President Buhari reduces cost of UTME, SSCE forms; ASUU vows not to suspend its strike | Other top stories of the week

These are the stories that drove conversation this week.

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) vowed not to suspend its ongoing industrial strike action until its demands on poor funding of universities and government’s failure to adhere to previous agreements are met.

ASUU National President, Biodun Ogunyemi said, “…so far, nothing concrete has come out of the meetings; rather it is still a projection of their ‘keep-them talking’ culture.

In another over 3-hour meeting, however, Ogunyemi said another date has been scheduled for the continuation of the meeting.

More than eight days after the terrorist group, Boko Haram attacked a military camp in Metele,  President Muhammadu Buhari visited Borno.

After this, the president announced that he will be “convening a consultation of Heads of State and Government of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) for November 29, 2018, in N’Djamena, Chad.”

Then, in a statement released on behalf of the Chief of Army Staff, by Brigadier General Sani Kukasheka Usman, said, “one of the Nigerian battalions (157 TF Bn), deployed under the auspices of the MNJTFt was attacked at their base on the outskirts of a town called METELE on November 18, 2018, during which the troops were forced to withdraw, resulting (as at Wednesday) in the death of 23 personnel while 31 personnel were wounded in action and have been evacuated to several medical hospitals within Borno.”

President Buhari went against the position of the leadership of his party saying that anyone displeased with the method anything has been done and feels deprived of his/her rights, is at liberty to approach the courts for redress.

The president said, “We can’t deliberately deny people of their rights. We agreed that party primaries should be conducted either through direct, indirect or consensus methods, and if anyone feels unjustly treated in the process, such a person can go to court. The court should always be the last resort for the dissatisfied. For the party to outlaw the court process is not acceptable to me.”

President Buhari approved an increase in the salary of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF).

Announcing this, Buhari said his administration will not renege on his promise to provide adequate welfare and operational needs to the NPF.

But there is a reason Policement might have been living off “rogers”; here is the answer.

Nigerian singer, Tekno’s management said in a statement that his vocal box is temporarily damaged – He is, therefore, taking some time out.

This sparked a conversation as to why other well-known singers have not suffered such.

But in a chat with Showtime, Tekno‘s road manager, John said, “It can happen; Wizkid, Davido and others are always on the move for shows around the world too but they have never recorded such because they don’t do live band like Tekno. Tekno performs with a live band in all his international shows and even some in Nigeria. Davido doesn’t even have a good vocal box and that’s why his voice sounds that way. Wizkid too can’t do high tempo music; it’s always mid-tempo songs. Tiwa Savage started professionally with good vocal coaches and all that, I’m sure that helps her a lot.”

President Buhari reduced the cost of the forms for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME); Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) and Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE).

With this, the price of JAMB UTME will be reduced from N5,000 to N3,500, NECO will drop from N11,350 to N9,850. He, however, did not indicate how much the BECE form will be reduced to.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said that it will keenly monitor the financial affairs of political parties to ensure that the use of public funds to finance political parties and prosecute campaigns at all levels of government is checked.

Speaking through his Chief of Staff, Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu said, “donations to political parties and the identities of the donors will henceforth be of massive interest to the Commission going forward.”

“In addition, politicians prosecuting campaigns must be required to keep proper records of all donations received by them including the identities of the donors; and to turn their books over to relevant security agencies, and to INEC for inspection after every electioneering cycle, including the costs of litigations arising from the elections and the source of funding for the litigations.” 

Nigeria’s Federal Government told the United States to be cautious in granting a visa to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, so as not to create the impression that he is being endorsed for the 2019 election.

Information Minister, Lai Mohammed said that the federal government was aware that Atiku has engaged the services of some lobbyists to persuade the U.S. to issue a visa to him, noting however that the U.S. has the prerogative of granting a visa to anyone who applies.

Reacting to the development, spokesman for the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan dismissed the comment as a “lazy talk,” stressing that Alhaji Lai Mohammed and the APC cannot dictate to America who to allow into their country. It is not in the place of Lai Mohammed to tell America who to admit and who not to admit into their country.

The Nigerian Police said that 104 bandits have been killed in a special anti-rustling operation conducted in Zamfara.

The police said 50 hideouts of the bandits were also destroyed and hundreds of stolen cattle and sheep recovered and handed to the owners.

One police officer was killed during the operation in Birnin Mogaji, Zurmi Local Government Area, police spokesperson Jimoh Moshood said in a statement.

There is a report by Premium Times that a terrorist group is gradually gaining prominence in Tangaza Local Government Area, Sokoto.

The group, the report states, possess sophisticated weapons and are applying ‘strange laws’ and punishing defaulters, in the area which they have taken control of.

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