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AAU Industrial Crisis: Our Members, Others Being Owe N4 Trillion, ASUU Laments

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… Wants NUC, Edo Govt’s Intervention

… Urges Edo Govt, Management To Return To Path Of Truth, Dialogue

The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has lamented that the lingering industrial crisis at the Ambrose Alli University, AAU, Ekpoma, has resulted to its members and associations at AAU being owed about N4 trillion.

The union said a recent reduction in the monthly subvention of the university to an abysmally low N41.3 million from N270 million has led to the workers being owed 20 months salary arrears from 2020 to date, with 15 months of unremitted sundry deductions to staff unions.

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Prof. Fred Esumeh, Coordinator, ASUU, Benin Zone, who disclosed this on Monday in Benin at a news conference, said the union frowned at the poor funding and mismanagement of the university’s resources with the management’s inability to meet its obligation of payment of staff emoluments, hence a resort to irregular and selective payment of salaries.

Esumeh, who was joined by the chairmen of branches under the zone, called on the National Universities Commission (NUC) and the Edo Government to urgently intervene in the lingering industrial crisis.

He said the call became expedient due to the marketing of lies, propaganda, mischief and blackmail against the branch of the union in the institution.

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READ ALSO: Management Of AAU, Ekpoma Proposed Salaries Slash, ASUU Kicks

“The state government must of a necessity intervene at this point to clear the arrears of emoluments of workers of the university.

“For what it is, the problem is a catalyst for industrial crisis and therefore a threat to the smooth running of the academic calendar and the general administration of the university”, he said.

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The ASUU leader also described the current management model in the institution as bizarre and far from the idea administrative style of university administration in the country.

The institution, he noted was being run on ad-hoc basis with an amendment to its law, which step up Special Intervention Team (SIP) as against Governing Council required by the NUC.

Esumeh averred that the management might be de-marketing the quality and value of certificate of degree programmes in the school by forcing the resumption of academic activities in the school and illegal conduct of examinations with the input of relevant course lecturers.

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Other issues, the ASUU coordinator said needed stakeholders’ immediate attention included the suppression of staff right and freedom of association, controversial and inconclusive biometrics among others.

To achieve industrial peace at the university, the union leader said the management and the Edo government would have to return to the path of truth, dialogue and sincere commitment to the resolution of the crisis.

“All outstanding emoluments – salaries, check-off dues and other deductions of staff in the university should be paid without further delay to avoid the continuation of the local strike when the national strike is suspended.

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“The Edo Government should approve a bail-out fund for the university and satisfactorily increase the monthly subvention to the university.

READ ALSO: Management’s Move To Resume Academic Activities Collapses, AAU Remains Shut

“The ongoing academic fraud in the university should be investigated and dealt with decisively. We therefore call on the regulatory agency, the NUC to immediately do the needful.

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“The Edo Government should make haste to release a white paper on the report of the Special Visitation Panel to the university in Oct. 2020 to deter further embezzlement of the finances of the university and À of its affairs,” he said.

Esumeh hereby called for the restoration of governing council to pave way for immediate appointment of substantive principal officers.

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ASUU Strike: NANS To Block PH International Airport, Calabar-Itu Highway

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The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), South-South zone has threatened to block the Portharcourt International Airport, the Calabar-Itu highway and shut down critical infrastructures in the zone if the strike by the Association of Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) persists.

The South-South Coordinator, NANS ZONE B, Kings Tamarapreye disclosed this over the weekend during a press conference in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital.

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Urging ASUU to heed to court and call off the 8-month- old strike, NANS urged the federal government to also accede to the demands of ASUU saying that students suffer the most.

Tamarapreye threatened that if NANS demands are not considered, their next action may be ‘worse than the EndSARS protest.

The statement read in parts, “As the leadership of NANS ZONE B, we wish to restate our total commitment towards the return of Nigerian students to the various campuses.

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“We give a vote of confidence to comrade Usman Barambu-led administration for a job Weldon in bridging the gap between the federal government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

“We reaffirm our total stand by calling the body to honour the order of reopening the institutions as we equally call on the federal government to as a matter of urgency subscribe to the demands of ASUU.

READ ALSO: Mysterious How Adamu, Ngige Still In Office While ASUU Strike Persists – Rights Activist

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“It is on record that in this particular Zone (NANS Zone B, South-South), we have led several forms of protest to see how we can return students to school because the main reason we were elected leaders is to prioritize the welfare of the students.

“It is a sad thing that for eight months now, Nigerian students are still at home. It is on record that we have blocked the roads of Akwa Ibom and the Cross River States in solidarity.

“There was a memo for the mobilization of the nation shut down and it is still on course. As we are appealing to ASUU to listen to the court order and return to school, if they fail, we will mobilize and shut down the whole country because the federal government has been so nonchalant to education in this country.

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“We all know that education in this country is underfunded and we will not fold our arms, it is time we take our destinies into our hands. In this South-South region, we are going to block the Portharcourt International airport, block Calabar-Itu highway as well as other infrastructures.”

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Strike: Shift Grounds In The interest Of Nigerian Students, Kumuyi Tells FG, ASUU

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The General Overseer of the Deeper Life Bible Church, Pastor W. F Kumuyi, has urged the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASSU, to shift grounds in resolving the conflict between them in the interest of Nigerian students.

Kumuyi made the call in Minna while fielding questions from journalists in Minna, Niger State during his six-day Global Crusade with Kumuy.

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He said he personally believes dialogue is the only forward out of the impasse.

He stated, “To ameliorate and solve the problem, I think we should be looking at how A should be looking for what will satisfy B and B should be looking for what will satisfy A.”

Kumuyi argued that fighting between the opposing institutions would not bring about the much desired peace and resolution of the crisis, insisting that the price must come from both sides.

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The cleric maintained, “On the conflict we have between government and higher institutions. I believe that dialogue is the way forward. I believe rioting and so on is not the way out, mark my words, I didn’t say will not; but may not solve the problem.”

“When two instructions or two opposing bodies have a challenge, one should look at the challenge from the point of view of the other person. The universities should be looking at what the government can do and the government should be looking at how to solve the problem.”

READ ALSO: FG Gives Update On ASUU Strike As Lecturers Extend Industrial Action

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Asked if God has spoken to him on the 2023 general elections, Kumuyi noted, “I cannot tell lies, God has not told me anything about 2023. He has not found me fit to tell me. He will not tell any man everything”

He continued, “He (God) may tell Moses to do something and may tell Joshua another thing. He might tell Paul something and not tell Peter. Who am I to question him? I cannot tell God, this is my country, why have you told me this or that”.

Calling on the youth in the build up towards 2023 general elections, the G.O stated, “young people should exercise their rights, they should use their intelligence to get us people that would get us to where we are going.”

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JUST IN: UNIBEN VC Prof Lilian Salami Elected As Chairman Committee Of Vice-Chancellors

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The Committee of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Federal Universities (CVCNU) has elected the Vice-Chancellor of University of Benin (UNIBEN), Prof. Lilian Salami as chairman.

The Secretary General, Prof. Yakubu Ochefu, made the announcement in a statement on Thursday.

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The new chairman was unanimously elected at its virtual/physical meeting held at its secretariat in Abuja.

Ochefu said the Vice-Chancellor of Bayero University, Kano (BUK), Prof. Sagir Abbas was elected as the Alternate Chairman.

The secretariat wished the two members of the Executive Board of the Committee success as they take over the mantle of leadership.

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READ ALSO: ASUU Strike: UNIBEN Staff Commits Suicide Over Financial Difficulties

Salami becomes the second female VC to head the committee. Until now, Salami was the Alternate Chairman to Prof. Sulyman Abdulkareem.

Abdulkareem will complete his tenure as the Vice-Chancellor, University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) on October 15.

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