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ASUU Strike: Human Rights Activist, Agbese Writes PMB, Volunteers To Lead Negotiation With Union

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Renowned human rights activist and writer, Philip Agbese, has written President Muhammadu Buhari, on the lingering strike embarked on by members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
Recall that university lecturers have been on strike for over eight months in protest against the Federal Government’s preferred Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) and wants UTAs instead.
Agbese, however, regretted that Nigerian students are losing an entire academic session, following the lingering strike by the university lecturers.

In an open letter entitled “ASUU and the need for our students to be back to campus,” Agbese pleaded with the Buhari Government to change its method of negotiation with ASUU by adopting a new approach and style to dismantle this imbroglio.
According to him, the government should broaden the scope of negotiations with ASUU, instead of its exclusive restriction to government negotiators.
He vowed to voluntarily lead negotiation with the striking union in view to finding a lasting panacea to the protracted impasse.
The letter reads below;

Your Excellency, Sir,

An Open Letter: ASUU and the need for our students to be back to campus.

Your Excellency Sir, warm greetings to you. I am obliged by these special circumstances to scribble this open letter to you on the prolonged industrial dispute between the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) led by your indefatigable personality and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). It is my ultimate prayer, this letter should meet you in the right frame of mind and at a time, its contents would assimilate to persuade your appropriate response.

Mr. President, I have unshakable faith in Nigeria, under your leadership. I am persuaded to pen this letter to you in order to share my little suggestions on the lingering feud between the Federal Government and ASUU over the nearly nine months strike for two reasons. First, it is for the sake of the prolonged break in the academic engagements of Nigerian students and the younger generation of Nigerians which you and posterity hold very dear, as father of our beloved country.

Your Excellency, secondly, I fear, the disheartening consequences of Nigerian students losing an entire academic session, if the ASUU strike is allowed to persist. Definitely, I commend the understanding and commitment of your administration to end the feud between ASUU and Government. The attempts at immediate resolution of some of the knotty issues raised by ASUU are commendable and appreciated. My excitement over your efforts is even more justified, if measured against the insensitivity of the previous Government which signed the agreement, but disappointingly reneged from serious commitment to its implementation over the years.

On the part of ASUU, I do not consider them as villains, or sabs of the education system in Nigeria; but academics and intellectuals only concerned with some structural improvements and other critical issues affecting the university system in Nigeria. The stretchy bickering by ASUU and its refusal to blink in spite of the genuine attempts by Government to resolve the issues is touchy to both parents and every Nigerian of good conscience.

Both from the bottom of my heart and millions of other Nigerians, we can vouch for your genuine mindset fixation with resolving all the issues raised by ASUU simultaneously. But subsisting economic constraints and challenges have frustrated your plans, as expected by the union. However, it is unambiguous to us, this Government of Nigeria as symbolized by your patriotic and focused leadership is dedicated to the development and prosperity of all categories of Nigerian youths.

Under your leadership, Government has variously articulated its fiscal challenges, like in this instant case, but, however, the obduracy of ASUU negotiators is also understandable. But I believe the current muscle flexing between ASUU and Government is based on the deceptive postures of the preceding administration tackling the issues of ASUU, which your administration has shown a laudably, remarkable difference.
Mr. President, I therefore, wish to suggest and plead that your Government change its method of negotiation with ASUU by adopting a new approach and style to dismantle this imbroglio. It is visible, the suspicious perception of deceit in current government negotiators by representatives of ASUU is motivated by previously violated official decisions on the ASUU agreement with Government before your administration birthed.

Your Excellency, Sir, it is my humble opinion that your Government should broaden the scope of negotiations with ASUU, instead of its exclusive restriction to Government negotiators. It is what ASUU reasons as the same conspiratorial cabal, ingenuous in dribbling them over the years.
Sir, let your Government take the bold decision by engaging other stakeholders outside the prism of government as part of the negotiators/mediators to resolve the ASUU crisis as quickly as possible. I am volunteering myself as a mediator under the banner of a human rights activist and respected member of the Nigerian populace. And there are a dozen of such organizations and individuals known to Government for this sensitive task. I would appreciate, if Mr. President does the needful to bring Nigerian students back to campuses.

Our dear respected Leader, we consider you a wholly made in Nigeria President that believes in our youths and the future of our students. I repeat again that Mr. President, you mean well for Nigeria and will continue to do so for the immediate development and future prosperity of the country. Let’s put all hands-on -deck to get the strike to an end immediately, Sir.

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Lekki Shooting: CNN Carried Out A Hatchet Job On The Army – International Journalists

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The report by Cable News Network (CNN) on the shooting at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos was a “poor” hatchet job targeted at the Nigerian Army, the International Institute for Investigative Journalism (IIIJ) has said.

In an electronic statement signed by special rapporteur, Francois Deburoiche, on Wednesday, the IIIJ said it came to this conclusion following a careful investigation on the events that led to the escalation of violence at the toll gate.

After forensic analysis of CNN’s report, the International Institute for Investigative Journalism noted that there were some missing details in the American television channel’s piece.

According to the institute, the report was carried out in poor taste, lacking professionalism and objectivity. It added that the claim of use of live bullets and testimonies of victims were all tales.

The institute, however, advised the television channel to retract and admit error in the documentary.

Read the full statement below:

The International Institute for Investigative Journalism is issuing this press statement with the best of intents after a careful investigation on the events that led to the escalation of violence at the Lekki Tollgate in Lagos Nigeria during the EndSARS protest.

A team of investigative journalists with extensive experience in conflict situation interrogated the various claims made by the American Cable News Network in its report on the Lekki Shootings and came up with a comprehensive analysis that found gaps that were not filled in the CNN documentation of the events at the Lekki Tollgate in Lagos Nigeria.

Our statement:

The CNN documentary on the EndSARS protest in Nigeria was released to the general public with lots of inaccuracies. These accuracies were detected after an extensive forensic investigation by the International Institute for Investigative Journalism.

It is thus our opinion that the report was carried out in the poor taste, lacking in professionalism and objectivity. This is a great betrayal on journalism by the CNN, which indeed violated the known tenets of journalism.

The videos and images used in the CNN report were not subjected to adequate scrutiny. Consequently, it lacked credibility for use by an organization of repute such as the CNN. This fact was also buttressed by the fact that the CNN report was very hasty in its conclusion by indicting the Nigerian Army of culpability in the events at the Lekki Tollgate.

Our position remains that the CNN erred substantially in its report that was highly misleading to the general public in Nigeria and other parts of the world. The documentary also failed woefully to highlight the events that led to the reign of violence in parts of Lagos state but instead rehashed the issues under different subheadings with minimal evidence that indicts the Nigerian Army of wrongdoing at the Lekki Tollgate.

The International Institute for Investigative Journalism concludes that the CNN documentary was prejudiced in its analysis as well as presentation which fall nothing short of a poor hatchet job with the undeniable intent to discredit the Nigerian Army operation at the Lekki Tollgate in Lagos Nigeria.

The analysis by CNN in the documentary was hasty in its categorization with regards to the use of live bullets by soldiers at the Lekki Tollgate. The report attempted to portray the use of excessive force by soldiers, while the accompanying videos and images did not depict such.

The credibility of those interviewed in the documentary was also suspect with the choice of words and the facial and body expressions of the victims as well as their relatives. Thus much was revealed by forensic analysis as the emotions portrayed didn’t match their words.

Conclusion:

The International Institute for Investigative Journalism is of the considered opinion that the CNN carried out a hatchet job that is targeted at the Nigerian Army institution. We as a result of this classify the CNN documentary as highly misleading and with the capacity to cause disquiet in Nigeria.

The CNN must retract and admit error in submission in its documentary on the Lekki Tollgate shootings. The International Institute for Investigative Journalism faults the CNN documentary in all ramifications.

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Why Army is Boosting Land Power, Buratai Speaks at War College Lecture

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The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai, has said that the Army War College Nigeria (AWCN) has continued to churn out highly-capable operational commanders, with a very good understanding of operational art and the requisite skills for the effective application of land power.

Buratai, was the special guest of honour at the ‘Graduation Lecture’ of Course 4/2020, in Abuja. The COAS, who had earlier commissioned the War College Office Extension Building, further said the building is made up of offices, Central Auditorium with 450 seating capacity, a lecture hall and a lounge with 180 and 120 seating capacity, respectively.

According to Lt. Gen. Buratai, the War College was conceived to address the observed gaps in the professional military education of Army’s personnel at operational level. The Commandant of AWCN, Maj. Gen. SE Udounwa, expressed gratitude to the Army Chief for tirelessly supporting the College, especially in the area of infrastructural development.

The AWCN was established in 2017 to bridge the gap between the tactical and strategic level training by producing well trained, educated and inspired operational level leaders for the Nigerian Army.

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JUST IN: NLC, TUC Stage Walk Out From Meeting With FG

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Labour union representatives on Sunday staged a walk-out from a meeting with the federal government, barely five minutes after it started.

According to the president of the Trade Union Congress, Quadri Olaleye, on the meeting’s top agenda were the issues surrounding the hike in the price of fuel and electricity tariffs, not issues of palliatives.

In his opening remarks before the closed-door session, Olaleye accused the federal government of dishonesty, playing to the gallery and painting the organised labour in a bad light before civil servants and the public.

Representing the Nigerian Labour Congress was its deputy president, Najeem Yasin.

“This meeting is not going to be as usual,” Olaleye told news men. “Why, because we have seen the insincerity of government and it’s putting us at risk. They are taking us for a ride, which cannot continue.

“We are in the process of discussing, for over three months now. And they made announcement increasing the fuel price again. And no other person than NNPC. When has authority been giving to NNPC to increase the price of PMS? This is unacceptable.

“The meeting agenda is not well prioritised. And because of that, we are leaving the meeting. We will not continue, we will go back to our organ, and we are going to get back to you on the next line of action.”

In attendance from the federal government were the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, the Minister of State for Labour, Festus Keyamo, Minister of State for Petroleum, Timiprye Sylva, Minister of state for power, Goddy Agba and the Secretary to the Government, Boss Mustapha.

“We felt that the item of increase in PMS, having been listed at all as an additional item, would have satisfied everybody,” labour minister, Ngige said after the walkout.

More to come…

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