ASUU Vs FG: Minister walks out on NANS, as students protest
The Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, yesterday in Abuja was reported to have walked out on students protesting the continued face-off between the government and members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, who have paralysed academic activities in the nation’s universities.
The students, under the aegis of the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, had taken their protest to the minister’s office, clutching placards demanding a quick resolution of the crisis.
Commenting on the development, Asefon said: ”We only asked the minister one or two questions about what the government is doing to resolve the impasse, when he angrily left us and went inside. ”We are surprised at the development because as students, we are the ones bearing the brunt of the strike. We are going to hold a meeting to deliberate on the next step to take and we will get back to you,” he said on phone.
Protest in Oyo
Meanwhile, protests by students calling on the government to find a solution to the matter took place in some major towns and cities across the country.
In Oyo State, the B Zone of NANS, yesterday threatened to block all federal roads in the state, if the crisis was not resolved.
The students at a peaceful demonstration held at the secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Press Centre, Iyaganku, Ibadan, carried placards with different inscriptions such as: “FG and ASUU: Stop the madness”; “Incessant ASUU/FG face-off, a demonstration of craze”; “At the end of every strike, only students lose”; among others.
The Southwest Coordinator of NANS, Comrade Tegbe Steven Fiyinfoluwa, who addressed newsmen after the protest, vowed that the association would block all federal roads, starting from today, if the government and ASUU failed to reach an agreement, yesterday.
He said: “We are holding our peaceful demonstration here today (yesterday) Monday, because of the lingering crisis between ASUU and federal government which has been a recurring event over the years. Unfortunately, we students are at the receiving end.
“We are calling on the federal government to learn how to respect agreements. We have seen on many occasions when the federal government and ASUU reached an agreement but the federal government failed to fulfil its part of the agreement. We are also calling on ASUU to have a decisive way of spending their resources, even when their demands are met.”
Protest in Kano
In Kano, the students, who stormed the Ministry of Higher Education situated in Gidan Murtala, also carried placards and chanted solidarity songs.
The students, led by Yazid Tanko Mohammed, said they were always at the receiving end of the face-off.
Mohammed said: “ASUU has been going on strike since 2009, and students are always the victims of the strike. We are not benefiting from the strike. Instead, we are always at the receiving end. Imagine, a programme that is supposed to last for four years will take up to six years. And the one meant for five years will take up to seven to eight years,” Mohammed lamented.
Responding, the Commissioner for Higher Education, Dr. Mariya Bunkure, who was represented by the Director, Academics Planning, Musa Gambo, assured the students that the Ministry would convey their message to Kano State governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, for onward submission to President Muhammadu Buhari.
He appreciated the manner the students conducted themselves peacefully during the protest.
Protest in Osun
Some students in Osun State, under the aegis of National Association of Nigerian Students and Joint Campus Committee, NANS/JCC, Osun axis, yesterday stormed the streets in the state capital, Osogbo, protesting the FG\ASUU debacle.
Addressing journalists at Oke-Fia, the Chairman, NANS/JCC, Osun Axis, Comrade Oyelayo Afeez, said the protest was to make ASUU and FG realise that their action was at the detriment of students, who paid to access education.
“We are demanding an end to the incessant dispute between ASUU and the FG, it affects students. We are paying to access education in Nigeria, yet, government and the union seem not bothered about our situation,” he said.
Meeting of the two parties
Meanwhile, another round of meeting by the two sides is slated for today in Abuja.
The government’s team is expected to include the Education Minister, Adamu Adamu, and his Labour Ministry counterpart, Dr Chris Ngige, while the National President of ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, will lead the union’s team.
Their previous meeting did not achieve much, as the union accused the government’s delegation of not preparing for anything and acting as if they were not familiar with the issues in contention.
ASUU had been on strike since February 14 because of the failure of the FG to renegotiate the 2009 agreement, the replacement of the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System, IPPIS, with the University Transparency and Accountability Solution, UTAS, as the payment platform in the university sector, among others.
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Osodeke, ASUU President to deliver 14th Ralph Opara Memorial Lecture
The President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities,( ASUU) Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke will on Friday February 3 deliver the 14th edition of the Ralph Opara Memorial Lecture at Akin Deko Memorial Lecture Auditorium, University of Benin, Benin, Edo State.
Prof Osodeke will be speaking on the theme: State of Tertiary Education in Nigeria: Identifying Historical Issues and Misconceptions; Contemplating Solutions.
The lecture , an initiative of the National Association of Seadogs (Pyrates Confraternity) was instituted to honour one of its founders, Ralph Opara, a prolific writer, producer and broadcaster.
The NAS Capoon , Mr Abiola Owoaje in statement said over the years, the Ralph Opara Memorial Lecture series has emerged as a veritable platform for interrogating topical national and global issues, for engendering and promoting good governance, accountability, democracy, citizens’ participation and economic development.
He disclosed that previous speakers of the Ralph Opara Memorial Lecture include Prof Ukachukwu Awuzie, a former President of ASUU, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, Dr. Sam Amadi, Mr. Femi Falana and Dr. Hussani Abdu.
According to Owoaje this year’s lecture focusing on tertiary education was borne out of the disturbing decadence that pervades Nigeria’s higher institutions.
He stated that as an organisation founded in a university campus that draws its membership strictly from the intellectual pool of university and polytechnic graduates, “we are worried that our higher institutions have lost significant value as citadels of learning due to poor funding, lack of infrastructure and adequate educational and recreation facilities, while becoming a breeding ground for gangsterism, violence and criminality.”
He pointed out that the lecture seeks to address the multifaceted problems in Nigeria’s higher institutions which includes infrastructural development, the scourge of cultism and the perennial indifference of the Nigerian government to the development of higher education in the country.
He disclosed that the event will be chaired by Prof. Temi Akporhonor (Dean, Post Graduate School, Delta State University, Abraka, Delta State) and the special guest discussants include Dr. Joan Oviawe Honourable Commissioner for Education, Edo State), Dr. Osagie Obayuwana (Former Attorney General & Commissioner for Justice, Edo State) and Prof. Samuel Ovenseri Aibueku (Former Director, Joint Universities Preliminary Examinations Board (JUPEB), University of Benin).
The event is expected to attract members of ASUU, university administrators including the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Non-Academic Staff Union of Allied and Education Institutions (NASU), students of tertiary institutions, civil society organisations and the Media.
THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF SEADOGS, PYRATES CONFRATERNITY, ASH MONTANA DECK, CALLS FOR REFORMS IN EDUCATION
The National Association of Seadogs, Pyrates Confraternity, Ash Montana Deck, has advocated reforms and systemic changes in the educational sector in Nigeria, as this will help to achieve a secure, just and progressive society and future. It noted that the country should think outside the box to come up with an educational system and structure that is constructively and productively be forward looking in positioning us for the future and creating the kind of society we desire. It added that instead of adopting and or adapting systems from other climes, we come up with a home-grown hybrid educational system and policies suitable for our unique experience. This call was made during the programme, Panorama on Splash 106.7 FM, Abeokuta, Ogun State, in commemoration of the International Day of Education on 24th January, 2023.
The association reiterated that education is important for a viral society; and without education, there will be no civilisation and no development. Therefore, the government and all stakeholders should, as a matter of urgency, prioritise education for peace and sustainable development. While reacting to some of the problems of education in the state including the issue of out-of-school children, decline in educational development, and lack of interest for education by children and youths these days, the association opined that several factors may be attributed; including, inequality, poverty, insecurity, infrastructure decay, our eroding value systems, violence, and the rather retrogressive, obsolete educational system and policies that seem not to be positioning us to compete globally in the ever changing and emerging dynamics of the world. It appeals to the government and other policy makers to stop paying lip service in addressing the problems be-deviling education in Nigeria. Adding that there should be sincerity of purpose in policy thrust, promises made and their implementation. It added that corruption with its rippling effects is equally at the heart of the problems. Tackling corruption and corrupt practices will go a long way. The association further added that the government should do more to reduce poverty and improve the standard of living for families; provide social amenities for the people; provide and or improve infrastructures in schools.
The International Day of Education is celebrated globally every 24th January to emphasize the importance of education for global peace and sustainable development. Education is at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goal 4; education is a human right, a public good and a social responsibility and everyone is entitled to it, irrespective of age, gender, status, creed and any attachments. With inclusive, equitable quality education, lifelong opportunities can be created for all; individuals and society will develop, and the cycle of poverty will be broken (unesco.org). The global theme for this year’s celebration is: “To invest in people, prioritise education”. An idea that society will develop and progress when it invest in its people through their education. Still in line with the essence of the event and the theme of course, the National Association of Seadogs (Pyrates Confraternity) Ash Montana Deck, adopted the sub-theme: “Reinventing our educational system for a secure and progressive future”. This is contained in its call for educational reforms.
The National Association of Seadogs, Pyrates Confraternity, is a non-profit, non-political, non-religious and detribalised organisation whose aim is to promote a society that upholds human dignity, that
is just, humane and progressive, where no one is a victim of colour, race, gender, ethnic origin, belief, social status, creed or other
discriminatory factors of a similar nature through the use of advocacy and activism, investigative
research, education, public enlightenment,
and litigation to resist, wherever and whenever
such may occur. It is registered with the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Corperate Affairs Commission.
Ash Montana Deck
ASUU to hold emergency meeting tomorrow over suspension of strike
ABUJA-THE striking Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, will convene emergency National Executive Council, NEC meeting on Thursday, to review recent developments, especially the positive response from the federal government to its demands.
Preparatory to the meeting expected to take place at its headquarters in Abuja,the union has directed its zonal branches to collate the views of members through vote during the meetings expected to hold tomorrow in its various zones across the country.
The outcome of the meeting would result in suspension of the strike on late Thursday or Friday morning.
This came as report had emerge in the social media space earlier on Tuesday, claiming that the union had called off the almost 8-month old strike and subsequently directed members to resume academic activities on October 17.
ASUU president, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, while responding to enquiry to that effect, dismissed the report, saying the strike was yet to be suspended.
He, however,said the union was working towards the suspension of the action, saying the action would be dependent on the views of members from the zonal meetings.
The latest action of the lecturers’union came following the intervention of the Speaker of the House of Representatives,Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila.
The Speaker had on Monday,after a meeting with ASUU president and other members,assured that the strike would be suspended very soon, saying his meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari over the union’s action was fruitful.
Earlier,human rights lawyer and counsel to ASUU,Femi Falana,SAN, had also said the union would soon call off its nearly eight-month old strike.
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