The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has denied receiving N150million from President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Executive Committee of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) visited President Muhammadu Buhari on January 3, 2019 and the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) was one of the issues that came up during the visit.
Buhari had told NANS that his government was “working hard towards a resolution, and will continue to ask for ASUU’s understanding”.
However, reports had emerged that the association allegedly collected the said amount during the visit.
A statement made available to NAN on Saturday and signed by Adeyemi Amoo, its National Public Relations Officer (PRO), urged Nigerian students to ignore the allegations by ASUU.
The statement read: “Our attention has been drawn to the purported and sponsored allegation, that NANS had been bribed by President Muhammadu Buhari with a whooping sum of N150million to protest against ASUU.
“We commend the well meaning, intellectual and genuine civil society groups for not falling cheap for this blackmail, as we’ve gotten informed and reliably that they’ve also been lobbied by ASUU to join them in pushing such blackmail. We are not surprised that this blackmail isn’t flying beyond the pseudo groups they’ve been able to arrange and mobilise with cash.
“President Muhammadu Buhari is a known person in character and style to virtually all Nigerians. Even the opposition knows that Buhari will never give out such amount of money for any reason(s) that is not of national benefits or developments. No doubt this propaganda might have seen the acceptance of the masses if it wasn’t targeted towards Buhari himself.”
According to Amoo, NANS had earlier declared November 17, 2018 as a nationwide day of mass action tagged: ‘Save Education Rally’ held simultaneously across the states of the federation, to protest the incessant strikes across universities, polytechnics and colleges of education. He added that in October 2018, NANS national leadership met with the Minister for Education, to fine-tune ways of putting a long term end to the regular carnival of strikes in the educational sector.
The statement continued: “We thereby demanded as the major stakeholders in the sectors, to always have representatives at the meeting of ASUU with Federal Government, as this was targeted towards adding to the strength and voice of ASUU, so as to make government yield to their demands in time. The Federal Government on her own side sees the request of being an observer at the negotiation table with ASUU as a welcome development.
“NANS was invited twice to the meeting of Federal Government with ASUU, ably represented by the NANS national president, Danielson Akpan, but was walked out twice by the ASUU leadership, insisting that such negotiations must not be done in the presence of younger ones.
“NANS leadership begins to wonder what reasons might be behind the blind insistence of ASUU that NANS must not observe the meeting, when the Federal Government has wholeheartedly approved our attendance at such meetings.”
He added that NANS after exhausting all means, resolved to issue an ultimatum to the Nigerian Government and ASUU to return to the negotiation table. He also said NANS sought audience with the president which led to the meeting at the presidential villa on Thursday.
“At the meeting, NANS appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to, as a matter of urgency, resolve the ASUU strike, for him not to lose the support of over 20 million Nigerian students. This was the statement of the NANS president at the meeting, as against the cheap blackmail that NANS has assured Buhari of mobilising 20 million votes for him.
“NANS, therefore, uses this medium to inform Nigerian students and Nigerians at large, that its leadership will not, has not and will not for any reason sell the interest and integrity of our dear organisation.
“Conclusively, we want to tell ASUU that NANS is not for sale. We have not, and will not turn our struggles to sources of empowerment.”
President Buhari charges Nigerian workers after signing N30,000 as new minimum wage
The President stated this shortly after signing the national minimum wage bill into law in Abuja on Thursday.
He also enjoined the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to show more understanding of the current socio-economic situations in country.
He said: “I expect them (workers) to be more committed to their work at whichever level.
“I will like the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to look at the economic situation of the country, the population, the poor infrastructure that we are trying to fix in terms of roads, rail and power.
“So, I wish Nigerian workers the best of luck.”
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Sen. Ita Enang, had earlier told State House correspondents on Thursday in Abuja that the implementation of the N30, 000 minimum wage just signed into law by President Buhari would take effect from April 18.
According to him, the bill now makes it mandatory for employers of labour in both public and private organisations to pay N30, 000 as minimum wage.
He said: “You can see me smiling on behalf of Nigerian workers. President Muhammadu Buhari has assented to the Minimum Wage Repel and Enactment Act, 2019.
“This makes it compulsory for all employers of labour in Nigeria to pay to their workers the sum of N30, 000.
“This excludes persons who are employing less than 25 workers, persons who work in a ship which sails out of jurisdiction and other persons who are in other kinds of regulated employment which are accepted by the Act.
“It also gives workers the right, if you are compelled by any circumstance to accept salary that is less than N30, 000, to sue your employer to recover the balance.
”It also authorises the minister of labour and any person nominated by the minister or any person designated by the minister of labour in any ministry, department or agency to on your behalf, take action in your name against such employer to recover the balance of your wages.”
According to the presidential aide, the bill ensures and mandates the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission and the minister or labour, to be the chief and principal enforcers of the provisions of this law.
“This law applies to all agencies, persons and bodies throughout the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
Enang enjoined Nigerian workers to continue to support the president and his administration’s policies in return for the gesture.
Buhari reveals India’s impact on growth of Nigeria’s economic
This was as he described India as “Nigeria’s biggest trade partner’’.
He spoke while receiving Letters of Credence from High Commissioner of India to Nigeria, Mr Abhay Thakur, at the State House and was contained in a statement signed and forwarded to DAILY POST by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.
President Buhari also called for a closer and stronger partnership that will be mutually beneficial to the citizens.
“Our two countries are very close. India has helped Nigeria in many ways, and we are very grateful. In trade, you are, today, our biggest customer in crude oil purchase,’’ he said.
Recalling his experience at Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, India, in 1973, the President stated that Nigeria’s relationship with India has been long and upwardly rewarding for individuals, institutions and the country.
“I want you to maintain the standard we have attained, and improve on it,’’ President Buhari told the High Commissioner, who listed some areas of bilateral interest that deserved more attention.
On his part, Thakur said India will continue to stand with Nigeria, “shoulder to shoulder in all areas of mutual interest, including security’’, assuring the President that he will work hard on encouraging meetings that focused on reducing double taxation and attract more Foreign Direct Investments, actualize Nigerian airline, Air Peace’s dream of two weekly flights to Bombay and open up the visa regime more.
How Buhari’s aide reacted after CCT removed Onnoghen as CJN, NJC Chairman
The CCT had, on Thursday, banned Onnoghen from holding public office for 10 years.
In his judgment over alleged non-asset declaration against Onnoghen, the Chairman of CCT, Danladi Umar also removed Onnoghen from office as the Chief Justice of Nigeria and Chairman, National Judicial Council, NJC.
Umar ruled that all Onnoghen’s monies deposited in his Standard Chartered Bank account in Wuse 2, Abuja be confiscated, seized and forfeited.
The CCT Chairman held that the monies in the affected five bank accounts were acquired illegally particularly as Onnoghen could not proved his source of income for the seized monies beyond all reasonable doubts.
Reacting to the ruling, Onochie warned that others would soon follow.
In a tweet, Onochie wrote: “BREAKING NEWS. Onnoghen convicted. Banned from holding Public office for TEN Years.
“One down, Many to go! Ma Su Gudu Su Gudu.”
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