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Bayelsa Medical University Speaks On 198 Casual Workers Who Were Disengaged

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The Vice Chancellor of the Bayelsa Medical University (BMU), Professor Ebitimitula Etebu, has exonerated the State governor, Senator Douye Diri, of any involvement in the decision by the institution to disengage 198 persons improperly absorbed in 2019 during the last administration.

He claimed their engagement was improper and violated the employment rules of the institution.

According to Etebu, the Institution had reverted to status quo due to the intervention of the leadership of the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) and the State Commissioner of Education, Gentle Emela.

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He said the embattled 198 persons were on casual workers allowances while awaiting the proper employment procedure but the Institution decided to disengage them due to the repeated restive nature of the affected workers and demands for new lecturers needed for the several accredited courses of the Institution.

Prof. Ebitimitula Etebu, told DAILY POST while reacting to claims that Governor Douye Diri was responsible for the sack, that the administration of Governor Douye Diri has nothing to do with the decision to disengage the embattled workers of the Institution.

READ ALSO: Peter Obi’s Supporters Dangerous, Threat To APC, PDP – Fani-Kayode

He added that: “The current Governor has nothing to do with anything. I am the Vice Chancellor, I told them because they were trying to destabilize the institution. Every time they were threatening, saying they are going to do this and that. And I told them, I said, look, you have no use to us, you don’t even come to work and if you ask very well, because of the hard times, we have tolerated them for all this while, but the thing that, they are now trying to take advantage of that fact.”

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People are telling them,’ they have kept you people, as casual workers for this period, you are now entitled to be employed and they have also taken that hook line and sinker. And threatening the management of the university. They go out and tell lies. These are the ones you are hearing. They go and write on Facebook and collude with the opposition. They use it to malign this current administration just to score cheap points for political gains. The institution decides to step them down due to constant security reports of their threats/restiveness to go on protest and make the University unmanageable.”

“Aside from that, in this last quarter of the year, we are going to be embarking on a flurry of advisory visits from over 13 Regulatory bodies and the NUC. This is a ritual in a specialized University like ours. Those outside the system do not understand these dynamics. We need professional lecturers, technologists, technicians etc. Now, all that is in the minds of our people is employment for our “young graduates” irrespective of our specialized requirements. These casual staff were foisted on us with a promise to provide emoluments for their salaries which never came. The University has a regulation of employing 3 academic staff to 1 non-academic staff. Currently, as things stand, our ratio is the reverse. We will implode if we continue in this manner. We don’t want a reenactment of the ugly incident that occurred a few years back in the NDU. Abinitio, BMU advertised & employed its academic, on-academic & principal officers following these due diligence principles.”

“The Governor has nothing to do with this particular situation. I, as the Vice Chancellor, spoke to them and said, I was going to step them down because we have programs that have been approved for us and we were supposed to run those programs, we were supposed to get lecturers to run those programs. So, it is not their employment that is important to us, because we don’t need them in the first place, but because we are in a State where there are no industries, everything is the Civil Service, and the cronies have been able to leverage people who have an appointment to foster them on us, they are now thinking it is their right to get employed. The times are hard, even the government is finding it difficult to pay salaries and all that”.

READ ALSO: Police Arrest Five Suspected Pipeline Vandals In Bayelsa

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“They are 198, so when you are quoting me, quote me exactly the way I am telling you, so, I said, I am going to step them down, I didn’t consult the government or anybody, because I am the one running the place. They have been very restive, threatening to go on a protest, I said, okay if you are daring us, I will step you people down, and then we are going to go through the rules of engagement because for every staff that we have employed before they came in, we did advert and employed people.”

Etebu, who, however, pointed out that instead of the institution re-enacting the 2018 sad incident at the State-owned Niger Delta University, Ammassoma where the sack of some workers led to protest and deaths, said the institution had to discontinue the pattern set for the institution by politicians at inception and follow the guidelines laid out by the National University Commission (NUC) on employment of workers with the university system having dual employment, one for the lecturer and one for the non-academic staff, and one for the professional in the health profession.

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Governors’ Forum Speaks On LG Financial Autonomy

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Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF, and Governor of Kwara, AbdulRazaq AbdulRahman, on Friday said that the state governors are happy with the Supreme Court judgment that granted fiscal autonomy to local government areas.

Speaking to State House correspondents before a meeting with President Bola Tinubu at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Governor Abdulrahman said the judgement has relived the governors of a burden, noting that they are happy with the devolution of powers to the third tier of government.

Asked for his reaction to the apex court’s judgement, the NGF boss said: “We welcome the ruling of the Supreme Court, compliance is a given and our Attorney Generals have applied for the enrollment order, which we’ll study carefully.

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“But by and large governors are happy with the devolution of power in respect to local government autonomy. It relieves the burden on governors.

READ ALSO: Edo Govt Approves New Governing Council For Ambrose Alli University

“Our people really don’t know how much states expense in bailing out local governments, and that’s the issue there.”

The Kwara governor maintained that the NGF has requested for the enrollment of the judgment and will be reviewing it next Wednesday to decide the way forward.

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“The forum will meet next Wednesday, to look at the issue wholly and then come up with a resolution on that.”

“Like I said, we haven’t seen the enrollment of the court order and so we really don’t know what is in there,” he stated.

READ ALSO: UPDATED: Supreme Court Grants LG Financial Autonomy

As for Kwara State in particular, AbdulRahman said the judgment will not negatively affect it as the state government has not been tampering with council funds.

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“It’s not going to affect the state we’ve never tampered with local government funds. So it’s going to continue.

“What the local governments have to do is to manage themselves, especially with the oncoming minimum wage, to manage their affairs and make sure salaries are paid, traditional rulers get their 5% and those are the main issues,” he said.

The NGF boss, who was joined by his Imo State counterpart, Hope Uzodimma, informed that they were in the Presidential Villa to see the president on various issues, adding:

“We’ve seen the President on various issues from minimum wage, which he met with labour, the Supreme Court ruling and other national issues that concerns states as well. It’s omnibus.”

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Gov Makinde Installs, Presents Staff Of Office To Oba Olakulehin, 43rd Olubada

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Three months after the nomination of Oba Owolabi Olakulehin as the 43rd Olubadan of Ibadanland by kingmakers, he was yesterday installed and presented a staff of office by Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State.

The ceremony was attended by President Ahmed Tinubu who was represented by the Minister of Power, Chief Adebayo Adelabu, Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State, Governor Lucky Ayedatiwa of Info represented by his deputy Governor, Governor Babajide Sanwoolu represented by Chief of staff, Governor Ademola Adeleke represented by his deputy governor and others.

Chief Adelabu congratulated Oba Olakulehin and Ibadan Indigenes for the installation of the 43rd Olubadan.

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Governor Makinde who codemixed Yoruba with English said at the event that he was happy the ceremony held despite the efforts of perceived detractors.

READ ALSO: [JUST IN] Alleged N33.8b Fraud: Court Grants Bail To Ex-power Minister

He said, “All those who wanted to divide us through the installation have been put to shame.
He was particularly happy that the crown returned to his Ona Ara Local Government, his church at Aremo and his ancestral home.”

Earlier before the installation, the monarch was made to perform some rituals as required by the tradition of the city.

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While large crowd was awaiting the arrival of Governor Seyi Makinde, the king was made to go into a seclusion room to go through some tutelage by the traditionalists.

Though the Olubadan designate arrived at the venue around 12:45 pm, he was not seated among the crowd.

As early as 6 am, thousands of Ibadan residents and others had been trooping to Mapo Hall, venue of the programme where security agents had a hectic time controlling the surging crowd.

READ ALSO: Man Caught Smuggling 100 Live Snakes In His Trousers

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Vanguard gathered that the installation process had begun three days earlier.

A member of the royal family, Mr Musiliu Adebayo said the king had already been crowned having entered the two important places, Labosinde and Òse Meji rooms.

Markets shut

As a mark of honour for the monarch, all gates leading to major markets within the city closed down.

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The Babaloja General of Oyo State, Alhaji Yekeen Abass, ordered that markets in Ibadanland be closed on Friday, July 12, between 7 am and 2 pm.

READ ALSO: JUST IN: Kingmakers Nominate Olakulehin As Next Olubadan

Markets that were closed down are Sango, Mokola, Bola Ige International Market, Dugbe, Eleyele, Bodija International Market and many others.

Alhaji Abass stated this in a statement noting the closure of markets was to serve a dual purpose; to honour the new monarch and allow free flow of traffic.

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Others who attended the ceremony include Chief Adeniyi Akintola (SAN), Prof. Temitope Alonge, former Chief Medical Director, University College Hospital,
Senator Olufemi Lanlehin represented Oyo South while in the National Assembly.

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[JUST IN] Alleged N33.8b Fraud: Court Grants Bail To Ex-power Minister

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A Federal High Court in Abuja has granted bail to a former minister of power, Saleh Mamman at the sum of N10 billion.

In a ruling on Friday, July 12, Justice James Omotosho ordered Mamman to produce two sureties in like sum.

Justice Omotosho said each of the sureties must own a landed property worth N750 million within the jurisdiction of the court.

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The judge said he needed not to produce sureties if he could provide a bank guarantee or bond to cover the N10b.

READ ALSO: JUST IN: Ex-Power Minister Collapses Outside Courtroom, Proceeding Stalled

According to the judge, the sureties are to provide evidence of tax payment for three years, while the defendant is to deposit his travel passport with the court.

The judge ordered that Mamman is to be further remanded in Kuje prison pe ding when he meets the bail conditions.

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Mamman was arraigned on Thursday on a 12-count charge, in which he was among others, accused of laundering about N33.8billion.

In the charge marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/273/2024 filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the ex-Minister is also alleged to have acquired property, through proxies, with looted funds.

The prosecution is scheduled to commence trial on September 25.

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