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Academic activities hitherto halted at the Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma in Edo State following the nationwide indefinite strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) yesterday resumed due to the division among members of the union in the university.
Some of the lecturers, who announced non-conformity with the ongoing strike, however, resumed teaching yesterday in some faculties and departments. The management of the university had last week ordered the lecturers and students to resume for normal academic activities, but a directive that was turned down by some of the lecturers, who insisted that the strike as called by the leadership of ASUU stands.
When New Telegraph visited the university yesterday, students were returning to the campus in large number following the directive of the management that they should return to the campus for academic activities to resume.
At the Department of Economics, School of Environment, College of Medicine, Faculty of Law and others, the lecturers were at the classes teaching the students. However, trouble began when some members of faction of the union stormed the venue of the ASUU Congress, disrupted the congress and damaged the public address system in the process.
Following the pandemonium the leaders of the union and other members were said to flee the venue of the congress for safety, while the microphone with which the Chairman of AAU-ASUU, Prof. Monday Igbafen was addressing the congress was seized. The factional group booed the leadership of the union, insisting to end the strike in the university by promising to resume full scale teaching of the students. One of the lecturers, who spoke under anonymity, declared that he had resumed lectures, pointing out that ASUU is not his employees.
“I have started lectures. ASUU is not my employer. We will not listen to them again,” he said. In his reaction, the Public Relations Officer for the institution, Mr. Edward Aihevba, said the university had resumed academic activities in order to get funds to meet it salary obligation to the workers. Aihevba further explained that the monthly subvention from the state government only caters for 45 per cent of its staff salary and the balance is sourced from the students’ school fees and therefore the university could either be in solidarity with ASUU or choose to sink.
“We are between the devil and deep blue sea. If we stay with the strike we sink. It is better we stay afloat while other universities are carrying on the strike action. Our university has been in solidarity with other universities, who will have full benefit of the strike action.
We are funded by the state government. Indeed, 45 per cent of our monthly salary requirement is what we get from the state government and we get the balance from the university internally generated revenue (IGR), which is majorly from school fees from the students.
This means we cannot afford for our students to remain at home.” On his part, Prof. Igbafen slammed the university management for threatening to sack ASUU members, who defiled the resumption order, saying that the lecturers in classes were on temporary appointment and those suspended from the union.

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Education

#EndSARS: NECO postpones examination

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The National Examination Council (NECO) has announced the reschedule of Paper I Computer Studies Practicals which was to take place on Monday 19 October 2020 to November 16 2020.

This was made known in a statement by the Head, Information and Public Relations Division, NECO, Azeez Sani.

Sani said the paper was rescheduled because of the End SARS protests that blocked the free movement of transport at the entrance gate into Benin City, the Edo state capital.

He further stated that the NECO delivery truck left its take-off point two days earlier to deliver examination materials to some states but has been held up in the ‘blockage.

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“This is to inform the general public and especially candidates that the National Examinations Council (NECO) has been constrained to reschedule the Paper I Computer Studies Practical’s earlier scheduled to take place on Monday 19 October 2020, 10 am to 1 pm.

“The examination of this paper will now hold on Monday 16 November 2020, 10 am-1 pm.

​”This unforeseen incident has been caused by the End SARS protest that blocked the free movement of transport at the City entrance gate Benin.

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“The Council wishes to assure all stakeholders and the general public that the affected examination materials have been retrieved intact and are in the custody of NECO’s vault.

​”While regretting any inconveniences this rescheduling may cause our esteemed stakeholders, the Council has however taken this decision in order to maintain the integrity and security of its examinations procedures for seamless conduct of the Council’s examination.”

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Education

We Have Not Suspended Strike — ASUU

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CONTRARY to the news going around the towns that the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has suspended its seven-month-old ongoing strike, the union has refuted the claim, saying it is a blatant falsehood. The union said its negotiations with the federal government officials over all their differences with a view to finding a workable solution for normalcy to return to the nation’s public university were still ongoing in Abuja, the federal capital territory.

In addition, the union said reports on social media platforms that the Federal Government had released N30 billion for  Earned Academic Allowance (EAA) is not also true and therefore should be disregarded by the public. The Lagos zonal coordinator of ASUU, who is a lecturer at the Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Profesor Olusiji  Sowande, told Saturday Tribune in an exclusive interview on Friday evening that he was not aware of such strike suspension, noting that suspension or calling off of industrial action by ASUU had a procedure.

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Explaining the procedures also in a separate interview with Saturday Tribune, the chairman of ASUU at University of  Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, Dr Dele Ashiru, said it was only the National We have not suspended strike —ASUU Executive  Council (NEC) of the union that had the constitutional power to suspend or call off the strike which must also be subjected to the congress.

 

According to him, the ASUU president had no unilateral power to suspend or call off the strike as the occupier of the office was not the one (but the congress) that declared the strike in the first instance.

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“So, ASUU is not Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) that goes to meetings and takes decisions that concern all members right at the venue of the meeting without tabling such before the NEC, let alone the congress, “ he stressed. Ashiru explained further that whatever the Federal Government put on the negotiation table with ASUU representatives at the meeting would still be referred to the congress of the various branches before the final decision would be taken.

He said the N30 billion that the federal government said it would pay as earned allowances was a promise due for payment next January.

He said government and the society were not being fair to the lecturers, saying “no professor in Nigeria earns up to  500,000 as salary monthly while a political office holder earns as much as over N10 million monthly.

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“So, ASUU strike is still solidly ongoing,” he stressed.

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