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Asuu Strike: Time for FG and Union to reach consensus and resume lectures

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After an extensive deliberation that lasted days, the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has embarked on an indefinite strike action.

ASUU President, Biodun Ogunyemi, said all means of negotiation had been exploited before the decision on an indefinite strike action was reached.

The grouse of the university teachers are as follows: The inability of the Federal Government to implement some of the issues contained in a 2009 agreement it had with ASUU as well as payments of allowances.

The lecturers have complained of poor funding of universities, part-payment of salaries of lecturers and the kidnap of two lecturers of the University of Maiduguri by the Boko Haram.

For the umpteenth time, our education sector has been thrown into another avoidable industrial action

It is against this background that Nigerians condemns the levity with which federal government handled the numerous agreements it had reached with the union, and failing to implement the agreement.

It is obvious that the federal government have not proved to be honorable in ensuring the faithful implementation of the agreements they entered with the academics since 2009. This has engendered a lack of trust and confidence of the scholars in the government. This latest strike action will disrupt the academic calendar of the affected public tertiary institutions.

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With this development, many final year students who are supposed to graduate this year may not be able to do so. The ripple effect of this is that with delayed graduation, medical students who should go for their housemanship; law students who should go for their law school programme and the generality of other students who should be mobilised for their mandatory one-year national service scheme would also have theirs postponed.

In the long run, it is the students’ destinies that are generally being manipulated with these endless industrial actions.

Many of these students would now have time to fully engage in social vices such as prostitution, cultism, kidnapping, armed robbery, fraud and many others to while away time as well as make illicit money.

It will be difficult for many of them to seek proper legitimate job as they are not certain when their lecturers will call off their strike; more so, they have no meaningful qualifications to seek full employment.

The disruption of studies of the students will also have negative psychological impact on them. By the time the strike is over, many of the students would most likely have forgotten what they were taught before the unwarranted break.

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Is this how we want to continue to frame the future generations of this country?

From the foregoing, it is pertinent to appeal to federal government to implement the dictates of the 2009 agreement it entered with the academic union. Government should also quickly consider the issues of poor funding of universities, part-payment of salaries of lecturers and the kidnap of two lecturers of the University of Maiduguri by the Boko Haram which had led to the strike action. Nigeria’s education sector needs to be properly funded given the primacy role the sector plays in human capital development.

Furthermore, Nigerians appeal to members of the academic staff union to soft pedal on their demands, particularly the ‘payment of allowance’. Asking for payments of allowances during recession may not seem right.

The union should give the government more time, and the benefit of the doubt by going back to work in the interest of their suffering students. Let’s save our tottering education sector from the imminent total collapse.

 

By Gbenga Odunsi

 

 

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National Issues

#ENDSARS: Buhari to address the Nation at 7pm on Thursday

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President Muhammadu Buhari will make will make a national broadcast Thursday, October 22, 2020 at 7pm.

This was stated in a Press Statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adriana

According to him, “Following detailed briefing by security chiefs on the current situation in the country, President Muhammadu Buhari

”Television, radio and other electronic media outlets are enjoined to hook up to the network services of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) and Radio Nigeria respectively for the broadcast”.

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National Issues

#ENDSARS: ‘Military offensive on protesters is an abomination, Akande -Sadipe talks tough

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Akande-Sadipe

The Chairperson, House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora Affairs, Hon. Tolulope Akande-Sadipe has called on President Muhammed Buhari to address the killing of unarmed protesters across the nation, while condemning the killing of protesters by Armed Security operatives in the country.

Tolulope Akande Sadipe in a statement made available to journalists on Wednesday said, “I weep for my beloved country, Nigeria. This is the Darkest Moment in our Nation. The Current Action is Unacceptable”.

She wondered why men of the Nigerian Army turned on the people they were meant to Protect, firing live bullets at citizens holding the Nigerian Flag and chanting the National Anthem, describing such as an “Abomination”.

“I, as a member of the House of Representatives cannot keep quiet in the midst of this abominable action. I was duly elected to be the voice of my people and my people are weeping”, she said.

She opined that the protests were about a generation trying to end the systematic rot that pervades the society, which had eaten deep into the fabrics of the Nation.

The APC chieftain  continued, “We need to be honest with one another on this matter. We need to face the truth on ground. The youths were out there because they are tired and fed up of victimization, daily oppression, injustice, unemployment, untapped talents, lack of opportunity, poor healthcare, poor education and lack of infrastructure and power across the Nation. The Youths are protesting for a better future for themselves and their children. The #EndSARS PROTEST stands for the systematic ROT in our Nation.

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“This was about the realities on ground. This was about the ROT since independence. This was about genuine service to the people who elected us to represent them. This was not about the President, this was not about the current administration, this was not about North and South, this was not about Religion. This was not about party affiliation. This was about a Generation trying to end the systematic ROT that pervades our society”.

Speaking against the backdrop that there are some external forces pushing for the destruction of Nigeria, the lawmaker representing Oluyole Federal Constituency  said the Federal Government should genuinely address issues.

“Those alluding, that there is a 5th Columnist within or external, there is a solution. If there is a 5th columnist or external negative force, pushing for the destruction of Nigeria, if we do the right thing, by genuinely addressing the issues that have led to the distrust between leadership and our youths, by addressing the rot that has pervaded our Nation. The 5th columnist in our midst or external negative force, would fail. But with this action, what have we said to the Youth and to the world.

“This is the time to make the wrongs right and it is not by bringing out the Army to shoot its own citizens, that we achieve this. We can still put a stop to this inferno. We must realize that no position is permanent and it is the country we make that we shall all live in”, she added.

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Concluding, she empathized with all the families of fallen Youth Patriots, praying that their death would not be in vain.

 

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National Issues

Nigeria Excluded From 2022 US Visa Lottery

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Nigeria has been barred from the US visa lottery application for 2022, a document obtained from the US Government website showed. 

In a 19-page document published on the website, Nigeria is the only African country barred from the visa lottery.

“For DV-2022, persons born in the following countries are not eligible to apply, because more than, 50,000 natives of these countries immigrated to the United States in the previous five years: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (including Hong Kong SAR), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam,” the document read. “Persons born in Macau SAR and Taiwan are eligible.”

Although natives of other African countries are allowed to apply, the document explained that “persons born in the areas administered prior to June 1967 by Israel, Jordan, Syria, and Egypt are chargeable, respectively, to Israel, Jordan, Syria, and Egypt,” it said.

“Persons born in the Gaza Strip are chargeable to Egypt; persons born in the West Bank are chargeable to Jordan; persons born in the Golan Heights are chargeable to Syria.”

In the document captioned “Instructions for the 2022 diversity immigrant visa program (dv-2022),” applicants must meet certain guidelines to be eligible for the visa lottery.

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“The Department of State determines selectees through a randomized computer drawing,” the statement added.

“The Department of State distributes diversity visas among six geographic regions, and no single country may receive more than seven per cent of the available DVs in any one year.”

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