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ASUU explains why it hasn’t called off its eight months old strike

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities ASUU has said it will not be calling off its eight months old strike until the Federal government pays all withheld salaries and fulfills all of the offers made to the union thus far.

The Federal government, in its latest offers to ASUU leadership, pledged to pay N40 billion as Earned Allowance and N30 billion for the revitalization of the university system, bringing the total payment to N70 billion. The government also agreed to settle the arrears of salaries of the lecturers before December 2020, but after due consultation with the government side.

The Federal government also accepted the demand by ASUU that they be exempted from the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) pending the approval of their proposed payment system, the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS).

In a chat with The Nation, ASUU President, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, said none of the promises have been fulfilled and until they are, the union will not call off the strike that started in March this year.

“We are still consulting but certainly before the end of this week we will report to the minister the findings and feedback from our members. The offers people are talking about are proposals that have timeless and some of these things are expected to have been happening. If those things they promised with the timeline can happen before we conclude our consultation I think the process will go smoother.

A concrete example is the payment of our members’ salaries which have not been paid. If people are not paid I don’t think anybody will be willing to go back to work and other things that have timeline that we expect government to implement.

“You don’t expect people, after eight months, to go back to the classrooms on empty stomach. That is where we are.

“Before the end of this new week we will get back to government but we keep on telling them each time they contact us that they (government) should fulfill their own part of the bargain, things that have timelines.”

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Education

SS2 girl missing in Abuja school after permission to fix uniform

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A15-year-old student of the Ceder International College, Abuja, Nimota Olatunde, has gone missing while trying to repair her torn school uniform.

It was gathered that the disappearance of the student had caused panic among her family members and friends.

Olatunde’s mother, Juliana Olajide, who lives in Jos, said on Thursday that her daughter had not been seen since the past one week after she took permission to fix her torn skirt by the school gate.

She said, “It is now eight days since we last saw my 15-year-old daughter, Nimota Olatunde, who is in SS 2 class at Ceder International College, Abuja.

“She was last seen in her school on Wednesday, April 28, 2021.

“According to the school authorities, she went to sew her torn school skirt just by the school gate.

“According to them, she was permitted to go through the primary section gate instead of the main entrance gate because of the way the skirt was torn.

“Since then, no one has seen her. The school tailor also said that my daughter was not seen at the shop that day.

“So, we don’t know what has happened to her.”

Read Also: Prolonged cough could lead to tuberculosis, says expert

The school principal, Olukotun Segun, said the case was already being investigated by the police.

In another development, 13-year-old Treasure Ofunya, who went missing on April 28 while returning from her school, New Era Model School, Jakpa, Effurun, Delta State, has been found.

“I got a call this morning from the Oghara Divisional Police Officer that Treasure was with them.

“I quickly rushed to Oghara, which is near Sapele, and brought her back to Ekpan Police Divisional Headquarters for official documentation,” an elated member of the family, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told our correspondent.

The victim’s elder brother, Merville, also confirmed the development.

The Acting Police Public Relations Officer, Delta State, DSP Bright Edafe, said the victim had been reunited with her family.

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Education

FUOYE council found ex-registrar wanting – VC

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The Vice-Chancellor, Federal University Oye-Ekiti, Prof. Abayomi Fasina, on Sunday said he had nothing to do with the sacking of the institution’s former registrar, Mr Olatunbosun Odusanya.

He added that Odusanya was sacked by the university’s Governing Council.

Fasina advised Odusanya “to stop misleading the public over events leading to the termination of his appointment by the FUOYE Governing Council headed by Dr Mohammad Yahuza.”

Recall that the registrar was  suspended from office on April 20, 2021, to pave the way for investigations into allegations of misconduct levelled against.

Odusanya, in his reaction to the sacking, had accused the VC of being behind his predicament.

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But the VC, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media Matters, Wole Balogun, titled, ‘I am not responsible for your misfortune, VC replies sacked Registrar’, said, “What happened to Odusanya leading to the termination of his appointment was simply a clear case of gross misconduct that bothered on his flagrant violation of the rules and regulations of the university regarding recruitment of staff.

“The authority that found him wanting is the Governing Council of the university ably chaired by Dr Yahuza. The governing council is above me as the highest authority of the university. It was the council that constituted the probe panel that investigated Odusanya’s misconduct.”

He added, “Attributing the consequences of his inactions to vendetta against him from me clearly amounts to character assassination and defamation on his part against my person. I advise him to desist from such unnecessary and fruitless voyage.”

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CONUA demands refund, says members’ dues paid to ASUU

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The leadership of the Congress of University Academics has alleged that check off dues deducted from its members’ salaries were remitted to the Academic Staff Union of Universities.

A statement by the CONUA National Coordinator, Dr Niyi Sunmonu, on Sunday said members of the group complained that dues deducted from their salaries were remitted to ASUU, a union they did not belong to.

Sunmonu urged the Accountant General of the Federation to ensure the refund of what had been deducted from CONUA members, saying it was against the tenets of the law to deduct check off dues of CONUA members for ASUU.

He said CONUA had also requested a stoppage of the remittance of CONUA members’ check off dues to ASUU, and expressed hope that the matter would be urgently addressed.

Also Read: PASAN insists on MoU, others before suspending strike

The statement read in parts, “The leadership of ASUU through its president unilaterally withdrew money running into millions of naira in 2017 from the account of the OAU branch. This illegal act necessitated the request to stop check off dues deduction.

“I urge the Accountant General of the Federation to ensure the refund of what had been deducted from CONUA members. It is inappropriate and against the tenets of the law to deduct check off dues of CONUA members for a union they do not belong to

“CONUA is an independent academic staff union in Nigerian universities. Hence, remitting CONUA members’ dues to another union is tantamount to an attempt to financially strangulate it.”

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