police had earlier said he was arrested in connection with a case of Cyber Bullying under investigation.

Its position was made known in a statement signed by Force Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi and made available to newsmen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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