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Following the attack on the convoy of the First Lady of Ekiti State, Erelu Bisi Fayemi by protesting students of Federal , Oye Ekiti(FUOYE) on Tuesday, the authorities of the Federal has closed down the indefinitely.

In a statement signed by the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Kayode Soremekun on Wednesday, the management also proscribed the students’ union government in the institution, henceforth.

Students of the university had on Tuesday held a violent protest to demand for the restoration of electricity to the two campuses in Oye and Ikole, where on the convoy of the First lady, who was on a local government tour were destroyed and many sustained bodily injuries in the process.

He said, “We hereby announce the immediate and indefinite closure of the university to forestall further breakdown of law and order.

“In the same vein, the students’ union of the institution is disbanded indefinitely.

“Following this closure, the students population are hereby ordered to vacate the university premises no later than 10 am tomorrow 11th September 2019.

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“Further developments will be communicated in due course”.

The Government of Ekiti State in a statement by the Information Commissioner, Mr. Muyiwa Olumilua, confirmed the attack on Mrs Fayemi.

Olumilua acknowledged that the protest might have started as a peaceful one, adding that there was an escalation to violence, possibly due to infiltration by hoodlums.

“The convoy of the of the was attacked with several vehicles vandalised, leaving many people, including journalists, with varying degrees of injuries.

“While not denying the students the right to express their grievances on any issue, it is expected that such be done without resulting to violence.

“As a responsible government, it is on record that the State Government has been engaging the electricity company (BEDC) on how to improve the power situation in parts of the State, long before this unfortunate incident, and to continue to engage them on the of their service delivery to Ekiti State.

“The general public is hereby advised to go about their normal activities as the situation is now under control”, he said.

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However, some journalists ; Folorunso Adebiyi of Federal Radio Corporation of , Olasunkami Ogunmuko of CORE , Raphael Ogbonnaiye of Daily Trust, Ayodele Afolabi of The Guardian, Adedayo Oladele of New Nigerian and other journalists on the first lady’s entourage narrowly escaped being killed during the attacks while some sustained varying degrees of injuries.

The Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Ekiti chapter, Rotimi Ojomoyela, condemned the calculated attacks on his members, urging security agencies to fish out the perpetrators.

Recounting how the incident happened, a journalist with Core Television station in , Sunkanmi Ogunmuko, said Mrs Fayemi was already conducting the empowerment programme at the civic centre in Oye Ekiti when the incident occurred.

Ogunmuko said they came in their hundreds from both Oye and Ikole campuses and started destroying vehicles with sticks and other dangerous weapons. They destroyed over ten cars in the convoy and wounded journalists and other participants.

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“It was the security details around the first lady that alerted the entourage about the happening. They were the ones who summoned courage to remove all the bonfires and mounted road blockades before the first lady was frisked out of the beleaguered scene.

“Most of the journalists were wounded with the aid of sticks , bottles and sticks thrown by the protesting students.”

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Abass Sulaiman Adegoke, well known as Adegoke is a student of Federal Polytechnic Ede studying Civil Engineering, He is a media enthusiast, loves traveling, and has a special interest in personal development.

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    December 31, 2019 at 9:45 am

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Education

2019/2020: Inconclusive end to an academic session?

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By now, primary, secondary and technical colleges across the country would have concluded the /2020 academic session with all the attendant fun. Prize giving day, end of the session party and other related activities would have been held, but that is not to be, no thanks to the coronavirus disease that is ravaging the country and which has led to schools, up to level, being shut.
Most of the schools were yet to conclude second terms when they were shut last March and the thought of concluding it and/or resuming for the third term to complete the session did not arise in many instances.
While public schools stopped all academic activities, some private ones found a way through online teaching. Some started by using Whatsapp, while others go for Google classroom and others.
Some schools in Lekki area of moved to e-learning and charged between N200,000 and N400,000 per student. They even engaged the services of despatch riders to take materials to and from students’ homes.
Speaking during a recent meeting with parents of students in her , Mrs Gladys Grimes, the owner of Saint Gladys Primary and Grimes College in Alagbado, Lagos, said pupils and students must be engaged one way or the other to sustain their interest in education. ‘Charging fees for such services depends on locations and the ability of parents to pay.
“We cannot do so here, as we understand our terrain and we don’t want to put our parents under undue pressure. We started using WhatsApp to teach our students and asked parents to pay just N2,500 per student.
“We did that for some weeks and now since it appears schools may not reopen as quickly as expected, we want to migrate to Google Classroom for our secondary school students and we are only charging N18,000 per student and those in JSS3 and SSS 3 are exempted.“This is because they are expected to have completed their school fees payment before now. The new approach may serve as third term and for the promotion of the students to the next class,” she said.
Grimes opined that there was nothing spectacular if none of the usual ends of the year activities did not take place, saying the health and safety of students, teachers and others were important.
With the phased reopening of schools starting with final secondary school students this week in most parts of the country and the attendant fixing of dates for examinations by the West African Examinations Council, WAEC, the National Examinations Council, NECO, and the National Business and Technical Examinations Board, NABTEB, most states may eventually cancel the third term of the 2019/2020 academic year.
This is because the examinations to be conducted by the aforementioned bodies will run through this month and November this year.

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Education

NUC begins assessment of universities ahead resumption

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The National Universities Commission (NUC) said it is collecting data from universities to assess their readiness for resumption of academic activities.

The commission also said efforts are ongoing to resolve the strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities’ (ASUU) that threatens to further delay the resumption of academic activities in the universities.

The Executive Secretary of NUC, Abubakar Rasheed. said this during a press conference on the contributions of Nigerian universities to the national response to COVID-19 in Abuja on Tuesday.

closed its tertiary institutions along with lower schools in March due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Mr Adamu, who was represented at the event by the deputy executive secretary Academics, Suleiman Yusuf, said the Commission is working with universities to discuss preparation that should be in place before reopening.

According to him, universities not under ASUU watch can go back to classes once they have put the necessary guidelines in place.

“We gave a template to vice-chancellors of all universities requesting them to suggest to us what kind of protocols and strategies they are putting in place in the various institutions. We are collecting some of the responses which have already started coming in and at the end of the day the picture should emerge about the extent to which our universities are prepared to reopen for academic activities,” he said.

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ASUU commenced its warning strike on March 9 and declared an indefinite strike on March 23.

ASUU is embarking on the strike over the non-payment of salaries of their members who failed to enrol into the federal government’s IPPIS, a payroll software mandated for all public officials.

Contributions by universities

Mr Rasheed said over 32 universities in the country are involved in research aimed at mitigating the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said the performance of the African Centres of Excellence has proved that world-class research and development work is possible in Nigeria.

“Particularly, the Centre for the Genomics of Infectious Diseases at the Redeemer’s , in Sequencing SARS-CoV-2 virus, the collaborative development of vaccines with the University of Cambridge and as a pioneer national testing and screening centre and the other ACES in ABU, BUK, UNILAG, UNIBEN, UNIPORT and UNIJOS that also served as national testing and screening centres have proved that world-class Research and Development work is possible in Nigeria,” he said.

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He said a compendium put together by the Commission showed Nigerian universities are making contributions to development.

”University of Jos which is leading in herbal and natural product development could do more if the federal government releases more funds to such institutions for research purposes.

“As in many other parts of the world, the pandemic has challenged our knowledge system, which has proved inadequate and insufficiently robust enough to respond to the challenges. Only a few institutions have been able to utilise the open and distance learning system to keep students engaged while the pandemic lasted and only few laboratories continued with research and development activities,” he said.

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Premium Times reported how the federal government in June advised tertiary institutions in Nigeria to put preventive measures against COVID-19 in place before they announce their re-opening.

The preventive measures include Installing hand-washing facilities, equipment for body temperature checks and others.

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