POLITICS IN THE WEEK – November 7

By : Josmat Jerry

The first week of November was filled with some talks and dramatic events surrounding the Federal Government (FG) and Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) ‘deadlocked’ meetings as students’ fingers were crossed hopelessly and helplessly in a wait for academic resumption. Also, the University of Ibadan Vice Chancellor Election failed not to prove entertaining to some extent as it has been characterised with ‘faint ups’ and ‘deadly downs’. Here again is the recap of the week’s (1/Nov – 7/Nov/2020) notable political events.

ASUU CANNOT SET THEIR PAYROLL SYSTEM – FG 

Spokesperson of the Ministry of Education, Ben Grong maintained that ASUU cannot dictate how its members should be paid by the federal government. The Federal Government in their statement stated that the condition set by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) before calling off their ongoing strike is “unreasonable”. This is coming as a result of ASUU unyielding stand to call off the strike until an integrity test has been passed on the proposed payment system of the union; the University Transparency and Accountability Solution. (UTAS)

NIGERIA IS IN DISTRESS, SAYS SECONDUS

Prince Uche Secondus, the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said the country is currently in distress. He made the statement on Monday, November 2 during the Bayelsa State Thanksgiving Day Celebration, held at the Ecumenial Centre, Yenagoa. The party chairman said, “Nigeria, at the moment, is in distress, and there cannot be any other occasion than to come to the House of God and face God and to thank Him for what He has done, and what He will do.”

WE DID NOT PROTEST AGAINST UI VC SELECTION PROCESS – ASUU

The Academic Staff Union of Universities, University of Ibadan branch has disengaged itself from the protest which took place on Wednesday, October 28 by some university workers in opposition of the next Vice-chancellor selection of the University. A statement released on October 30 by the union signed by the chairman of ASUU, University of Ibadan, Ayoola Akinwole, expressed that the protest was carried out by members of NASU and SSANU in the University of Ibadan and thereby stated that its members were not part of the protest.

OYO ASSEMBLY SUSPENDS 13 LG CHAIRMEN INDEFINETLY

The Oyo State House of Assembly on Tuesday, November 3 suspended chairmen of 13 Local Government Areas and Local Council Development Areas over failure to submit their performance reports. The decision was taken at the plenary session following the failure of the chairmen to meet up to the Assembly’s performance indicator who had threatened to suspend them if they failed to submit the reports by the October, 2020 deadline.

UI VC : UNION TELLS GOVERNING COUNCIL TO START FRESH ELECTION PROCESS

The Joint Action Congress of the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) and Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) of the University of Ibadan have asked the Governing Council of the University to begin anew the selection process of a new vice chancellor for the university. Wale Akinremi, SSANU chairman, addressing both unions on Monday, October 2 said the selection process was fraught with irregularities and it should be abolished. He said there is need for a new process in which all qualified applicants will be fairly treated.

EL-RUFAI : DESTRUCTION IN LAGOS MOVED ME TO TEARS

The Kaduna State Governor, El-Rufai spoke in Lagos when he visited Sanwo-Olu, Lagos State Governor, to empathise with him on the mayhem that occurred in the state during the protest against police brutality. He said those who are of violence infiltrated the peaceful protest to achieve their destructive agenda. In his statement, “I have spent time to see some of the pictures of the destruction done on public properties in Lagos and I nearly shed tears.”

YOUTHS WILL FEATURE PROMINENTLY IN OBASEKI’S GOVERNMENT, SAYS EDO GOVERNMENT

The Edo State Government has stated that youths in the state will feature actively in the inauguration of the Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, for a second term in office, which will be held alongside the annual Alaghodaro Summit. Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr Crusoe Osagie, said the participation of youths in the events is essential to the governor who has guaranteed that individuals below 40 years will be given front-row seats in his cabinet.

FG, ASUU TALKS DEADLOCKED AGAIN, PARTIES CLASH ON N 30b ALLOWANCE

The meeting between the Academic Staff Union of Universities and the Federal Government ended in a stalemate for the third time on Wednesday, November 4, as the parties again failed to resolve the issues around the payment platform for salaries and other benefits. Besides, ASUU was insisting that the N 30b Earned Allowance offered by the Federal Government would be for its members alone, a demand the government team said was not feasible.

GOVERNOR IKPEAZU SCRAPS ‘PANDEMIC PREVENTION FEE’ IN ABSU

Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State has directed the management of the Abia State University to immediately scrap the “pandemic prevention fee imposed on students in the school”. According to him, his administration will henceforth pay N 30,000 to each Abia Student in the institution as further support to them and their guardians in this very difficult moment of economic downturn by the global health crisis.

RESCUE OF AMERICAN IN NIGERIA, PROOF OF BUHARI’S INCOMPETENCE – PDP

The peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said the swift operation by the United States during which it rescued its citizen held hostage by bandits on Nigerian soil has further confirmed the incompetence of the Buhari administration. The party added, in a statement on Sunday, November 1 that the Buhari Presidency can neither secure Nigeria’s territorial integrity nor arrest the wave of insecurity ravaging the country under its “inept watch”

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