After suspending their 9-month-old strike, The Academic Union of Universities on Wednesday threatened that it might resume the suspending strike in February.
The National President of ASUU, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi in an interview with PUNCH, explained that if the Federal Government failed to implement agreements it signed with the lecturers then the suspended strike would be resumed by February 2021.
He said, “The Federal Government made promises about our demands and we have timelines attached to them. On the demand for revitalisation, they promised to give N30b before the end of this month.
“They promised earned academic allowances. On the visitation panel, they have told us part of the preparations. We talked about renegotiation that is going. We have had two meetings already and more meetings will continue in the New Year.
“The withheld salaries are being released. So with that, we believe that normalcy should return to our universities. We made it clear, if government reneges, our members are ready to withdraw their services and we made that clear to government.
“By end of February, we are going to review the situations with the government so that with that there is a kind of monitoring mechanism.”
On the other end, The Non-Academic Staff Union in universities threatened to go on strike over N40bn earned allowances government promised to release to all unions.
The Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions, the National Association of Academic Technologists and the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities claims that the government plans to give 75 per cent of the fund to ASUU, leaving 25 per cent for the other three unions.
Speaking on the issue on Wednesday at a press conference in Abuja, the National President of NAAT, Ibeji Nwokomma, said government should correct the alleged imbalance.
He stated, “My union is rejecting the sharing formula of the earned allowances as it is being done presently by the government. Government has allocated 75 per cent of the money to ASUU and 25 per cent to all non-teaching unions in the universities. That is grossly inadequate.
Ibeji Nwokomma also claimed that ASUU doesn’t have the monopoly of going on strikes in order to get their demands.
He said, “That is robbing Peter to pay Paul and using divide and rule in the university system. No union, not even ASUU, has the monopoly of opening or closing of schools through strikes; other unions also have that capacity to ensure that the system does not work.
“Secondly, my union, ASUU and other unions negotiated with the government. So, payment of earned allowances will be based on unions. It should be on the basis of the 2009 agreements. That is where the earned allowances are derived from.
“So lumping my union with other non-teaching staff is neither here nor there and totally unacceptable to us.”
Speaking further, Nwokomma said NAAT signed a memorandum of understanding with the government on November 15, 2020, where it was clearly stated that the government would define what each union would get from the N40bn.
He said, “My union is asking that our own earned allowances should be specified, just like they did to ASUU. If nothing is done, we will close down the system until we are fairly treated.
“Government should convene a meeting immediately to settle this issue, otherwise, any wish that schools will reopen, they are just wasting their time; schools will not reopen until these issues are adequately taken care of,” he warned.
The SSANU National President, Mohammed Ibrahim also claims that his union would not accept the FG’s sharing formula.
According to him, he said, “Honestly, I believe that this remains a rumour even though I know it could be true; I have seen 75 per cent and 25 per cent.
“But truly, if it is that, we have stated in no uncertain terms that we will not take that kind of lopsided allocation again. What is the scientific measurement used to share this money? We have stated before now that the least we can take is 50-50, they (ASUU members) are not more in numbers.”
“We will not waste time in ensuring that we mobilise our members to also fight for our own. What it means is that government will only listen to a fight. Most of us are administrators for God’s sake and that is why we don’t see strikes as fashionable, but when we are pushed to the wall, we will react.”
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Renaming My University Is Impossible- Rochas Okorocha Warns Uzodimma
In reaction to the Governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodimma’s announcement of renaming the Eastern Palm University to K. O. Mbadiwe University due to the decamping of the son of the late politician and ambassador, Greg Mbadiwe to the All Progressives Congress (APC), the former Governor of the state, Rochas Okorocha has said that renaming the University without his consent is impossible.
Rochas Okorocha, who is currently representing Imo West senatorial district stated that the university was set up based on a public-private partnership between the state and the Rochas Foundation, added that it will be contemptuous for Governor Hope Uzodimma to rename the Eastern Palm University.
Okorocha also faulted the State assembly’s repealment of the law establishing the university. He said;
“The law establishing the University prescribed the PPP arrangement.
“Since that was the setting, the Assembly, therefore, defaulted or had acted in contravention of the law by not getting the consent or agreement of the two parties involved, on the reported repeal.
“In other words, the repeal only existed in the imaginations of those behind it.”
The Senator who revealed that he established and got licences for five universities and four polytechnics while he was governor, accused the lawmakers and the state government of disregarding a pending court case on the matter.
“For both the Assembly and the government to be taking one-sided decisions on the fate of the university, without reference to the main party and the court matter, has only made their actions questionable and contemptuous.
“A university is not a street one can rename or change its name at a polling unit where he had gone to revalidate his membership of APC. So, the claimed renaming of the university does not add up in reality.
“The purported repeal of the law establishing the university without recourse to the position of one of the parties has also made the Assembly a willing party in the matter in court.
“Until the court decides on the matter before it, there is nothing anybody can do about that.”
FUOYE Orders Strict COVID-19 Guideline Following Closure By Ekiti COVID-19 Task Force
After the shutdown of physical classes and laboratories in Federal University Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE) by the Ekiti State COVID-19 Response Task Force following violation of guidelines, the management of the University, on Sunday appealed to the university community and the public to remain calm and shun distractions that could hamper their academic target.
The University’s management in a statement titled, ‘FUOYE management’s response to Ekiti NCDC visit’, through its Deputy Director, Corporate Information Services, Adeyinka Ademuyiwa, said the university had taken steps on the observations of few infractions against COVID-19 protocol during a lecture in a classroom/ laboratory.
Why was physical activities stopped in the University?
The Coordinator, Ekiti State COVID-19 Response Task Force, Prof. Mobolaji Aluko, had, following widespread violation of COVID-19 guidelines observed during a surprise visit to FUOYE on Friday, directed the university authorities to shut down all physical classes and laboratories until further notice.
FUOYE management’s reponse.
But Ademuyiwa said, “The management has immediately directed the university community, particularly students and staff to follow strictly the guidelines established for post-COVID resumption of academic activities, which stipulated virtual lecture delivery mode for large classes and compulsory wearing of masks on campus.
“Other measures taken include monitoring of lectures and enforcement of compliance by the university committee task force; immediate reticulation of water for hand washing on both campuses and display of more banners and posters for more sensitisation and compliance and provision of more sanitisers and infrared thermometer in strategic locations.”
The management urged the university community to “stay focused and shun distractions that could jeopardise our goal of finishing 2019/2020 academic session as scheduled.”
BREAKING: 3 EBSU Dead After They Suffocate While Writing GST Exam
Three students of the Ebonyi State University (EBSU) allegedly died after they suffocated while attempting to write a GST exam in a crowded hall on Wednesday.
According to acquired footage shared online showed hundreds of students struggling to get a space in the hall for the exam.
During the struggle, eight students reportedly fainted, some got injured, and some suffocated to death.
Footage shows students rushing unconscious students out to the open space so they can get air.
Some allegedly never regained consciousness.
SEE THE VIDEO BELOW:
Below are Twitter reactions from students and videos of the incident.
Swipe below to watch the videos.
Rufus Giwa Polytechnic Student Macheted To Death
A student of Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo, Ondo State was macheted to death by some unknown armed persons on Wednesday.
The Polytechnic’s Public Relations Officer, Samuel Ojo, who confirmed the incident said the reason for the attack is still unknown.
Ojo dismissed rumours that the killing might be connected with the Student Union Government elections which is holding this week. He said there was no evidence to back up the claims that the killing is connected with the SUG elections and that the killing happened outside the polytechnic campus.
Ojo added that an official statement on the incident will be released later.
Kaduna State Govt. Approves Partial Opening Of Schools
The Kaduna State Government has approved Monday, February 1, 2021, as the resumption date for some primary and secondary school students in the state.
The Permanent Secretary of the state Ministry of Education, Phoebe Yayi said only SS3, JSS3, and JSS1 students of public and private secondary schools are to resume on Monday, while primary 6, 5, and 4 of Private Schools only are to resume on the same day.
Phoebe who disclosed that all public Primary Schools remain closed until all the COVID-19 protocols have been properly put in place before they will be opened, said the decision to reopen the schools was taken after extensive appraisal of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the State and a series of consultations with relevant stakeholders of both State and Federal Health and Education sectors within and across the State.
The appropriate resumption dates for the rest of the classes SS2, SS1 and JSS 2 in public and private schools and Primary 3, 2, 1, and Nursery classes will be announced at the appropriate time.
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