BUSINESS AND ECONOMY
The Ekiti State Council of Traditional Rulers has resolved to prevail on Governor Kayode Fayemi to contest for Presidency in 2023, stressing that he is well qualified for the task of leading the nation.
The Obas said they would send a delegation at an opportune time to prevail on him to contest for the position. The monarchs took the decision at their statutory monthly meeting in Ado-Ekiti after listening to a four-man voluntary organisation, known as “Our Belief Project”, led by Aloba Abejide.
Abejide had pleaded with the traditional rulers to call on the governor to make up his mind early and declare his intention to contest in the 2023 presidential election.
The state Chairman of the Traditional Rulers Council, who is the Alawe of Ilawe-Ekiti, Oba Adebanji Ajibade Alabi Afuntade I, who welcomed the team to the Obas Council Chambers, in tandem with complimentary remarks from several traditional rulers, spoke at length on the sterling qualities of Governor Fayemi.
He stressed that the challenges confronting Nigeria today would definitely need a young, dynamic, energetic and brilliant Fayemi who has the wherewithal to be a good president.
Oba Alabi noted that Governor Fayemi was one of those who fought the military to bring back democracy to Nigeria and that a man of his calibre, with a higher degree in war studies would know how to resolve the issue of insecurity in Nigeria.
Summarising the views of his fellow Obas, the foremost traditional ruler said this was the time for an Ekiti indigene to become the President of Nigeria, adding that Ekiti people had helped many other tribes in the past to get to the top.
“All Ekiti Obas will support Fayemi wholeheartedly in the 2023 presidential election,” the Alawe stated.
Oba Alabi recalled the memorable and positive remarks made by the Sultan of Sokoto and Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State during the October 2020 Arewa Summit in Kaduna. He said they expressed implicit confidence in Governor Fayemi.
The monarchs concluded that Fayemi would make a good President to lead Nigeria at this critical period of the country’s history. They, however, advised politicians in Ekiti to be united and work together on the project.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has cautioned the Federal Government against further increase in fuel price in the country.
PDP said this in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan in Abuja on Saturday.
Ologbondiyan said that Nigerians were already faced with economic hardship following the November 2020 increase in the price of fuel to N170 per litre, adding that further hike in fuel price would worsen the situation.
He said that Nigerians might not survive a further fuel price increase with its attendant increase in cost of goods and services.
He said there was no justication in comparing Nigeria’s fuel price with those of other countries whose citizens have better purchasing power.
“With a N30,000 monthly minimum wage, which represents N1,000 daily wage, compared to a countries like Saudi Arabia with a monthly minimum wage of 3,000 Riyals; a daily pay of100 Riyals (N10,161).
“There is no foundation to base fuel price in Nigeria with that of Saudi Arabian where citizens earn ten times higher.
“Our party therefore rejects any contemplation towards fuel price increase,” he said.
MUIDEEN OLANIYI/ DAILYTRUST.COM
The ousted National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has said that he will decline to return to the seat if another National Executive Committee (NEC) decision or a court order reverses the dissolution of the National Working Committee (NWC) which he led.
Oshiomhole, in a statement on Monday titled ‘My Position Has Not Changed’, dismissed the insinuation that he was behind the ongoing court cases seeking to upturn the June 25 NEC decision on his dissolved leadership.
He said: “In reporting the legal action taken by a member of the dissolved NWC of the APC, some attributions have been made to the effect that the plaintiff is an “ally of Oshiomhole” or an “associate of Oshiomhole.” This is despite the fact that the court documents are clear on who the plaintiff really is.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the 21-member NWC under my leadership largely worked cohesively and harmoniously. The only exceptions were the three members used by forces desperate to take control of the party. They contrived a crisis and abused the judicial process to undermine the constitution and integrity of the party. The majority of 18 members worked as a team and not as allies or loyalists of anybody.
“When the NEC in its wisdom dissolved the NWC, I immediately announced publicly that I accepted the decision, regardless of its legality or otherwise, as it affected my position as national chairman. I was the only one at the press conference where I made the announcement. The reason, of course, was that some of my colleagues in the dissolved NWC obviously didn’t share my position not to contest the dissolution in court. “Since I could only accept responsibility for my own decision, I instructed my lawyers to withdraw the suits challenging my purported suspension from office by the proxies of those bent on removing me as chairman.
“It is, therefore, the height of mischief to insinuate, as it is being done in some quarters, that I would publicly accept the decision and later surreptitiously seek to contest it in court. That chapter of my political life is closed.
“Even if another NEC decision or a court order reverses the dissolution, I will, with utmost humility, decline to return as APC National Chairman. I am proud of the accomplishments of the NWC under my leadership and I am grateful to the principled 18 members who worked as a team committed to the cause of the party.
“Above all, I bear no grudge against any one for the manner of my removal. Instead, I am grateful and loyal to President Muhammadu Buhari who in the first place encouraged me to contest the chairmanship of the party.
“I am particularly appreciative of the presidential support and encouragement which enabled me to assert the authority of the party without fear or favour. Indeed, I would not have lasted as long as I did as national chairman but for the President’s support.
“I will therefore continue to support his administration to succeed in serving the common good of the people of Nigeria.”
The 36 state governors have resolved to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari “as soon as possible to address security challenges across the country, particularly in the light of the carnage in Borno State”.
The governors took the decision at the 22nd meeting of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) held on Wednesday.
They had been briefed by the delegation they sent to commiserate with Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State on December 1, 2020, over the killing of more than 40 rice farmers in Garin Kwashebe in Jere Local Government Area of the state.
The victims were harvesting rice when the terrorists unexpectedly pounced on them, killing them in gruesome manner.
The terror sect has since claimed responsibility for the massacre, claiming that the farmers once arrested one of its members and handed him over to the authorities.
The NGF, in a communiqué issued in Abuja on Friday, also elected to support the necessary reforms that will result in a police force that works for all.
“As an immediate to medium-term measure, members agreed to pay close attention to the conduct of police officers across the country in order to get them and other internal security operatives fully back to work as they have not been functioning to full capacity since the EndSARS protests with the attendant security exposure to the safety of lives and properties of the ordinary citizens,” they said.
The governors also discussed the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) industrial action and urged the Federal Government and the union to urgently resolve their differences to allow for immediate reopening of the nation’s tertiary institutions.
They asked both sides to “hasten the implementation of the truce elements in their resolutions so as to allow schools reopen immediately.”
They faulted the practice where the Federal Government is currently collecting stamp duties, insisting that stamp duties “belong primarily to states and the various collection platforms are channels of payment to the states; while aligning with the guidance provided by its lawyers and experts.”
The governors also endorsed the two proposals canvassing infrastructure development by both the Governor Nasir el Rufai Committee and the Central Bank Nigeria (CBN) governor, Godwin Emefiele.
The el-Rufai’s Adhoc Committee Leverage Portion of Accumulated Pension Funds for Investment in Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) is proposing the creation of a National Infrastructure Investment Fund (NIIF) such that a total sum of N2 trillion at 9% interest can be accessed through the NSIA.
The Governors’ Forum Chairman, Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, told the meeting about a similar proposal by the CBN Governor to enable states access N15 trillion naira for national infrastructure funding through INFRACREDIT at a lower interest rate of 5%.
The governors agreed to keep active and operational the State COVID -19 Task Force Teams and Emergency Operation Centers (EOCs) in addition to ensuring the prompt release of funds as outlined in the State Incidence Action Plans (IAP).
They also agreed to keep temporary treatment centres open, ensure ramping up COVID-19 testing across the country and support the planned “COVID-19 Testing Week’ to be launched by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.
The governors expressed their commitment to achieving the second Eligibility Criteria (EC) requirement of publishing online their approved FY21 Annual State Budget prepared under the National Chart of Accounts by January 31, 2021.
Besides, they restated their commitment to implementing reforms associated with the programme, including the deployment of a Geographic Information System (GIS) technology to support effective land administration and an efficient property tax system and resolved to inaugurate the NGF-NESG Economic Roundtable (NNER) Steering Committee, whose technical committee is to commence the implementation of the strategic plan, which includes but not limited to the national mapping of sub-national endowments, global mapping of sub-national entities for global competitiveness and development of competitiveness toolkits.
POLLS closed in Burkina Faso on Sunday after a presidential and parliamentary election dominated by the threat of Islamist violence that prevented voting in hundreds of villages.
President Roch Kabore is seeking a second five-year term, campaigning on achievements such as free healthcare for children under the age of five and paving some of the red dirt roads that snake across the arid West African country.
But a surge in attacks by groups with links to al Qaeda and Islamic State has eclipsed everything. The violence has cost more than 2,000 lives this year alone.
After voting in a school in Ouagadougou, Kabore told reporters: “I call on all Burkinabe to vote, whatever their leaning. It’s about the democracy of Burkina Faso, it’s about development, it’s about peace.”
The election went smoothly in the capital and there were no reports of large-scale violence elsewhere during the vote. But some polling stations in insecure eastern areas had to be closed because of threats, the electoral commission said.
“People were threatened. They told them: ‘those who put their fingers in the ink can say goodbye to their finger’,” the commission’s chief, Newton Ahmed Barry, said at a press conference, referring to the ink marks people are given to show they have voted.
At least 400,000 people – nearly 7% of the electorate – are expected to have been unable to vote due to polling stations not opening for fear of violence, official data forecast ahead of the vote.
“Before we had peace, now we have none,” said 48-year-old security guard Gilbert Alalinga at nightfall outside a polling station in Ouagadougou.
“I didn’t hear of violence today, that was encouraging. I want to be able to travel to the north, the east, the south without problem,” he said as children raced on bicycles in a sandy field beyond.
Election officials began counting immediately after the polls closed, chalking up each vote on school blackboards across the city.
Komboigo yesterday joined Diabre in claiming the vote had been marred by fraud. Both vowed to challenge the results by filing a formal complaint today. They have not provided evidence for their claims.
Analysts expect a tight race that could go to a second round if no candidate wins more than 50% of the vote.
Overall provisional results from the first round are expected by the middle of the week.
The US’ Federal Election Commission, FEC, has punctured claims by President Donald Trump that there is fraud in the presidential election.
Trump has consistently claimed that illegal votes were being counted in favour of challenger, Joe Biden.
He said if legal votes were counted, he truly won the election, but noted that several illegal votes were being counted at the moment.
But Ellen Weintraub, Commissioner of the Federal Election Commission, wants Americans to know that “there really has been no evidence of fraud” in the election this year.
“State and local officials and poll workers throughout the country really stepped up. And there have been very few complaints about how this election was run,” Weintraub told CNN Saturday morning.
“Very few substantiated complaints, let me put it that way. There is no evidence of any kind of voter fraud. There is no evidence of illegal votes being cast.
“In fact, and you don’t have to take my word for it, because people throughout the country, non-partisan election experts, have come out and handled this election and how it was run.”
Weintraub added: “There really has been no evidence of fraud. None of the complaints have attached any evidence of fraud.”
Leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu has said that the convergence of the diverse core value systems of the North, West and East is posing a serious obstacle for Nigeria to function as a viable state.
Kanu who said this on Friday in an interview with an publisher of Ovation magazine, Chief Dele Momodu on an IPoB community radio, argued that bringing Nigerians together without paying attention to the core value system of these ethnic groups was the bane of development and unrests in the country.
”So, these are the anomalies that Africans particularly educated Nigerians need to sit down to address. That’s why we have unrested development, that’s why nothing seems to be working because the convergence of these diverse core value system of Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo is making it impossible for Nigeria to function as a viable state.”
The IPOB leader made it clear that he would not have been agitating for sovereign state of Biafra if Nigeria was created by a Yoruba, Igbo or Hausa man.
“Nigeria was not constructed by a Yoruba man, if it were I would have accepted it, Nigeria was not created by a Fulani man, if that was the case who knows I might have accepted that, Nigeria was not created by an Hausa man either, Nigeria was created by a white man and named by a woman.”
“Nobody came from these ethnic groups, they never got together to say our name should be Nigeria. A white man determined that. I cannot get to England to say to the English people I want to rename Liverpool, I want to give it another name, I am sure they will think I am mentally ill or unstable and put me in jail.
Now the problem is why should Nigerians or Africans accept the name Nigeria, which does not mean anything in Yoruba, Igbo or Hausa language,” he stated.
BY DENNIS EREZI/ GUARDIAN.NG
Kano State governor Umaru Ganduje has suspended his media aide for “unguarded utterances on the person of President Muhammadu Buhari on the social media platform.”
“I’ve never seen a govt with zero empathy like that of Buhari,” Salihu Tanko Yakasai, a special adviser to Ganduje on media, tweeted with his verified Twitter handle @Dawisu on Saturday.
“So many times when his people are going through difficult time and expect some sort of shoulder to reassure them that he is in charge, but he failed to do so.”
One of the the tweets has been deleted.
Kano State commissioner for information Muhammad Garba said in a statement that said the suspension of Yakasai took immediate effect.
He said that, although the media aide has owned up the indiscreet comment as his personal opinion, it may be difficult to differentiate between personal opinion and official stand on matters of public concern.
Yakasai posted the tweet at the height of #EndSARS protests across the country.
The now-disbanded controversial SARS police unit was the point of global attention since last Saturday over cases of brutality, extortion, extrajudicial killing and harassment of Nigerians.
Street protests against SARS received a boost from several countries after many celebrities joined the advocacy.
Nigerian youths in thousands led protests in different parts of the country, demanding total scrapping of the controversial police unit. Many of these protests were held overnight, most especially in Lagos State – in front of the state House of Assembly.
President Buhari only reacted to the global advocacy against the misuse of power by the Nigeria Police on Thursday night.
“I am being briefed regularly on the reform efforts ongoing to end police brutality and unethical conduct, and ensure that the Police are fully accountable to the people,” Buhari said in a tweet.
The president’s promise was not relied upon as more Nigerians and the international community joined the #EndSARS protests.
Reacting, Ganduje’s aide – Yakasai said, “This I-dont-care attitude is on another level.”
“To speak to ur own ppl (sic) over issues that are bedevilling them has become something like a favour u’re doing to them,” Yakasai said in a follow-up tweet to the former.
“Over & over again, u cannot spare 5mins & address the nation to calm them down, the same people u went to the 36 states to beg for their votes, its heartbreaking.”
Gov. Gboyega Oyetola of Osun has congratulated his Ondo State counterpart, Rotimi Akeredolu, on his re-election as governor of the state, saying his victory did not come as a surprise.
Oyetola, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Ismail Omipidan, on Sunday in Osogbo, also described Akeredolu’s victory as sweet and well deserved.
The governor is a member of the National Caretaker Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Chairman, Contact, and Mobilisation for the Ondo Governorship National Campaign Council.
He also congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari, national leaders of the party, members, and supporters of the party on the electoral victory.
Oyetola said the outcome of the election was a true reflection of the wishes and aspirations of the people of Ondo.
He added that the sterling performance and achievements of Akeredolu in his first term also informed the decision of the Ondo electorate to re-elect him for another term.
Oyetola also expressed confidence that Akeredolu would continue to deliver the dividends of democracy to the people.
“I heartily congratulate Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu on his well-deserved re-election as Governor of Ondo State.
“I also congratulate Mr President, the National Caretaker Committee, and other leaders of our great party including Baba Bisi Akande, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, members and supporters of the APC, on this sweet victory at the just- concluded Ondo State governorship election.
“This victory is a true reflection of the wishes and aspirations of the people of Ondo.
“It is apparent that Gov. Akeredolu’s sterling performance and achievements in his first tenure informed the decision of Ondo people to vote him for another term.
“I’m confident that Gov. Akeredolu will continue to deliver the dividends of democracy to the people of Ondo State,” Oyetola said.
The governor also lauded the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the security agencies, political parties, and their candidates, and the people of Ondo for the peaceful and successful conduct of the election.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the Independent National Electoral Commission on Sunday declared Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu winner of Saturday’s governorship election in the state, having polled the highest score of 292,830 votes.
By Jethro Ibileke/ PM NEWS
With less than 24 hours to the commencement of the governorship election in Ondo State, three key gladiators are favourite to hold sway. After a careful examination and sifting of the candidates of the 17 political parties contesting the poll, opinions narrow the chances to three candidates, namely, the incumbent Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of the APC; his erstwhile deputy, Agboola Ajayi of the Zenith Labour Party; and Eyitayo Jegede of the PDP.
The three main contestants are busy strategising and plotting the defeat of their opponents. The big question is, who wins the race at the end of the voting exercise, who wins the battle for the soul of Ondo State?
The trio have one thing in common; they are lawyers. They also have one goal in common, they set their eyes on the governorship seat. But, only one of these three gladiators will be declared winner of the election come Saturday.
Below is a careful analysis of the three favourite candidates.
Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu
Sixty-four-year old Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, graduated from the prestigious University of Ife (now named Obafemi Awolowo University in 1977. He hailed from Owo town, in the northern senatorial district of the state. His campaign slogan, when translated from Yoruba language, means “let’s do it once more”.
Beside being a senior advocate of no mean repute, Aketi, as he is popularly called, is actually not a green horn in politics, having been in politics for over a decade. He served as the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, during the first tenure of former Governor Olusegun Mimiko, who won his election on the platform of the Labour Party, but later defected to the PDP.
In 2013, Akeredolu contested for the governorship seat on the platform of the APC, but lost to his former boss, Mimiko, who won the election for a second term with a landslide. He, however, got lucky on his second attempt, and was sworn-in as governor on 24 February 2017.
This APC candidate obviously enjoys the support of his party, President Muhammadu Buhari and other APC governors. During the grand finale of his electioneering campaign rally which held inside the main bowl of Akure Stadium on Wednesday, Buhari in a goodwill message, described Akeredolu as a good brand who should be reelected for a second term.
“No doubt, our candidate is a good brand. I am particularly delighted with his approach to governance, he is a good brand. I join you to declare that Governor Rotimi Akeredolu deserves to be reelected for a second term,” Buhari had said.
The presence of 10 APC governors at the campaign is a further attestation of his acceptance in his party.
To win the support of the people of Ondo South Senatorial District where one of his main challengers, Agboola Ajayi hailed from, Akeredolu argued that they ought to give him their support, for the governorship rotation to get to their turn at the end of his second term. He reasoned that voting for the PDP candidate, Eyitayo Jegede, would jeopardise their chance of getting it in 2025.
The 52-year-old Igbinedion University, Okada-trained lawyer who hailed from Kiribo, in Ese-Odo Local Government Area of Ondo State, is an astute and a grassroots politician. He was called to bar in 2010 after his graduation from the Nigerian Law School, Abuja.
Ajayi though began his political career in 1989 when he was elected ward chairman of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), in the Old Apoi. When the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) was formed in 1998, he was made Secretary of the party in Ilaje/Ese-Odo Local Government between 1998 and 1999.
In 2004, Ajayi was elected chairman of Ese-Odo Local Government Council, and was made the Treasurer of Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON), Ondo State chapter between 2004 and 2007.
Ajayi who dumped the PDP for the APC in 2016, was nominated as running mate of Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu and together, they were sworn-in on February 24, 2017.
In the build-up to the 2020 governorship election, Ajayi clashed with his boss, when he declared interest in gunning for the Ondo top job. Following the rivalry that ensued, Ajayi dumped APC for the PDP on June 20, where he declared his interest to contest against Akeredolu during the governorship election. But when the PDP primary election was conducted on July 22, Ajayi lost to Eyitayo Jegede.
Few days later, Agboola Ajayi decamped to Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), where he is currently seeking election. He is banking on the over 514,000 voting strength of his home base of Ondo South, and whatever votes he could win in other parts of the state, to unseat his boss as governor.
The PDP candidate for the gubernatorial election, Eyitayo Jegede, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, was born to the family of late Chief Johnson Bosede, the Odopetu of Isinkan, Akure, in the central senatorial district of the state. He graduated from the University of Lagos in 1983.
The Chief Justice of Nigeria in 1992 appointed him as a Notary Public, before being elevated to the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria on 16th December, 2008. He was a two-time chairman of the Adamawa State chapter of the Nigerian Bar Association.
He served as a former Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice during the second tenure of Olusegun Mimiko.
On Monday, August 22, 2016, Eyitayo Jegede was voted as the PDP governorship candidate but Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court judgement issued on October 14, 2016, recognised Jimoh Ibrahim as the candidate of the PDP for the governorship of Ondo State. But on November 23, 2016, the Court of Appeal reversed the judgement of the lower Court, pronouncing Jegede as the PDP’s gubernatorial flag bearer.
Jegede emerged the flag bearer of PDP’s Governorship Primary for Ondo State in the October 2020 election after polling a total of 888 votes, defeating the Deputy Governor Agboola Ajayi who emerged second with 657 votes.
There is no gainsaying that Jegede’s presence in the governorship race is not only a nightmare to Governor Akeredolu, but a threat to his ambition of getting re-elected.
In summary, the fate of Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, Agboola Ajayi, Eyitayo Jegede, and indeed, that of the other candidates in the election, now depends on the decision of the over 514,000 eligible voters in Ondo South, the over 816,000 in Ondo Central and the over 485,000 in the North.
There is no doubt, however, that one of the three gladiators will emerge victorious on Saturday. We can only wait to see who finally wins the battle for the soul of Ondo.
Candidate of Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) Mr. Agboola Ajayi, has boasted that he will defeat Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Eyitayo Jegede of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Saturday’s governorship election.
Ajayi, who spoke at Owo in Owo Local Government at the end of his campaign, said he was confident of defeating other candidates.
The deputy governor assured residents that security would be provided to protect them from harassment.
He urged them not to panic, even as he regretted the violence that claimed people’s lives in clashes among rival political parties.
Ajayi warned his supporters not to take arm against anybody but to go out and vote.
He said: “We are here to campaign. We are not here to fight anybody. Please, don’t allow anybody to provoke you. Vote and protect your votes.”
Former governor Dr. Olusegun Mimiko said it was sad that five people had died in the last few weeks due to violence.
He said eligible voters were no longer ready to attend rallies due to violence.T
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved a special salary scale for Nigerian teachers as well as increased years of service from 35 to 40.
The President made the announcement, yesterday, as the world marked World Teachers’ Day.
The declaration came as the non-teaching staff of the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), yesterday, swelled the ranks of protesting university workers by joining a 14-day nationwide warning strike declared by the Joint Action Committee (JAC) in public universities.
For years, teachers have agitated for an increase in their retirement age, welfare, and salaries.
Buhari, who was represented by the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, announced the changes in teachers’ salary scale and retirement age in Abuja at an event to mark the day.
The theme for the celebration, ‘Teachers: Leading in Crisis, Reimagining the Future,” reflects the resilience of teachers and school administrators globally amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Buhari instructed the ministry to facilitate the implementation of the new salary scheme, saying it would encourage teachers to deliver better service.
According to him, teachers have the power to shape and reshape the lives of young people and enhance their potential.
“Only great teachers can produce excellent people and students that will make the future of our country great. A positive or negative influence of a teacher on any child will have an effect on that child. Therefore, the Federal Government is ensuring quality education.”
He said his administration had resolved to ensure quality education of teachers by giving priority to continued professional development.
He emphasized that the future of the country would depend on quality education for children and that the quality of teachers would depend on motivation.
He said, “To address these challenges, my administration has approved the following for teachers and the teaching profession. That in order to attract investment in the teaching profession, the quality of the introduction of a bursary award has been restored.
“There will be a special pension scheme to enable the teaching profession to retain its experienced talents as well as extend teachers retirement age to 65 years and the duration of teaching years to 40 years.”
He added that his administration had also approved the building of low-cost housing for teachers in rural areas, sponsorship of teachers, prompt payment of salary, and timely promotion to eliminate stagnation, to motivate and restore lost glory to teachers and teaching in the country.
THE Minister of State for Education, Mr. Chukuemeka Nwajuiba, identified the teaching profession as the greatest profession in the world, which must be accorded adequate recognition and respect.
Nwajuiba noted that the picture of a Nigerian teacher in the 1960s and 1970s, which reflected discipline, needed to be replicated.
He said, “In those days, very comfortable and important figures in the society would send their children to a teacher’s house for grooming. That was the teacher then.
“Teacher’s children and those that lived with them became the crème de la crème of the society. The society sadly has tilted towards ephemeral appearances that negate the standard of teachers as role models.
“We think this should stop. Teachers deserve recognition and respect. The first step is to have qualified teachers in practice.”
To achieve the goal, he said his ministry, through the Teachers Registration Council, was making effort to withdraw unqualified teachers nationwide.
He urged individuals, states, and local government education authorities and corporate organisations to reintroduce a reward system to boost productivity in the education sector.
MEANWHILE, the Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa; and the Federal Capital Territory [FCT] Minister, Mallam Muhammad Bello, have described the teaching profession as the bedrock of nation-building, and expressed their commitment to the profession.
At an event to commemorate the event in Asaba, Okowa commended teachers for their commitment to teaching and learning in all public and private schools in the state, saying his administration placed a high premium on the welfare of teachers.
“I thank teachers in Delta for their contributions to nation-building and to the intellectual development of our children.
“We have also ensured we improve on the teaching and learning environment for our teachers and students through the provision and necessary infrastructure and materials.”
Bello said the commitment of the FCT administration was based on the fact that education is the bedrock of society and no nation desirous of progress and development could afford to ignore the sector.
“We remain committed to the development of education in all its ramifications in the FCT and we will continue to commit time and resources to ensure the sector meets up with the expectations of residents of the FCT’,” the minister stated.
He commended Ms Omoregbe Osarobo of JSS Gwagwalada, who was declared the 5th best junior public school teacher in the country.
He said her recognition was a testament to the hard work and dedication of FCT schoolteachers.
But as the celebrations went on, the strike declared by Joint Action Committee (JAC) escalated as the UNN non-teaching staff joined the protest.
JAC comprises the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and Non-academic Staff Union (NASU) in public tertiary institutions in the country.
Addressing newsmen shortly after a congress in Nsukka, the chapter Chairman, Paul Aruah, asked workers to go home until the end of the 14-day warning strike declared by the national body.
Eruah said the congress was called to explain to members why they must join the strike and warned that any member found sabotaging the action would be sanctioned.
“We have held our congress. It has started today and will end on Monday, October 19. It is just a warning strike but if at the end, the Federal Government fails to meet our demands, it might result in indefinite strike action,” he said.
Eruah said their grouse include the inconsistency in the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) in the payment of salaries of members; non-payment of earned allowance to members in spite of various memorandum of understanding between JAC and government.
Others, he said, were the government’s failure to pay arrears of national minimum wage and retirement benefits to members.
The Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, on Wednesday commended the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, for the roles he played after he was pushed out of the All Progressives Congress.
Obaseki described Wike as a true brother, who sheltered him during the stormy period.
The Edo state governor gave the commendation during his thank-you visit to Wike at Government House in Port Harcourt.
Obaseki, who was accompanied by his wife, Mrs. Betsy Obaseki; Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, and his wife, Mrs. Maryann Shaibu, with members of the Edo PDP Campaign Council led by Chief Dan Orbih, said;
“I want to thank Edo people for their doggedness and determination in ensuring that their votes counted and the will of the people achieved.
“The victory in the September 19 poll was made possible by God and God used the people as an instrument to actualise my second term ambition.
“After I was pushed out of my former party, this house was the first place I sought solace. You took me in as a brother, out of the storm, changed my clothes, and gave me food to eat.
“It was in this house, the Campaign Council met to work out the key strategies that led us to victory. You mobilised people across the country. You moved to Benin, went through the humiliation and attacks. You supported us and we won.
“As the chair of the National campaign council, you applied yourself diligently to task. Indeed, you are a true brother.”
“It will be a sin against God if we do not come to say thank you. Even if the victory we are celebrating is from God. He has used people like you to make it happen.”
Reacting to Obaseki’s statements, Wike commended him and his deputy, for standing firmly to defend the interest of the Edo people.
He said Obaseki and his deputy’s determination was a motivating factor for them to join hands in solidarity.
Wike, however, urged Obaseki to forgive those who stood against him in the build-up to the election.
“I did not want division. I insisted that it will be good we are all together. This will make it easy to go into the electoral battle and win,” Wike stated.
“I thank you, my brother, Obaseki for carrying everybody along in the party. Edo people are also looking up to you.
“Forgive everybody. Forgive your political opponents. I am happy that today, South-South is under one political party. This will make for integration. We can speak with one voice in moving Nigeria forward. This is the sweetest electoral victory I have ever witnessed.”
Senate President Ahmad Lawan on Saturday denied nursing presidential ambition for 2023.
Lawan, in a statement by his Special Adviser (Media), Ola Awoniyi, said the media report about the said ambition must have “emanated from the sort of practice that drags the noble profession of journalism to the gutters as it only dresses up the lazy fantasy of its unimaginative authors as a fact.”
He said: “The report apparently has its source in beer parlour gossips and should be treated with the contempt which it and those who concocted it deserves.
“It is true that the Senate President was involved in the consultations that President Muhammadu Buhari held prior to the last emergency meeting of the National Executive Committee of the ruling All Progressives Congress(APC).
“But there was nothing extra-ordinary in his involvement in such consultations, given his status as holder of one of the highest political offices in Nigeria and on the platform of the APC. Such is required of any concerned member of the party.
“It is therefore sheer mischief for anyone to read ulterior motives to the Senate President joining hands with the President and other leaders in resolving misunderstanding in their own party.
“We will like to stress that the Senate President’s preoccupation is with advancing the agenda of the Ninth National Assembly to focus governance on the pursuit of the best interests of the Nigerian people and to support President Buhari in delivering his promises to Nigerians.
“The Senate President does not suffer such needless distractions as imputed by the false report under reference.
“He believes that it is premature for anybody to be talking now about 2023 when all hands should be on deck against the myriad of challenges that faces our nation in this period.
“We advise the idle pseudo-journalists to look for other engagements and stop bastardising this noble profession.”