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Most Northern Youths Uneducated, School Dropouts, Says Buhari |RN

FILE PHOTO: Nigerian President Buhari addresses the 72nd United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York
                            President Muhammadu Buhari

Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja

President Muhamamdu Buhari has said that most youths from the Northern part of the country were either uneducated or school dropouts.

He said because Nigerian media only do what they like, they refused to highlight the explanations in his recent statement in which he was widely quoted as describing a lot of Nigerian youths as lazy.

The President said this in an interview he had with Voice of America, Hausa service, in Washington, the United States on Tuesday.

When asked about his reported comment on Nigerian youths while in London for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, Buhari said the media only preferred to report what they like instead of concentrating on developmental journalism.

The President said, “You know they say we are over 180 to 200 million people in Nigeria and 60% are the youth below the age of 30.

“In the North, for instance, most have not attended school or they abandoned halfway.

“If not because we had favourable rainfall in the past two seasons; most of them have no jobs, just idling away.

“People like them, even if they go to the South for instance, what they will make will not be enough to even pay their rent not to talk of feeding, clothing, and transport back home.

“That has not been explained enough and you know the media, especially the print, are simply doing whatever they like.

“We had two successful farming seasons, people went to the farm and did very well, but no one is talking about that; only insults.

“That is why the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, had to respond to the letter of insults released by Obasanjo. We spoke about it and I asked him not to respond but he refused and said he will just respond by stating the situation we met the country, where it is now and what was done in between and the monies we are getting.”

Buhari restated his position that the Peoples Democratic Party, in its 16 years in power, left debts for the country despite making huge income from oil.

He said there were no good roads or power supply to justify billions of dollars spent, adding that only God will judge.  (Punch)

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OAU, ASUU, CONUA Disown ‘Randy’ Lecturer |The Republican News

By Mojeed Alabi

  • More ‘victims’ recount ordeal with embattled Prof.

 

The sexual harassment scandal rocking the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, is yet to douse, as more damning revelations and verdicts have continued to emerge from, even the unusual quarters.

It is no longer news that the embattled Professor of Management and Accounting, a sexagenarian, Richard Akindele, who was accused by a female student, Ms Monica Osagie, of sexually harassing her in a damning audio recording that has gone viral on social media, has been suspended indefinitely by the Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede-led management of the institution.

But, a new twist to the sexual harassment allegation is that apart from the university’s lecturers’ unions, under the aegis of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Congress of University Academics (CONUA), declaring their support for the management’s decision, the unions have also distanced themselves from the embattled professor, claiming he is not their member.

Meanwhile, New Telegraph has exclusively gathered from more ex-students of the Accounting Department of the university’s faculty of Administration, who have narrated their ordeal in the hand of the Prof. Akindele either as just their course lecturer or as their project supervisor.

Some of the students, particularly the 2001 set who shared their experiences on the class’ WhatsApp group, said the lecturer was in the habit of threatening female students that they would fail his examination as a ploy to lure them into his ‘trap.’

They also said unlike other courses they took in the department, Akindele was in the habit of arranging separate seats for both male and female students during examinations.

According to one of the female students, who craved anonymity but whose matriculation number started with MAC/2001/****, the embattled lecturer, who she noted taught her Management Theories with Course Title MAC 201, had lied to her that she failed the course.

She explained; “You know this lecturer has a style of announcing the students’ results in his course. Unlike others who would paste the results by their doors, Akindele would ask us to report to the lobby of his office and ask each of the students to come in one by one.

“If you are a male, he would simply tell you your result in few seconds and you go. But if you are a female student he ‘likes,’ the simple thing is that he will tell you that you didn’t do well. He would just say “you scored F” without telling you the exact score.

“So when he told me that, I just went to my brother who was also a lecturer in the Faculty of Social Sciences and when he asked him what happened, the man said my brother should tell me to come to him the following day. Then when I got there the following day, Akindele, just chastised me for reporting him to my brother. At the end of the day, I had an ‘A’ in the course.”

Similarly, another student who was a former students’ union leader on the campus, who graduated from the department in 2002, accused the lecturer of being notorious for such practice, which he described as embarrassing.

The source said; “In fact, I have a classmate who was married to another of our classmates but when she went back for MBA programme, the professor pestered her to the extent that the lady had to show him pregnancy before she could be freed from the pressure.”

It would be recalled that following the hues and cries that the incident generated, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede, had in a statement on Thursday, last week, confirmed the indefinite suspension of the lecturer over his alleged complicity in the sexual harassment case.

The university’s decision, according to a statement released by its Public Relations Officer (PRO), Mr. Abiodun Olarewaju, had followed the preliminary report of an investigative panel set up to look into the matter by the vice-chancellor.

Meanwhile, in a statement issued by ASUU and signed by its newly elected Chairman, Dr. Adeola Egbedokun, the union said it was satisfied with the prompt response of the management towards ensuring sanity in the system.

“ASUU-OAU, therefore, encourages the Vice-Chancellor and his team not to relent in their efforts to get to the root of the matter and ensure that justice is done and seen to have been done in the matter. The union also admonishes its members to always adhere strictly to the code of conduct guiding their appointment in the university as they carry out their lawful activities,” the statement added.

When probed further on whether the union would refer the embattled lecturer to its Ethics and Grievances Committee for further investigation and action, Egbedokun told New Telegraph that Prof. Akindele had formally signed out of ASUU some months ago, and so is incapable in that wise of taking any action against him.

Also on its part, CONUA, through a short message to New Telegraph by its Chairman, Dr. Niyi Sunmonu, said: “Our position when the news broke was for the university to investigate and establish the veracity of the matter. That has not changed. We went further to state that culpability should be appropriately sanctioned. As for the membership of CONUA for the professor, as I write we’re yet to affect the check off dues of CONUA members. Thank you, sir.”

Meanwhile, the matter took yet another dramatic dimension at the weekend, when for the first time, the acclaimed victim, Ms Osagie, who had hitherto assumed anonymous status, unveiled herself to the public.

Ms Osagie, a postgraduate student of Master’s programme in Business Administration (MBA), who had spoken through her counsellor and Executive Director, Women Advocate Research and Documentation (WARDC), Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, accused the university of maligning her, saying she was never invited to appear before the committee set up to investigate the case.

But, the university in its statement said: “Although the Investigative Committee had invited both Prof. Richard I. Akindele and Miss Osagie, only Professor Akindele had appeared before the Committee, while Miss Osagie is yet to appear or make any representation. The report indicated that many other witnesses appeared before the Committee and gave useful evidence. The university is making efforts to ensure that Miss Osagie appears before the investigative committee so that it can hear her side of the case and promptly submit its final report.”

However, in a statement issued by Dr Akiyode-Afolabi, a former students’ union leader, said Ms Osagie was compelled to involve the third party, who in turn allegedly made the matter public since the student’s effort to use an internal mechanism to address the matter had failed.

Dr Akiyode-Afolabi wrote: “Contrary to the information coming from the university’s press release, Ms Monica Osagie was never invited by the school management to appear before any panel. We have been in contact with Ms Osagie and have her instructions to inform the management of her willingness to appear before any panel set up by the university, if and when duly invited.”

She added: “In this case in point, Ms Osagie made efforts to inform senior members of the Faculty of Administrations about her predicament and no one was able or willing to intervene leaving her to resort to self-help in documenting her evidence. This, once again brought into focus the need to strengthen regulations and complaint mechanisms in our institutions, so as not to expose students to unethical advances by randy lecturers.”

When New Telegraph called on the university’s Public Relations Officer, Mr Olarewaju to confirm if truly the acclaimed victim was not invited, he explained that only the committee members could confirm that, and that he would find out and get back to us. But as at the time of filing this report, he is yet to either confirm or deny the allegation.

However, by Sunday morning, a letter inviting Ms Osagie to appear before the panel today, April 24, had surreptitiously emerged from the office of the university’s Dean of Post Graduate College and signed by the University Deputy Registrar and Post Graduate College Secretary, Mrs A.O. Fadeyibi.

The letter with Ref. No: ADP 15/16/H/1424, entitled: “Re: Investigative panel on alleged harassment of a female student: Detailed audio recording: Request for the presentation of Miss Osagie Monica Oselode,” reads: “I write at the instance of the Provost, Post-Graduate College to invite you to appear before the investigative panel on alleged harassment of a female student detailed in audio recording at its meeting which will come up at 10:00am on Tuesday, April 24, 2018.

“Please be informed that on arrival, you are required to call the Secretary to the panel to facilitate your appearance before the panel. Thank you.” (New Telegraph)

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FG Plans To Declare Emergency In Education Sector In April |RN

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Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu has said the Federal Government will declare a state of emergency in the education sector in April.

He disclosed this when he received Niger State Governor, Abubakar Sani-Bello and some members of his cabinet at the Education Ministry headquarters in Abuja, yesterday.

Adamu requested the support of all states governors to do the same in their respective states.

“By the end of April, we are proposing there will be a declaration of state of emergency in the education sector all over the country.

“We request all the state governors to do same in their states and we hope that once this is done our educational sector will improve.

“I will also meet with the governors to appeal to them to give special emphasis to address the problem of low standard of education especially at primary level,” he said.

Earlier, Bello said the state government is revamping the educational sector through provision of good infrastructure in schools and training of teachers.   (The Sun)

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Greatest Challenge Facing African Man Is Laziness, Says Bishop Oyedepo |RN

Bishop-David-Oyedepo
                                Bishop David Oyedepo

Presiding Bishop of the Living Faith Church Worldwide, Dr. David Oyedepo, has challenged academicians to ‘stop being merely bookish and start grooming thinkers’.

Oyedepo, who delivered the keynote address at the 54th meeting of the Committee of Deans of Post Graduate Schools in Nigerian Universities at Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, also declared that the greatest challenge facing the black man is not intellectual bankruptcy, but laziness and inability to task his thinking faculty towards realising assets that will benefit his immediate environment.

The Chancellor of Covenant University said his experiences with those in the academia shows that many of them are simply so proud of having become an authority in their chosen fields.

He however noted that that is not enough as they need to go a step further by indoctrinating in young scholars the art of thinking out ideas which would address some of the challenges plaguing the black continent.

The four-day event which began on Monday would end today, The Nation reports.

Oyedepo said global solution providers such as Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, and The Wright Brothers among others, once had a brainwave in their time which led to great revolutions in their respective fields.

He warned Nigerians that repeated complaints would not work; but that they should battle their challenges headlong.

He said, “Everywhere I go in Nigeria today, everybody continues to complain that things are not working; but who will start how things will work and when? That person is you and that time is now, and postgraduate education should serve as a platform for inciting our students into thinking solutions. Today, it is thinkers that rule the world and we should be development-oriented in things we do.”

To make that difference, Oyedepo challenged the deans to start thinking out of the box, saying that is what would propel them to imbibe the same culture into their students.

“Leadership is not being in the driver seat, but adding values. As a dean, you must start thinking what difference you are going to make in that position; what contributions in terms of innovations and feat. You have no business being in that position if you cannot make that difference that will be a reference point to your successors years after you have left.”

Further, Oyedepo suggested the ‘read thinking’; a concept which according to him, combines research alongside critical thinking of solutions. Man’s biological configuration remains the same regardless of colour or height, Oyedepo argued.

He said Africa has a lot to tap from Covenant University which was birthed through indigenous thinking and currently ranks as the second-best university in Nigeria just within 15 years of existence.

Earlier, Chairman of the association, Professor Bamidele Sanni, said the theme of the event: ‘Repositioning postgraduate education for sustainable national development: the leadership dimension’threw a challenge in their path as academic leaders who must groom better successors.

“As deans of post-graduate schools, our colleagues often refer to us as ‘deans of deans’. We are leaders in our capacity who are also training tomorrow’s leaders. We, therefore, have a responsibility to lead others aright before handing over so they can sustain standard.

“Those who groomed and made us who we are today are proud of us; so we also want to be proud of others by saying ‘that man or lady graduated from this university and I supervised his research.”           ( Punch)

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BREAKING: Finally ASUU, FG Reach Agreement |The Republican News

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From Magnus Eze, Abuja
A marathon meeting between the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Federal Government ended about 4 am Friday with a new agreement that may lead to the striking varsity teachers calling off their industrial action.
The parties agreed that government would immediately commence payment of salary shortfalls as well as the quarterly revitalization funds for universities.
ASUU is to communicate decisions to its National Executive Council (NEC) and revert to the government within one week with a view to calling off the strike.
The strike has entered its fourth week.   (The Sun)

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ASUU Demand Bigger Than Education Ministry Budget, Says Presidency |RN

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Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu

From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

The presidency has given an indication that the federal government may not be able to meet the huge financial obligation the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) demands.

FG said the N850 billion debt is more than the total allocation to the Ministry of Education in the 2017 Budget which is at N369 billion.

It said the union leaders were aware of the fact that the Muhammadu Buhari administration inherited the agreements based on which the strike was declared.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said this in an interview on Channels Television’s programme, Sunrise Daily.

While reminding the academic union that the FG had set up a committee on the matter, Shehu regretted that they decided to uphold mark on stroke at a time they were expected to sit down and negotiate with the committee.

On the impossibility of meeting the huge financial obligation by the government, Shehu said, “Governments enter into agreements that they can pay for. Ability to pay is a key requirement in going into agreements.

“Since President Buhari assumed office, he has sent words out there in form of a warning to all government institutions that ‘please do not go into negotiations and agreements that you cannot pay for. Get the clearance.’

“I understand they are talking about debts owed their members to the tune of N850 billion. If I am correct, the entire appropriation for the Ministry of Education for this year is N369 billion. So where do they want to get the money from?

“We have inherited these agreements and we are not running away from them. The government has set up a committee led by Babalakin. They are already sitting. Why didn’t they sit down and negotiate all these things?

“This strike is totally unnecessary. The issues can be resolved especially where we have a full understanding of where we are coming from. The governments that signed those agreements did not deem it fit to implement because the capacity was not there.           (The Sun)

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CRK Compulsory For Christian Students, Islamic Studies Compulsory For Muslim Students – FG

yemi-osinbajo-okayng

Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo

…Declares fallen standard in education serious

…Holds retreat in two weeks

From: Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

The Federal Government has explained that contrary to claims peddled on social media platforms and national dailies, Christian Religious Knowledge is compulsory for all Christians students and Islamic Studies compulsory for their Muslim counterparts.

It described as false and unfounded the claims specifically as regards the Religion and National Values Curriculum, explaining that the Basic Education Curriculum which includes the Christian Religious Knowledge and Islamic Studies Curricula was approved in 2013 by the

National Council on Education which is the apex policy making body in education in Nigeria, made up of all the 36 States Commissioners of Education and the FCT under the Chairmanship of the Minister of Education.

Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu who addressed State House Correspondents at the post-FEC briefing presided over by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, who accused those who want to destabilise the country as being behind the claims, explained that the last review of the curriculum was approved in 2013 and implementation commenced in September 2014.

He said both instances, neither the Christian Religious Knowledge nor Islamic Studies was removed from the curriculum.

“I will like to also address one issue which I will also throw back at you. You journalists especially those of you on social media are not helping this nation by bandying things that are absolutely false.

“The issue of Christian Religious Knowledge that all the national media, social media took up and deceived even the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria because they believed it. I read in the papers that they asked the acting president to confirm if the report is true. There is no truth in it at all. It was just somebody’s imagination probably somebody who wishes to raise tension in the country after the Biafra issue and then the quit order given by some young people in the north, so the person just followed suit trying to stoic the embers of religion. There is no truth whatsoever I repeat.

“Certainly there was a policy in 2012 which was given effect in 2014 that is even before this government came in. One of the things I did as minister was to speak to the national council on education to disarticulate history from the social studies curricula because we believe we want our young people to know our history. You cannot know who you are without knowing who your ancestors were in the past. And the national council of education did accept and agree that the teaching and learning of CRK have been made compulsory for all Christians students and teaching and learning of Islamic Studies are compulsory for all Muslim students.

“So you are actually accusing the ministry of the opposite of what it has done. I think I just need to tell you even if you are not the ones in the social media, they must be your compatriots, please tell them to be more responsible in handling the issues especially at this time in history.”

Adamu said the Federal Executive Council discussed only a single item on the agenda, the road map on education sector and developments.

According to him, Council members agreed unanimously that education has fallen and there is a need for a ministerial retreat to urgently address the issues militating against the sector.

Adamu said council members rejected the blueprint presented by the ministry, saying the problems in the sector was being blueprinted.

He said, “Today at council we discussed many issues but the most important were education. Members agree that the fallen standard in education is so serious that we will need a ministerial retreat to look at all the issues. There are a lot of issues in education and all of them are crying for solution. So there will be a ministerial retreat in the next two weeks to look at the issues and from there we will take off in what we are doing.

“Initially we had prepared a blueprint but FEC felt the issues is beyond that because there is crisis in all the areas of education, in out of school children, in technical education and training, in ICT, in all the areas you can think of. So ministers are going to start talking to themselves and come out with solutions.”  (The Sun)

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