Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, National President, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), has decried the recruitment system in the universities, regretting that many people not qualified to teach had found their way into the system.
Ogunyemi made this known when he appeared on News Agency of Nigeria , Forum in Abuja on Sunday.
“Some lecturers have no business in the classrooms, but they found their way in due to political interference.
“You find that some lecturers probably have no business being in the universities but you know politics has done so much damage to us that sometimes merit is sacrificed on the altar of mediocrity and political connections.
“We hope that we shall restore the credibility of the system as we have been trying to argue over the years. A key step to achieving that is for government to create the enabling environment for us to go back to the renegotiation table.
“We need to talk more so that we can come up with a new agreement package that will help us in addressing our universities shortcomings in no time,’’ he said.
He noted that such recruitment had done a lot of damage to the university system as not all people in the class are able to teach.
On why students do not have access to current publication by lecturers, Ogunyemi said that facilities for conducting cutting edge research were in a shambles.
He, however, said that lecturers were doing their best.
“Concerning the publications, Nigerian academics are still doing their best within the limit of their environment. The student population is equally a distraction from research and, without research, you cannot publish.
“ Talking about research, one must have access to current materials which is becoming increasingly difficult because our libraries are no longer stocked as regularly as it used to happen in the past.
“The laboratories are bereft of chemicals and reagents. Modern facilities for conducting cutting edge research are hardly there.
“So, when you talk of publications, our colleagues are still publishing, but, may be, you do not see as many books as we used to have in the past.
“And for those who are actually conscious of the implication of what they put into paper, nobody wants to write junk books. We have limitations which we are trying g to overcome,’’ he said.
He said that ASUU would continue to advocate for restoration, resuscitation and repositioning of the university system in order to reclaim its enviable position.
Nigerian celebrities mourn late Majek Fashek
Nigerian celebrities have taken to their social media platforms to mourn the death of Music Legend, Majekodunmi Fasheke, a.k.a Majek Fashek.
Fashek’s a.k.a rain maker’s death was announced by his manager, Omenka Uzoma, through a short video on his instagram page.
Other include Yomi Black, Bimbo Esho, actress Toyin Adegbola and Jude Okoye were not equally left out.
Sound Sultan had this on his page: “Rest in peace, power Majek.”
Yomi Black wrote:” Rest in peace, Majek Fashek.”
Also, Bimbo Esho, Chief Executive Officer, Evergreen Musical Company, mourned the late reggae maestro as she wrote ” Adieu Majek Fashek. May you journey well. The Rainmaker takes a final bow to the cold hands of death.
Jude Okoye, Chief Executive Officer of Northside Music, also wrote: “Rest peacefully, my Legend.”
Fashek, worked with various artists worldwide, including Tracy Chapman, Jimmy Cliff, Michael Jackson, Snoop Dogg and Beyonce.
Nigerian newspaper decries African American glass ceiling
The article in This Day, under the title “The Mindless Murder of George Floyd,” asked, “Why are many blacks targeted in needless killings by the white cops? What crime have they committed? Is it a crime to be black? What happened to diversity and inclusiveness?”
In a video, the victim was heard saying “I can’t breathe” while three other police officers stood by.
The incident has triggered protests against racism in the United States, forcing curfews to be declared in several parts of the country.
Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat called on authorities in the United States to intensify their efforts to “ensure the total elimination of all forms of discrimination based on race or ethnic origin.”
Nigerian Army Medical Corps gets new Acting Corps Commander
The Nigerian Army Medical Corps gets a new Acting Corps Commander, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.
The handing and taking over ceremony was held on Monday at the Headquarters, Nigerian Army Medical Corps, Bonny Camp cantonment, Lagos.
The new Acting Corps Commander said that his vision was to have a highly regimented, professional and accountable Corps in the delivery of its services.
“The Corps is unparalleled in the recent history of the Nigerian Army. As such, there is no gainsaying that to whom, much is given much is expected.
“By extension, performance, excellence and efficiency in the delivery of prompt and enviable healthcare to our officers, soldiers and their families is therefore not an exception, but the norm henceforth,” he said.
He said that regimentation was the bedrock of military indoctrination and panacea for victory at warfare and success in peacetime administration.
Solebo implored all personnel to reflect on the ethics, customs and tradition of the military and abide strictly by the rules therein, if we are to foster an enviable Corps for the future.
He urged all corps commanders to ensure that all military personnel in their various units engaged in physical activities as stipulated by the Nigerian Army to improve the performance at work.
According to him, to improve the performance at work, a physically fit body and mentally alert mind are essential.
“As such, all commanders are to ensure all military personnel of the Corps in their respective units actively participate in physical activities by way of morning physical training.
“Participation in this activities are to be reflected in the PER’s of all personnel by their respective directors and commanders.
“All officers and soldiers of the Corps will also work to maintain their body mass index prescribed by the ASA.
“With the goal of reinforcing and bringing clinical, and surgical expertise closer to the location of injured amongst troops.
“Such that intervention is faster with the expected effect of further reduction in morbidity and mortality,” he said.
Solebo also said that all medical units would benefit from declaring their average drug usage on a monthly or quarterly basis.
According to him, drug availability on the NHIS in our hospitals and the scourge of fake drugs had become a topical issue.
“All medical units would benefit from declaring their average drug usage on a monthly or quarterly basis. This would aid budgeting and efficient use of primary funds including capitation and fee for service.
“A drive towards centralisation of drug procurement from a few validated sources would be urgently explored, whilst our drug manufacturing unit continue to explore capacity building and expansion to meet the drug consumption need of the NA,” he said.
He also thanked the outgoing Acting Corps Commander on the effort made to reposition the Corps thus far.
Insecurity: Nigerian Army inaugurates ‘Operation Accord’
The Special Task Force, Operation Safe Haven (OPSH), maintaining peace in Plateau and part of Kaduna and Bauchi States, on Monday inaugurated a special operation code name ‘Operation Accord.’
Inaugurating the operation in Gwantu, Sanga Local Government Area of Kaduna state, Maj. Gen. Chukwuemeka Okonkwo, Commander of the Task Force, said the special operation aimed at address the spate of insecurity within its area of operation
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Operation Accord is an ongoing Defence Headquarters operation designed to neutralise and stem down banditry and other forms of insecurity in the North West and North Central zones of the country.
Okonkwo added that the operation was replicated by OPSH to block infiltration of fleeing bandits and militia groups into its area of operation.
He explained that the special operation aimed at identifying bandits and criminal hideouts, would last from till June 30.
The commander added that operation accord would facilitate the return of lasting peace within its area of operation, noting that it would also address all emerging security threats.
“Operation Accord is today being replicated for synergy of efforts in order to simultaneously conduct same operation within our area of operation from June 1 to 30.
“It will also identify bandits and criminal hideouts and neutralise them. The operation will be conducted concurrently with operation WHRL STROKE against banditry within North Central zone.
“It is aimed at facilitating the restoration of peace and security across our area of joint operation,” he said
Okonkwo assured members of the public that his men would be professional in carrying out the operation, adding that safety of lives and property would be prioritised.
“Let me assure members of the public that the military will professionally discharge it’s duties during the operation.
“Troops will observe rules of engagement and other best practices for the safety and security of civil populace,” he assured.
The Commander called on the general public to avail useful information to the military to enable it achieve the objectives of the operation
Okonkwo also cautioned his men against unprofessional practices, noting that one caught would be punished accordingly
COVID-19: Nigerian scientists working on preventive vaccines , call for assistance
A group of scientists from different institutions in Nigeria coordinated by the Vice Chancellor, Precious Cornerstone University (PCU), Ibadan, Prof. Kola Oloke, has developed two potential vaccines that could prevent the Coronavirus disease currently ravaging the world.
This is contained in a statement jointly signed on Monday by Oloke, the VC PCU and leaders of the team, Dr Oladipo Kolawole, a Microbiologist, who specialises in Medical Virology (Immunology and Bioinformatics) from Adeleke University, Ede.
Dr Ajayi Folorunsho, a Medical Physiologist with specialization in Pathophysiology from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, also signed the statement.
The statement said that they were spurred into action by the need to rise to the challenges posed by the Coronavirus pandemic.
According to them, the research work has reached an advanced stage of animal trial experiment, which would help to establish the veracity and efficacy of the vaccines for the prevention of the dreaded disease.
“We have worked extensively by exploring the SARS-CoV-2 genome from African countries to select the best possible potential vaccine candidates.
“After trying out some selected processes of vaccine development, we have been able to choose the best potential vaccine candidates for the SARS-CoV -2 and they have made the possible latent vaccine constructs,” the scientists revealed.
The team pointed out that the research was a collaborative effort of a number of scientists from different institutions/disciplines.
“It was however carried out at the Genomics Research Hub of Helix Biogen Consult in Ogbomoso and jointly funded by Trinity Immunoefficient Laboratory and Helix Biogen Consult owned by Dr Kolawole Oladipo,” the statement read.
It stated that consequently, they have urged other researchers in Africa to rise up to the challenge offered by the period by coming up with more solutions.
It stressed that “The understanding of genetic diversity/variability of the SARS-CoV-2 in Africa, is a very urgent assignment.
“There is a need for African scientists to wake up and provide more solutions to the pandemic specific for Africans.
“Therefore, this study was initiated to make significant scientific contributions to the development of the SARS-CoV-2 vaccines”.
It further said as the team prepared for the animal trial experiment of the vaccine billed to commence any moment from now, the researchers expressed joy for the feat achieved.
“The findings from this research have shown the importance of multidisciplinary research efforts in healthcare. We are at the verge of something truly transformational in Nigeria and Africa and by extension, the world at large”
“We are calling for financial assistance from the government and relevant stakeholders, so as to see the efforts through.
“In summary, the team has been able to construct two potential vaccines for SARS-CoV-2 , which should work in a much pretty way to protect the general populace against the novel COVID-19 , if it becomes successful in the animal trial experiments.
“The animal experiment will help us to validate the constructed vaccine, evaluate its effectiveness and safety.
“Therefore, we hereby call for support in various ways from non-governmental and governmental institutions to assist in the next steps of these novel vaccines development,” it stated.
Meanwhile, other key members of the team include Dr Onile Olugbenga, who specialises in Molecular Epidemiology and Immunology from Elizade University, Ondo State, Dr Ariyo Olumuyiwa Elijah, who specialises in Infectious and Tropical Diseases from Federal Medical Centre, Ido, Ekiti State.
Dr Folusho Ajayi, who specialises in Microbial and Molecular Biotechnology from the Massasoit Community College, Brockton, United States, is also part of the research team as well as others not mentioned.
Nigerian military says scores of Boko Haram militants surrender
Scores of Boko Haram militants, including senior commanders, have surrendered to government troops in northeast Nigeria, a military spokesman said on Monday.
The militants’ surrender came after the government’s sustained Operation Lafiya Dole offensive, John Enenche, the military spokesperson, confirmed to Xinhua in a statement.
Enenche did not give the exact number of Boko Harm militants who have surrendered.
Boko Haram has been trying to establish an Islamist state in northeastern Nigeria since 2009, extending its attacks to countries in the Lake Chad Basin, posing enormous security, humanitarian and governance challenges to countries including Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, Benin and Niger.
Nigerian troops kill 4 in airstrikes on gunmen camp
Four gunmen were killed when the Nigerian military launched airstrikes to destroy a logistics warehouse of a “criminal gang” in the country’s northwest region, the military said on Monday.
In a statement reaching Xinhua in Abuja, the military said the weekend bombardment of the gunmen’s camp in the Birnin Kogo area of the northwestern state of Zamfara followed credible intelligence.
An attack aircraft that scrambled to engage the target had scored accurate hits on a large structure within the camp, used by the gunmen group to store their ammunition and other logistics items, the statement said.
The military said the warehouse went up in flames, as a result of its volatile contents, leading to its complete destruction.
According to the statement, the airstrikes were in continuation of the renewed onslaught against “criminal gangs” in parts of the Nigerian northwest and north-central regions where kidnapping and armed banditry, among other crimes, had become rampant.
Chinese Doctors: ADC demands health minister’s apology for “misinforming” Nigerians
The African Democratic Congress (ADC) has asked the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, to apologize for “misinforming” Nigerians on the mission of the 15 Chinese doctors who arrived in the country on April 8.
The party’s National Publicity Secretary, Yemi Kolapo, said this in a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday.
She said: “Ehanire has failed to address the real issues raised by concerned Nigerians on the whereabouts of a ’15-member Chinese medical team.’
“In a matter that had been followed by the entire world, a simple apology will reassure Nigerians that we are not being taken for fools.
“Not apologising for this needless messy situation would send a wrong signal to the world on the manner of governance in Nigeria.”
Kolapo said that the ADC was at the forefront of calls for support for the Federal Government because of the party’s conviction that politicising the COVID-19 pandemic would neither benefit citizens nor the economy.
She said the Chinese medical team saga was, however, a dent that cannot be straightened with a passing remark.
The spokesperson said this was not with the kind of world attention the federal government attracted to the country a few hours before the arrival of the doctors turned technicians.
Edited By: Wale Ojetimi (NAN)
NCPC reassures Nigerians of integrity, transparency in procurement process
The Director in Charge of the Nigeria Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC), Mrs Esther Kwaghe, has assured service providers that the commission would always ensure integrity and transparency especially in its procurement process.
This was made known in a statement on Sunday in Abuja, by Celestine Toruka, Assistant Director, Media and Public Relations, NCPC.
Kwaghe reassured Nigerians of integrity and transparency during the final Financials and Technical bid opening for Ground Handlers and Air carriers for the 2020 Christian Pilgrimage to Israel, Greece and Rome.
“I want to encourage our partners that this Commission will try to stand on integrity.”
She affirmed that the bid opening was the second procurement process for the 2020 Christian Pilgrimage Exercise.
Kwaghe commended the Federal Government on the way and manner it had handled the menace of COVID-19.
She enjoined all Nigerians to embrace and come nearer to God more than ever before, saying that this was the time to pray fervently so that the Lord will see our country through.
She congratulated the two Ground Handlers and Air Carrier that scaled through the selection process for the 2020 Pilgrimage Exercise.
The director said that in selecting the service providers for the pilgrimage exercise, the commission was guided by the principles of the Public Procurement Act of 2007.
The high point of the bid process was the opening of the procurement box and the unveiling of the envelops submitted by the service providers.
The Financials and Technical bid for the 2020 Christian Pilgrimage was attended by Mr Nura Mohammed, a representative of the Director of Procurement, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
There were other observers from the Civil Society Organisations.
They all adjudged the NCPC’s procurement process as being very transparent.
In his assessment, Mohammed affirmed that the NCPC bid opening for 2020 Christian Pilgrimage to Israel, Greece and Rome was in line with the Public Procurement Act of 2007.
Similarly, Mrs Chioma Nwosu of Faith Man Foundation, described the NCPC’s bid opening process as transparent as always.
Edited By: Vivian Ihechu/Donald Ugwu (NAN)
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