Dr. Doyin Okupe
•Insists ASUU’s demands have been met
• Wike meets with students’ leaders
The federal government has opened an account with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in which it has deposited N200 billion being part of the funds earmarked to tackle the rot in the nation’s university system, the presidency disclosed Tuesday.
The lodgement, it added, was part of efforts to fulfil the promise President Goodluck Jonathan made to the Academic Staff of Union Universities (ASUU) during their marathon meeting in November.
The government, which has insisted that it has met the union’s demands to enable it suspend its five-month-old strike, has also extended today’s deadline for the striking university teachers to resume work or risk losing the jobs by one week.
It also assured lecturers who resume by the new deadline of December 9 that they would be paid their salary arrears.
As part of the efforts at resolving the protracted crisis in the education sector, supervising Minister of Education, Mr. Nyesom Wike, yesterday met with students’ leaders behind closed doors in Abuja to solicit their support for the federal government’s efforts at getting the teachers back to class.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, told THISDAY in an interview that the federal government, in demonstration of its sincerity to meet the demands of the lecturers, had opened the account with the CBN in which the N200 billion, being the first tranche of about N1 trillion intervention fund the president promised ASUU in November.
He said: “The federal government has opened an account with the Central Bank of Nigeria and the sum of N200 billion has been paid into the account. It is not true that the federal government is not sincere in trying to resolve the ASUU crisis.
“The opening of the account with the CBN and the deposit of N200 billion into the account is by all means an indication that the federal government is sincere and wants to see the universities opened.
“An account in the name of ‘Universities Infrastructural Funds’ has been opened in the Central Bank of Nigeria and the agreed sum of N200 billion has been set aside for the account by the federal government.
“The Academic Staff Union of Universities therefore has no legal or any legitimate grounds to continue the strike for even one day longer.”
On the demand by the union for a guarantee that its members would not be sanctioned for going on strike, Okupe assured ASUU that government had no intention to victimise the teachers.
“The issue of non-victimisation is a non-issue because it is already guaranteed by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) provision to which Nigeria is a signatory.
“The renegotiation of the 2009 agreement cannot be a condition as it was already agreed with by the president. Demanding a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is superfluous. This of necessity follows all resolutions. ASUU strike obviously on all moral grounds has expired,” he added.
The president’s Senior Special Assistant on Youth and Students’ Matters, Mr. Jude Imagwin, also said ASUU had no business continuing the strike because the federal government had met its demands.
He told leaders of the National Association of the Nigerian Students (NANS) in Abuja that it was based on the government’s action that a larger membership of ASUU campus chapters voted for the immediate suspension of the strike.
NANS President, Mr. Yinka Gbadebo, had said the association would remain neutral, adding that it supports a just cause.
The federal government also yesterday shifted today’s deadline, which it issued last week to the academic staff to resume work, to December 9.
The new deadline is to honour a former ASUU President, the late Prof. Festus Iyayi, whose funeral rites begin tomorrow and would last until Saturday.
The Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Julius Okojie, at a press briefing in Abuja also expressed the readiness of the government to pay the four-month salary arrears of any teacher who returns to work.
He added that the government decided to shift the resumption deadline after it received the notification of Iyayi’s funeral rites late on Monday so that government and ASUU would not have to deal with matters arising from the ultimatum during the funeral.
Also yesterday, Wike met with the NANS leadership as part of efforts to seek solution to the industrial dispute in the education sector.
THISDAY sighted one of the official vehicles the NANS’ president at the premises of the NUC even though the current national secretariat of the students’ body is in Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile Ife, Osun State.
A source confirmed the meeting but could not provide details of the agenda.
“The meeting was supposed to hold much earlier but it has been postponed until later today (Tuesday) because we heard the minister was going to the National Assembly. So it will hold when he is done with the National Assembly,” the source said.
Despite the threat of a job loss, ASUU members in Ekiti State have said they will not be cowed to call off the strike.
Speaking in Ado Ekiti after a meeting of the Ekiti State University’s branch of the union , ASUU’s Coordinator, Ilorin Zone, Dr Ayan Adeleke, described the threat to sack over 93,000 academic staff across all public universities , as an empty one.
However, the senate of the University of Port Harcourt (Uniport) yesterday announced Sunday as the reopening date for the institution.
But the announcement drew the ire of the Uniport branch of the union, which insisted that its members would not be available to attend to returning students.
The university, after the meeting of its senate yesterday, released a new timetable for academic activities on the three campuses of the institution, noting that lectures would resume on Monday, December 9.
The spokesman of the university, Dr. Williams Wodi, said many lecturers, despite the ASUU’s stance, had already indicated interest to resume work.
In a related development, the Rivers People Forum(RPF) has criticised Wike for his handling of the strike by ASUU.
The group, in a statement yesterday by its President, Charles Bekwele, described the minister’s resume-work-or-be-sack order as in bad state.
“It is indeed tragic and an imminent threat to our democracy that in a democratic setting, a minister of education would use the dictatorial threat, the autocratic style, the military regime mentality of mass sacking of lecturers as solution to a crisis that could easily be resolved through dialogue, if the minister, Nyesom Wike, is sincere in his negotiations with ASUU.
“Indeed, Nyesom Wike does not have the capacity, wherewithal and character to handle any ministerial portfolio, for that matter. His stock-in-trade has always been to spread lies, rumours, mischief, destroys whatever he touches and betrays whatever confidence that is repose in him,” it said. THISDAY
After the exit of Samuel Ogbemudia as Governor of the former Midwest with Benin city his zone as capital, Edo State was kept in the dark in terms of development despite Edo State producing two former military Vice Presidents. Admiral Akhomu served as military vice president under the military President, rtd Gen Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, IBB and late Admiral Mike Akhigbe served as Chief of General Staff under rtd Gen Abdusalami Abubakar after the death of the famous Late Gen Sani Abacha. Both Admirals died this year and Akhigbe was buried last week Saturday.
With the coming of democracy in 1999, the People Democratic Party, PDP took control of the state at all levels. It had powerful politicians like Mr. fix-it, Anthony Anenih, a former Policeman. Chief Tom Ikimi, Samuel Ogbemudia himself, Chief Gabriel Igbinedion and a host of others. As a reward for his die-hard contribution to the growth of Edo State, Chief Gabriel Igbinedion’s son, Lucky Igbinedion was elected Governor. Lucky’s first tenure was considered a failure but his father pleaded with the electorate and party to give him a second chance and they did and the failed story reverberated. However Igbinedion wasn’t a complete failure, he had success story in the educational sector. The state had its college of Education established along with other levels. But that didn’t have a direct impact on the lives of Edo people. The state of roads and other infrastructures was a sad tale the people wish not to recall.
Edo people were excited when Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomole indicated he would vie for the seat of Executive Governor as against the President of the country as speculated in the media. Adams Oshiomole had established himself as a formidable personality as a two term president of the Nigeria Labour president who gave the country’s President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo sleepless nights and forced his government to give in to labour demands. He led workers and other unions to strike actions that at some occasion had impacted positively on his workers’ union and by extension other Nigerians.
In the 2007 Edo governorship election, the people of Edo State overwhelming filed behind Adams Oshiomole who flew the flag of the then Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN. Oshiomole without the support of majority of the political heavy weights in the state ran an aggressive campaign promoting the ‘one man vote slogan. It worked but disappointingly a different result was announced and Osunbor of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP was declared winner and sworn in as Governor. Adams resorted to the Electoral Tribunal for redress and again, he got the massive support of Edo people. People came out courageously to testify against the PDP even some of its members and INEC officials. The tribunal came to the rescue and Adam’s Oshiomole was sworn in about a year later as the authentic second post-military era Executive Governor of Edo State to the joy and unending happiness of Edo people.
Oshiomole’s first tenure was indeed a blessing and a reward to the Edo people who gave him their massive support. He was indeed the saviour they had looked for in decades. The major roads in the state that were abandoned by previous governments were brought back to good form like the Sapele road, Akpakpava road, etc. Ring Road, the city centre leading to the Oba Palace, Airport and home to the Anthony Enahoro Complex of the State’s House of Assembly was transformed to something to be proud of by Edo people.the Auchi axis of the state also had good stories to tell in terms of Oshiomole’s development stride. However, the visit of the Information Minister, Labaran Maku and members of the Good Governance Tour to Edo State despite the objection of the Governor, exposed so many things. Most importantly, the eyes of Edo people were exposed to the fact that majority of the road and other projects they had thought were being done and must have been done by the state government were indeed federal projects. If you ask me, whether they were done by Oshiomole or the FG, Oshiomole attracted goodwill to the state due to his closeness and loyalty at the time to the president and Commander-in-Chief. After all they have been more powerful politicians in the ruling party who despite their influence could not attract FG but only lined up their pockets.
In his quest to get elected for a second term, the comrade governor compromised his principle by forming alliance with members of the PDP in the state. Persons whom with the support of the people floored in a free and fair election earlier. The PDP chairman led his members to decamp enmasse to the CAN and Oshiomole defended their action. It was clear the governor was scared of losing at the people, a feeling the people are surprised at because his works were enough to see him to a landslide victory for a second term. Political hawks from the former ruling party who had failed the people as members of the PDP including the chairman publicly dissociated themselves from Lucky Igbinedion and his government. They called him names to score cheap favours. Everyone now wanted to identify with Oshiomole to either get elected at any level or get a political appointment.
After casting his votes, the comrade governor in addressing the press and in panic said the election has been rigged in favour of the PDP. He said his party will reject the results to be released by INEC. When the elections closed and INEC collated the results, Oshiomole was announced winner and returned in another massive victory. In a twist of tale comrade Adams Oshiomole said it was the best election conducted by INEC and commended the electoral body, its Chairman and the president. Why he was scared still baffles me to this day. After he was sworn in for a second term, it was clear that the PDP was back to power in Edo State with the garment of ACN. All the major appointments including the chief of staff of the Government House, Secretary to the State Government, SSG, went to former PDP members. That was the beginning of Oshiomole’s failure in Edo state.
Oshiomole’s second term has been marked by stagnation. A go slow would have even seemed better. Many wondered what was happening in Government House. The rains didn’t help matter as it exposed the inactive nature of the government. No new road project was ongoing. No maintenance of roads was going on. The worst hit was the Ugbiyoko community. Because of the bad condition of the road, transport fares cost N500 whenever it rains as against N50 on a normal day, that is if you find a bus down. With beautiful work done during the first term, it would be expected that the streets would be a focus in the second tenure. Benin has one of the best road networks in the country but one of the worst in terms of work done on the road networks. Ordinarily, these streets were a responsibility of the Local Governments but with the joint account stuff and full control of the LG funds from the federation allocation, the state government is supposed to ensure most of the streets were done. The most painful part is that these local governments seem to only exist in collecting revenues not accounted for. People are busy paying different tax in different names are nothing is done to better their lives. To build a house you would be required to pay over a hundred Naira to the Local government and yet nothing is done by the state governor to address this. Nigerians are taken for a ride as if they are slaves whose hands and mouths have been chained.
TO BE CONCLUDED
CULLED FROM JAGUDA
Check out even more pictures from the wedding and with more pics of the couple themselves. Strangely enough Peter’s older brother Jude was not present at the wedding due to his missed flight coming in from Ghana.
being prayed for
May D, Emmanuel Adebayor and Peter Okoye
Lynxxx and Banky W with the couple
CULLED FROM BELLA NAIJA
By BellaNaija Weddings
Hello Lovebirds! – there are soooo many sweet moments that will leave you smiling today! This past Saturday stunning music superstar Tiwa Savage wed her manager and best friend, Tunji Balogun. BellaNaija Weddings was so blessed to attend the fun celebration! Our recap will make you feel like you were there…except no yummy cupcakes, jollof rice and champagne for you!
The traditional engagement and reception held at The Ark in Lekki on Saturday 23rd November 2013, where rainy skies ushered the couple into their newlywed status with showers of joy and blessings. The celebrity engagement was planned by The Wedding Company which has coordinated a long list of epic Nigerian weddings, with stunning decor by Newton & David – using sweet handcrafted swans as a motif.
Tiwa made a spectacular choice for the aso ebi – ladies looked so pretty in their pink and gold gele and lace while the gentlemen wore pink fila.
The natural beauty wore a unique embroidered white and silver lace iro with embellished gele, ipele and buba for their traditional Yoruba engagement rites. She was adorned with a diamond necklace & drop earrings. TJ wore white agbada paired with a traditional fila with a coral neckpiece when he kissed his new bride for the first time.
For their second outfit, the couple looked absolutely regal in their purple attire. Tiwa’s waist length neckpiece swayed with her every move, catching the glistening accent lights in the marquee.
For their third and final look, Tiwa let her hair down and looked ravishing in a dazzling silver and navy blue number, while TJ kept it traditional in his silver fila. They rocked to every performance by their celeb friends, and jammed to old school hits all night long!
BellaNaija Weddings wishes Tiwa & TJ a happy married life and beautiful children (that could be on the way sometime soon!! – hmm, Tiwa hinted something at the wedding – read more below!)
~ Photography: AkinTayoTimi | Damell Photography | SC George | Obi Somto
As always BN Weddings was there LIVE and will take you on a journey to Tiwa & Tee Billz’ Traditional Engagement. Immediately we entered, we felt transported to a fairytale wonderland. The first thing that caught our eye was the beautiful podium for the couple. It had a white bridge leading to the tent for the couple.
The sides of the bridge were decorated with street lights on both sides, white plastic swans, small ponds, grasses and flowers. Another showstopping element was the romantic feel and ambience created by the pink light accents and the masterfully created cake by Cakes by Tosan was placed beside the podium.
On the left on entry is the stage for performances. On the left of the podium for the couple was the spot for the groom’s friends while the right had the spot for the bride’s friends. The ceiling had crystal chandeliers.
All tables had their unique designs. Our table had a huge white flower placed on a silver metal that had branches. Scented candles were carefully placed on the branches. Glasses, a gold tray, the menu were placed on the round table for guests.
The engagement started bright and early in the morning. The drummers played passionately as TJ’s family presented their proposal letter to their future in-laws while Tiwa’s family responded with a regal acceptance.
Tiwa & TJ’s traditional engagement was rich in culture, colour and romance! The joy was contagious.
Time to Party!
The reception kicked off at 2. Just before the it began, the heavens sent down some showers of blessings. It lasted for about 20 minutes. Before the couple was called on stage by the MC Seyi Law, music legend King Sunny Ade performed.
On getting to the stage to dance, Seyi Law joked, “someone said I should ask Tiwa – how did you get Tee Billz?” it was Karen Igho he later confessed. Then he called Karen on stage and said, “let me do free advert for you, maybe you will meet your future hubby” she playfully hit him as she protested, “please abeg o stop”.
Then Seyi Law said Tee Billz was dancing better than Tiwa! He asked her what she thought about it…Yes, his rhythm is much better, she shared. Then Seyi joked that “don’t worry, he will show you that his rhythm is truly better when the wedding is over!”
Sasha hugged Tiwa on stage and said “you look beautiful”.
A short documentary on the couple titled “Becoming One: Tiwa and TJ’s Story” was shown on the LED screen. The video was “dedicated to everyone who believes in the power of love”.
The doc had personal recordings of the couple, her parents, her brothers, his father, his sister, his brother, his cousins, Tiwa’s friend of over 15 years - Elohor Aisien, her longtime designer friend & costumier Toju Foyeh, Banky W, Debola Falana and her makeup artist Joyce Jacobs, giving advice.
In the clip, Banky W joked that when Tee Billz is happy, he will start dancing to non existent music, The Music is in his head. A video of Tee Billz dancing randomly was shown side by side as Banky was talking. It was really funny!
When Tiwa was speaking on Tee Billz, she said “My soul mate, my brother, my business partner, my baby DADDY (Is she telling us something?! , my lover“. She also said when you see him, you think he is this tough guy who always means business, but he has a sweet heart and is very playful.
While this was showing, the couple changed into their 3rd look while guests mingled and posed for our cameras!
The Second Outfit!
After they changed to their second outfit, they danced in to Flavour’s Ada Ada. On getting to the stage, the MC made them dance the Indian way, Tee Billz sang “Tiwa Baby, Tiwa Baby”, then she put her finger on her head and swayed to his sweet words.
Then Seyi Law said he will count from 1 to 60 and they have to kiss all through. When they began lip locking sparks instantly flew. It was quite electrifying! The person seating next to us said “Their tongues swayed to their own rhythm with electrifying passion.” LOL Soon after, they danced to “Let’s Get Married” by Jagged Edge. Which Tee Billz turned to a very steamy scene with his dance moves. He had removed his agbada, so he was ready to rock! “Step in the Name of Love” by R. Kelly was the next song, then Drake’s hit “Hold On, We’re Going Home”.
When the song stopped, Seyi asked all the friends of the bride and groom to come to the dance floor.
Seyi joked that he had a prophecy – “there’s a lady here. You are not older than 27 years. Your husband is here, He is wearing a white trad outfit and pink cap (which most of the men were) … and he is holding the mic.” He was referring to himself. Lol! See were.
All the friends at the stage danced to Davido‘s Skelewu.
Everyone danced around the bride and groom as well as a hot stepper young guest. Things went up a notch when pink and gold confetti was released on the dance floor.
Then it was time for the superstars to perform. Don Jazzy and Dr Sid were the first ones to hit the stage. They performed Surulere.
Banky W, the groom’s best man, performed Yes/No…they kept saying Yes omitting the No when he performed. Basically YES was the only option
He also performed “Ur Waist”!
The artistes gave their all - Chuddy K sang Gaga Crazy. Seyi Shay – Irawo. Waje also performed and Sexy Steel – Bebedi Alhaja. After cutting the cake, they fed themselves and kissed. This is one couple that can’t get their hands off each other!
BellaNaija Weddings will like to thank the couple for being so fabulous!, the top notch event planners and longtime BN collaborators The Wedding Company, all the wonderful photographers for their hard work and last but definitely not least, our BN fam (YOU).
Photos belong to the couple & photographers – Please do not republish or copy.
Damell Photography - facebook.com/damellphotography | info “at” damellphoto.com
Couple’s Official Photographer: Seyi Charles-George for SCG Photography - instagram.com/scgeorge1 | info “at” hautemanevents.com
Additional Photography: Obi Somto - blog.obisomto.net | info “at” obisomto.net
Traditional Engagement Date: Saturday November 23, 2013
Venue: The Ark, Lekki – https://www.facebook.com/TheArkEventCentre
Wedding Planners/Event Coordinators: The Wedding Company Nigeria - www.theweddingcompanyng.com
Decor: Newton & David - www.instagram.com/newtonanddavid
Bride’s Makeup: Bimpe Onakoya - www.instagram.com/bimpeonakoya
Wedding Cake: Cakes by Tosan - www.cakesbytosan.net
MC: Seyi Law
DJ: DJ Xclusive | DJ Meksy | DJ Spinall
Food: Kemabom Catering
Eru Iyawo: Eru Iyawo Concepts - www.instagram.com/eruiyawo
Drinks: Prive Luxury Brands - www.instagram.com/priveluxuryevents
Aso Ebi: Foradora Fabrics
Bride & Groom’s Fabrics: Foradora Fabrics - www.instagram.com/yinkafowora
Bride’s 3rd Outfit Fabric: Prive Luxury Events
Bride’s 3rd Outfit: Frank Osodi
Bride’s Aso Oke: Bisbod
Catering: Kemabom | Malas | Classic Golden Pot
Small Chops: Demo Small Chops | Oshinson | Cinnamon Chicken
Bar: Green Ice
Desserts: Cookie Jar | Nikita Waffles
Cocktails: Eventi Cocktails | Ginger Catering & Events
Lighting: Lightspeed Imaging
Sound & Dance Floor: G&A Productions
Invitation & Access Cards: Michael Lawanson
Venue: The Ark
Videography: HipTV | Asurf Films