RIVERS CRISIS: Gov Fubara Reads RIOT ACT (DETAILS) | STRIKE: ASUU Issues FRESH Threat, Gives Ultimatum

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Attack On Supporters: Fubara Reads Riot Act To Outgoing Pro-Wike LG Chairmen

Rivers State governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has warned that any outgoing local government chairman in the state who hurts any well-meaning Rivers person will not be forgiven as he will be made to pay for his sin.

Naturenex reports that the local government council chairmen were at loggerheads with Governor Fubara over a controversial tenure extension for them by the sacked 27 members of the River State House of Assembly. They are also seen as loyalists of the estranged godfather of the state governor and current FCT Minister Nyesom Wike.

He pointed to an event that happened on Tuesday, where miscreants attacked some persons who attended the inauguration of the Aleto-Ogale-Ebubu-Eteo Road project, on their way home, and said such show of animosity was utterly needless. Fubara spoke on Thursday at Egbeda community in Emohua local government area of the state, venue of the official flag-off of the Elele-Egbeda-Omoku Road project.

The governor said: “Let me also say this here. When we left Aleto the other day, some people went there and attack our people. There is no need for that. “Nobody has monopoly of violence. I should even be the one who should come out and shout that I will do this and that. But I don’t need to do that because both sides belong to me. I have taken oath to protect all. “So, I am advising those people who call themselves local government chairmen, you have a few days in office. Please, conduct yourselves in a peaceful manner.”

Fubara drew their attention to the reality of life after office, which, he said, should help them to become more circumspect. He said, “Politics will come, politics will go, but we will still live our lives. Let nobody deceive you, if you deliberately hurt anybody, because of expressing your useless support, nobody will forgive you. You will pay for it. “So, I’m begging everyone, please, conduct yourselves. As a matter of fact, I am the one that is most hit, and abused as a governor who doesn’t know what to do with power. Is it not? Have I said anything?

“So, please, just endure until when you finish, then you go your way. I don’t want trouble. I don’t want anything that will bring any problem in this State. I know what they want to do, but we will not give them the opportunity. “We have made our promise to our leader, who happens to be the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, that we will take the path of peace and that is the path we are taking.

 “We will continue to take that path. Don’t mind what they say. Don’t mind what they do. Peace remains the path to take. While taking the path of that peace, it does not mean that we won’t defend ourselves, or let me describe it this way: we will not just be like a tree seeing someone coming to cut it down, and won’t do anything. No, no no. We need to also protect ourselves in a lawful manner.”

‘No pay, no work’ — ASUU threatens to down tools over salary arrears

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU has threatened to down tools if the Federal Government fails to pay public university lecturers their withheld salaries. The President of ASUU, Emmanuel Osodeke disclosed this in an interview on Channels Television on Thursday. Osodeke said it is unfair for the Federal Government to pay lecturers four months of their 2022 withheld salaries and hold on to salaries of three-and-half months.

He said, “It’s not about paying four months out of the seven-and-half months’ withheld salaries.” According to him, public universities in the country have so far covered the work for the period that they were on strike in 2022 and should be duly paid. “Every university in Nigeria today is in the 2023/2024 academic year which means that by September/October, they will be in the 2024/2025 academic year. 

“The implication of this is that all the work for which we were not paid when we were on strike, we have covered them by making sacrifices. “None of our members have gone on leave in the past three to four years. We have not gone on vacation so that we can cover the work that we didn’t do while we were on strike which we have covered. You can check, ask the students.  “But when you said you are paying four out of seven-and-half, I don’t think you are being fair to us,” 

The ASUU president said the two-week ultimatum given to the government began on May 13, 2024.  He added that the Tinubu administration has not done lecturers any favours by clearing four of their about eight months’ withheld salaries. Osodeke said if the Federal Government can award road contracts worth trillions, billions for university workers should not be a problem.

“We don’t want to hear that ‘we don’t have money’ because if a government can award a contract of ₦15 or ₦13 trillion naira to construct a road and we are asking for just ₦200bn for Nigerian universities, all of them. If they (the government) have that money (for road construction), they should have money for us. “Pay the three-and-half months’ salaries that are still being withheld having completed the work. It’s ‘no work, no pay’, we have done the work, they should pay us if not we will also bring the theory of ‘no pay, no work,” he said.

The ASUU president lamented that many lecturers are leaving the country because they are not well remunerated. “A lecturer still earns about $300. it was $1500 when we negotiated the agreement in 2009,” he said. The ASUU president said no one can imagine a university without a functional Governing Council. He said many illegal contracts and recruitments have been carried out by universities in the last 11 months since the National Universities Commission (NUC) dissolved the Governing Councils of all federal universities following a directive by President Tinubu.

Osodeke said, “Nobody anticipated that we will have a university that will run for two weeks without a Governing Council but Nigerian universities, all of them, have been running for the past 11 months without Governing Councils, which means that all the actions taken in terms of employment, contract awards and what have you have passed through illegal process.” He said it doesn’t take 11 months to constitute a Governing Council, adding that no university in the world operates without a functional Governing Council.

The ASUU president said the tenure of the council for each university is four years, with six members from the government, and about 10 or 11 elected members from the university.

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