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ASUU to members: remain resolute
•‘Ultimatum now Monday’
The Federal Government shifted yesterday its ultimatum for the reopening of universities till Monday.
The deadline of its resume-or-be-sacked-directive to striking teachers would have been today.
Supervising Minister of Education Nyesom Wike, who gave the much criticised directive, announced the shift of date.
He said since the family of the late Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) ex-President Prof. Festus Iyayi informed the ministry of funeral rites for weekend, the resumption date had to be shifted to enable the government participate in the ceremony.
Wike said: “The decision to shift the date of the compulsory resumption of federal universities for academic activities is now Monday, December 9. This decision has been taken as a result of the respect we have for the former ASUU President.”
He said the Federal Government took the decision to re-open the universities in the interest of Nigerians and not to engage in a showdown with ASUU.
Wike said Nigerians should appreciate that the pro-chancellors and chairmen of the federal universities Governing Councils took the decision to re-open the schools, pointing out that the Federal Government’s directive was to the vice chancellors who are expected to comply with the decision of the pro-chancellors.
The Minister said the Federal Government had already opened a dedicated account for the revival of infrastructure in the universities.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, has signed the resolution that the Federal Government will commit N1.3trillion into the revival of infrastructure in the universities, he said, adding that the advertisement of internal and external vacancies is part of the process to address the shortage of manpower in the nation’s universities.
According to Wike, the Federal Government has implemented over 80per cent of the issues contained in the 2009 agreement, with only the payment of earned allowances and revitalisation of infrastructure pending.
“The Federal Government appreciates the need to revive infrastructure in our universities and other tertiary institutions, hence the government has put in place the process to effectively address the challenges identified by the NEEDS Assessment report voluntarily initiated by President Goodluck Jonathan,” the minister said.
National Universities Commission (NUC) Executive Secretary Prof. Julius Okojie is displeased that ASUU members are yet to call off the strike.
He said the deadline was not a threat but a call to go back to work.
But ASUU restated its rejection of the ultimatum, issuing yesterday a 14-point guideline to its members on why they must sustain the strike.
It also said no external force was behind its action and spurned sack threats because, according to ASUU, such a measure is against the Labour Act and the International Labour Organisation’s Convention.
The union made its position known in Strike Bulletin No. 14, signed by ASUU National President Dr. Nasir Isa Fagge.
ASUU said: “Our union, as you know, derives its strength from members. Government fallacy of ‘external forces’ behind our union only betrays its desperation to distract our genuine cause. You know better!
“Do not believe in the falsehood being peddled by certain persons as regards some fictitious ratio of branches that voted for suspension of strike.
“ASUU operates strong internal democracy and is capable of taking critical decisions on matters of concern to the Union. Your Union will always do your bidding.
“Our struggle is on course; the threat of sack for failure to sign resumption of duty register is part of the oppression that failed in the past. It will fail again.”
The union came up with 14 guidelines signaling that it is prepared for a long drawn battle with the Federal Government.
The guidelines read in part:
•Do not sign any resumption of duty. Government is out to humiliate us. Hold your head high. This too shall pass!!!
•If you receive any query on account of the ongoing strike, failure to sign resumption of duty register, etc, bring such to the attention of the branch chairperson immediately for guidance.
•It is a general knowledge that members of ASUU are on a national strike. It is against the Labour Act and the ILO convention to sack anybody on account of participation in a strike, no matter how remotely related.
•Remain resolute and refrain from violating the ongoing strike. Our Union is capable of protecting its members.
•Meanwhile, be security conscious. Do not visit security agencies alone. In case of difficulties, always consult your Chairperson.
•With our collective resolve, we can again brush off this unwarranted and provocative onslaught. Stand to be counted on the positive side of history. Do not betray your union.
The leadership of ASUU also justified its struggle and insisted that it is in the public interest.
It said: “Our collective national struggle to save the future of public system has entered yet another critical phase. The National Strike Coordinating Committee(NSCC) commends all members for their steadfastness and commitment to this patriotic cause.
“When we commenced the strike, we were clear as to the possible antics of Government, such as attack on our Union, stoppage of salaries, harassment through security agencies, opening of resumption of duty registers, sacking , etc, all aimed at breaking our resolve
“For five months, we have weathered the storm of persecution, oppression, media attack, manipulation of public opinion by government and its agent against our cause, stoppage of salaries, etc. With our sacrifice and dogged determination, we have remained standing.
“In our interactions with government, we craved for better funding, but arrived at a resolution upon which it offered to begin the process of revitalising the Universities by making available N200bn in 2013 and follow with a release of N220bn annually for another five years.
“Our congresses considered the offer by Government and resolved that the strike be suspended after incorporating the ‘non victimisation clause’, ‘the commencement of renegotiation of FGN/ASUU Agreement by 2014’ and the endorsement of the new MoU by representatives of Government and ASUU with NLC President as witness. We have not made a fresh demand.
“For a Government that recently raised question on the validity of its own document (MoU) even when it was signed by the Permanent Secretary for the Minister of Education, have we done anything wrong by insisting that the MoU be duly endorsed?”
Lecturers of the states and Federal universities in the Southwest said they remained resolute.
They described as “primitive and derogatory”, the threat of the Federal government to sack them, should they fail to return to the class, saying a government that could hurry to inject over two trillion naira into ailing banks that are privately owned should not find it difficult to infuse N200bn into public universities across the country.
Addressing reporters on the main campus of the Olabisi Onabanjo University(OOU), Ago – Iwoye, Ogun State, the local ASUU chair, Dr Adesola Nassir, said the Ibadan Zone of ASUU comprising University of Ibadan, University of Lagos, Lagos State University, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta and Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijagun, would sustain the strike.
Nassir said: “Not Nyesom Wike, Doyin Okupe, Julius Okojie was given the mandate to manage the affairs of this country, education sector inclusive.”
Nassir said: “We just want Nigerians to know that ASUU is not going to be cowed. We are very strict as to the reason why we embarked on strike, we want our universities to be repositioned so that they can churn out the type of graduates that would fit into roles that will power the development of this country.
“We cannot continue to be accomplices in the process of producing the half-baked graduates, as we have been accused of.
“Our position is very clear: the Federal government said it was going to infuse N200bn into the universities in 2010, we are barely three or a little over that today in 2013 and our union is saying, government must live by what it has said it would do.Add a comment
New PDP Raises Alarm, Urges PDP Elders To Save Party From Doom
After a careful review of developments in our troubled party, PDP, the New Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP) wishes to make a passionate appeal to PDP Elders to take urgent steps to rescue the party from imminent doom. We are forced to cry out because of the unbelievable silence of our revered Party Elders in the face of the chain of developments instigated by factional National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, which has put the party at the edge of the precipice.Add a comment
Tukur’s latest act of impunity is the illegal suspension of four pillars of the party in the persons of Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, erstwhile National Chairman of PDP; Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, the incumbent National Secretary of PDP; Dr. Sam Sam Jaja, immediate National Deputy Chairman of the party; and National Vice-Chairman, North West, Ambassador Ibrahim Kazaure. What is more, Tukur did not stop at that but asked them to appear before an illegally constituted Disciplinary Committee under the Chairmanship of Alhaji Umaru Dikko, a non-party member who is currently the National Chairman of another political party, the United Democratic Party (UDP). What a fallacy!
Tukur has vowed that even the Supreme Court cannot force him to reinstate Prince Oyinlola as the National Secretary of PDP, not to talk of any member of the party including the National Leader of PDP, President Jonathan! Na wao o!.
He has also boasted that nothing would stop him from ensuring that the G4 comprising the alleged suspended party chiefs enumerated above are expelled as he has concluded plans with his hawks that these four must be thrown out of the party by Wednesday, November 27, on a fathom excuse alien to the constitution of PDP.
As if that is not enough, Alhaji Tukur has also told whoever cares to listen that the proposed peace meeting of President Goodluck Jonathan and the G7 Governors cannot see the light of the day as long as he is the National Chairman of PDP. Instructively and shockingly, the meeting which was scheduled to be held last night was put off at the last minute by Mr. President, who is the PDP National Leader, despite publicly announcing that he was fit again and set to resume work last night upon his return from his London trip. God help us all!
We ask: Why are the founding fathers of PDP keeping mum while Tukur and his misguided collaborators are hell bent on destroying our party and making it vulnerable before the 2015 general elections? Where is Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, erstwhile Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, who recruited this man into the PDP through Chief Nath Yaduma? Why is he keeping quiet while the party he sacrificed all to establish is being destroyed by his kinsman?
Where are the Dr. Alex Ekwuemes, Prof. Jerry Ganas, Cheif Audu Ogbes, Chief Barnabas Gemades and all those who risked their lives to ensure that PDP was formed to challenge the military? Why are these greats allowing a single man to ruin PDP, once touted as the poster boy of democracy in Africa? Where is General Abubakar Abdulsalami, who under his watch this great party was born? Where is Chief Tony Anineh the longest serving BOT Chairman of PDP? Where is erstwhile President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo who prepared PDP to rule Nigeria for the next 100 years? Why are they maintaining grave and grievous silence and allowing this great institution to be reduced as an opposition political party in their life time? We weep for our dear party that has become a laughing stock in the comity of nations! Oh! What an unspeakable tragedy!
Today, our party has been reduced to a laughing stock. PDP is now known as the party that does not know the supremacy of figure 19 to 16 following the strange refusal to recognise Governor Chibuike Amaechi, who roundly defeated Governor Jonah Jang during the last Nigeria Governors’ Forum election. By the same token, Tukur and his cohorts chose to identify with minority members of the Rivers State House of Assembly (only five members) over and above the greater 27 members. And our leaders are all keeping quiet as if we all are under a spell!
Tukur’ desperation to illegally expel the G4 is yet another manifestation of the impunity which started with the unjust, unfair and unconstitutional dissolution the Adamawa State Executive Committee of the party, followed by series of other unjust acts of impunity including the dissolution of the Rivers State PDP Executive and the suspension of the Governor of Sokoto State for allegedly not receiving Alhaji Tukur’s phone call.
Yesterday it was the Governors of Adamawa, Rivers, Sokoto and Kano and their colleagues in G7. Today it is the G4. Who will Tukur’s vindictive and visionless leadership consume tomorrow? If we all don’t stand up to these people we shall all be victims of their impunity and injustice. Beyond that, they may even destroy, not only the PDP but, indeed, the very fabric of our democracy.
We therefore call on our revered Party Elders and other well-meaning Nigerians to rise up with one voice and one purpose to put a stop to all forms of impunity and injustice by the group that parades itself as the National Leadership of the PDP located at Wadata Plaza in Abuja. The battle should not be left to the New PDP alone because, as the ruling party since Nigeria’s return to democracy in May 1999, the country’s fate is also tied to the fate of PDP.
Long live NPDP!
Long live Nigeria!!!
Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze
National Publicity Secretary, NPDP
Tread Softly: Oyinlola's Counsel Warns PDP
The Peoples Democratic Party has been enjoined ‘’to tread slowly in order not to render superior courts of records toothless’’ in its current attempts to enforce disciplinary actions against the National Secretary of the Party, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, Dr. Sam Sam Jaja and Ambassador Ibrahim Kazaure, who have all been accused of violating some provisions of the PDP constitution. The four officials of the party have been arraigned before the Umaru Dikko led disciplinary committee of the Party.Add a comment
In a correspondence dated November 21, 2013, addressed and forwarded to the National Chairman of the PDP and signed by Mr. Awa Kalu, SAN, representing Oyinlola and others; the counsel informed the national chairman and the PDP that he had instructions of the four officials invited to appear before the disciplinary panel next Wednesday to act on to act on their behalf in the matter under reference.
‘’Our instruction is that notwithstanding pending litigations, the distinguished party of which you are the national chairman, intends to put machinery in motion aimed at making mockery of the Judicial process and thus the Rule of Law’’. May we respectfully inform you that Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/774/13, (Prince Oyinlola and 3 Others vs PDP and Another) is presently pending in Court No 6 of the Federal High Court, Abuja Division’’. In addition, there is a pending appeal at the Supreme Court arising from the Court of Appeal Suit No CA/A/84/2013 (Chief Adebayo Dayo & Another vs Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola & 2 Others) in which the Court of Appeal in which the Court of Appeal dealt with the subject matter of your intended disciplinary proceedings’’.
"It is on the basis of the above that we urge you to tread slowly in order not to render superior courts toothless’’
‘’I thank you for your statesmanly understanding’’
Awa U. Kalu, SAN
Account for Missing $5 Billion, New PDP Tells FG
The New Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP) has challenged the Federal Government to account for the $5 billion which according to reports allegedly disappeared from the nation’s Excess Crude Account (ECA).Add a comment
The party threw the challenge after a careful study of the disclosure made by the Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, while declaring open the second annual retreat of the NGF on 15th November, 2013 in Sokoto.
According to Governor Amaechi, the Excess Crude Account stood at $9 billion last January but has shrunk to only $4 billion as at today.
The factional PDP in a statement in Abuja, Sunday, November 17, 2013 to NF-Reports by its National Publicist, Eze Chukwuemeka Eze considered the development too weighty to be swept under the carpet.
“We consider this development too weighty to be swept under the carpet in view of the stature of the person making the allegation and the realities on ground. For all intents and purposes, Gov. Amaechi is not a frivolous person and is not known for making frivolous claims. We told Nigerians about the poor handling of our common patrimony by this administration and sadly nobody took us seriously as today, the unmistakable evidence is that Nigeria is broke as the Federal Government now finds it difficult to meet its obligations to states, local governments and contractors” the statement noted.
The group commended the NGF Chairman for bringing the matter to the open and hereby challenges the Federal Government to come to tell Nigerians what it did with the money.
The splinter PDP challenged the anti-graft agencies to prove their relevance by unearthing the whereabouts of the huge sum of money.
While congratulating the NGF for a successful retreat, the faction said it fully support the NGF call for transparency in the operations of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the need to develop a National Security Framework for the country.
“That this administration is running for a price award as the most corrupt administration in the annals of governance in Nigeria is not in doubt but we urge Nigerians to heed the advice of the NGF and stop being docile in the face of monumental impunity in the country. This, in reality, is the only way to rescue Nigeria from the path of doom” the statement concluded.