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Education

EKSU workers protest non-remittance of salary deduction

Some workers of Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti (EKSU), Monday staged a protest against the management of the institution over non-remittance of their 11 months’ deduction from their monthly salary to cooperative societies.

The protesters are both academic and non-academic staff, who were members of various cooperative societies on the campus.

The protesters, who moved from the institution’s Administrative Block at about 8:10 am proceeded to the Campus gate to express their grievances.

They were seen with various placards bearing their thoughts and agitations. Among which are “Enough is Enough”, pay our 11 months’ salary, “No more half salaries”, “Our members are dying”, “Help! Help! Save Our Soul EKSU is killing us”, “O to ge, pay our outstanding salary”.

Speaking with journalists during the protest on Monday, the President of Academic Staff Union of University cooperative society, Prof. Awe Ariyo alleged that a deduction gulping 1.8 billion was not remitted to the cooperative societies’ account making it difficult to access the loan.

Ariyo said the management of the institution has no regard workers’ welfare, saying life has been difficult in the last three years.

He said non-payment of the deducted cooperative money had put the workers in shame as many of them, who depend on it, have had to deny themselves some basic necessities of life when they could not meet financial obligations.

“They have turned us to a pauper. And all our colleagues that are not doing the cooperative collect full salary. It is a sin to be frugal and send something aside to build a house, pay children school fees and buy a car.

“The problem we are having is that they are pretending to the government of paying full salary.

“Government gives them 260 million subventions whereas the wage bill is over 500 million. Instead of giving the true picture of how the wage bill rose to that level but they are pretending as if they are paying full salary.

“The Governing Council has decided to have a meeting with us but if the proposal is not acceptable, we would move en masse to the Government House to express our grievances.”

Also speaking, the Secretary of the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities, Mr. Aguda Azeez noted that the workers are unbearably suffering while the management is enriching their pockets unfettered.

Azeez said the institution Governing Council under the chairmanship of Prof. Bamitale Omole has derailed from its responsibility in ensuring effectiveness and efficiency in university’s administration.

“Omole-led Governing Council has been the most unproductive council we have ever had in this university.

“They have failed to look into the institution’s precarious financial situation but embarked on indiscriminate spending to their end.

“Without any noticeable development in the institution, Omole has succeeded in having five council’s meeting in just five months since it was inaugurated. And ordinarily, they supposed to meet four times a year. And each meeting consumes six million.”

” Fayemi should cross-examine activities of the council since they have been inaugurated whether it has been productive or otherwise”, Aguda said.

When contacted for reaction, the Public Relations Officer, Bode Olofinmuagun said the Governing Council is in a meeting to find a lasting solution to the issues as at the time of filing the report.

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Crime

Police confirm killing of Igbinedion varsity lecturer in Edo

The Edo Commissioner of Police, Mr Mohammed DanMallam, on Sunday confirmed the killing of a lecturer with the Igbinedion University, Okada, near Benin, by suspected kidnappers.

DanMallam said the lecturer, Kelvin Izebeokhai, was killed in an attempted escape bid when the victims were being marched into the forest by the kidnappers.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) gathered that the gunmen were said to be operating near Okada junction along the Benin-Lagos highway.

It was learnt that the gunmen abducted Izebeokhai and other passengers in the bus they were traveling in.

The driver of the mini bus was said to have rushed into the bush along with four other passengers.

“Unfortunately, one of the passengers who tried to escape during the abduction was killed by the gunmen.

“The police went after the kidnappers in the bush and succeeded in rescuing the victims.”

He said the police were working on a new strategy which entails taking the war to the kidnappers’ den in the jungle, adding that it is the best way to tackle the scourge.

Spokesman for the university, Mr Jide Ilugbo, who confirmed the killing described it as “babaric.”

İlugbo said late Izebeokhai was a First Class graduate and was employed in the university in 2016.

He said it was now dangerous to travel on the Benin-Lagos highway due to frequent attacks by armed robbers and kidnappers.

The official said it was unfortunate he ran into hoodlums, saying that the trailer parked before Okada Junction is a hideout for criminals.

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Education

Uniuyo student drowns in hotel swimming pool

A 100 level student of the University of Uyo, identified as Kingsley Etim, reportedly drowned in the swimming pool of De Vegas Paradise Hotel in Uyo, on Saturday during a pool party.

Confirming the incident to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday, Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in Akwa Ibom, SP Odiko Macdon, described the incident as unfortunate.

He said that the Command had commenced preliminary investigation into the matter to unravel more facts concerning the incident, as the police did not foreclose a foul play.

He said that the corpse had been deposited in a mortuary as investigation continued to establish more facts.

An eyewitness, who pleaded anonymity, said the incident occurred about 9.00 p.m. on Saturday, adding that the deceased was found when one of his colleagues spotted the body after others had left the pool.

“When my friends and I were about leaving the venue of the party to catch up with time before they lock our hostel, we heard someone had drowned in the pool.

“I was shocked because there was no sign of such and everyone had left the pool a long time before then.

“No one noticed he was drowned. Maybe because it was already dark and there was loud music. When he was brought out, people tried to revive him but it was all in vain,” she said.

“t was gathered that the deceased was later rushed to the University of Uyo Health Centre where he was confirmed dead.

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Education

Students flee Imo hotels over alleged police crackdown, extortion

A relentless police crackdown on students residing in hostels at Umuoma, Umuerim and Umuokomochi communities, near Owerri, is forcing students to flee their hostels, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

The three communities are in Owerri West Local Government Area of Imo, which is home to several tertiary institutions.

The police are said to have turned the hostels into goldmines, allegedly extorting money from `captured’ students and owners of students’ hostels after each raid.

The development is said to have been affecting businesses adversely in the communities, with many students seeking abode elsewhere to avoid being arrested by the rampaging police operatives, “who always come in mufti attires’’.

NAN learnt that students of the Federal Polytechnic, Nekede are planning to embark on a peaceful demonstration to get government to rein in on the police authorities in Nekede communities.

Speaking in an interview with NAN at Nekede on Sunday, a cross-section of the students said that policemen had made life unbearable for students residing in hostels in the town.

A final year student in the Department of Civil Engineering at the Federal Polytechnic, Nekede, Mr Nkem Ubani, lamented “incessant harassment of students in the communities.’’

He said that the situation had become increasingly unbearable.

“We are worried over incessant police arrests at our various hostels without reason. Each time the policemen arrest students, they take money from them and set them free.

“The police authorities should look into the activities of their men in Nekede to prevent an imminent breakdown of law and order because it has reached crisis point.

“They are extorting students, hurting them and ruining businesses of innocent people making their living in the communities.

“I don’t want to mention the name of my hostel. I live in Umuoma and I have been a victim of police arrest severally. Each time they arrested me, they demanded money for me to secure my release.

“Nekede is not the only community having students’ hostels in Nigeria.

“Why has the police descended on this community over the years? Are they saying that every student in Nekede is a criminal?

“How many of such criminals have they tried over the years and for what offences? Let them make their findings public.’’

Ubani affirmed that students in the communities were planning to stage a protest to the office of the rector of the polytechnic and to the Police Divisional Headquarters at Ihiagwa, to voice their frustrations.

Another student, Mr Kelvin Osondu, lamented also that policemen in the Ihiagwa division had turned students into their `ATM` with allegations each time that the students were suspected criminals.

“Yes we have some bad boys around but our problem is that each time the police want to arrest anyone, they will use the opportunity to raid the area and arrest innocent students.

“Why I get worried is that for all the arrests they make, they have never prosecuted any student because most of the arrests are unjust and illegal.

“So we are mobilizing for a peaceful demonstration,’’ he stated.

A caretaker at one of the hostels in Umuerim community, Mrs Blessing Iweajunwa, confirmed the incessant arrests of students in Nekede communities.

She, however, told the police not to victimize innocent students in their bid to arrest suspected criminals.

“Am the lawyer, managing Fairland Hostel in Umuerim community. Since I took over management of the hostel, policemen have been coming to make unwarranted arrests.

“I think the police authorities should caution their men,” she said.

Speaking on the development, the Chief Security of Nekede Polytechnic, Mr Kunle Ade, told NAN that the rector and other management staff had earlier met with the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of the area on the issue.

“He said that authorities of the institution would be on the alert on the planned protest of the students over extortions by the police.

“Bbut the issue is that we have a lot of bad boys, who claim to be students but they are not.

“Remember that when police want to arrest such people they will raid the area.

“But the good thing now is that we have a new DPO who does not detain or collect money from any student proven to be innocent after arrest,” Ade said.

The Police Public Relations Officer, SP. Orlando Ikeoku, told NAN that students were entitle to peaceful demonstrations.

He, however, described the allegations of extortion and incessant harassment by policemen in Nekede communities as baseless.

Ikeoku conceded, however, that innocent people could be arrested during police raids, explaining that “when such people are identified they will be released unconditionally while offenders will be prosecuted’’.

The spokesman said that the new Commissioner of Police in Imo, Mr Rabiu Ladodo, would never shade erring officers.

He advised students to report cases of extortions, harassments and unlawful arrests to the police authorities in the state.

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