He served in various capacities in the Nigeria Police Force including as Edo State Commissioner of Police, Bauchi State Commissioner for Police, Personal Assistant to the AIG of Police, Department of Training and Development, FHQ Annex, Lagos State and Chief of Training, Directorate on Peace-keeping, FHQ, Abuja. He also served as the Area Commander, Suleja Area Command
Due to the scarcity of the new naira notes which has caused hardship to Nigerians, a civil society group in Edo State, Edo Civil Society Group led by Comrade Agho Omobude on Tuesday blocked the main entrance of the Central Bank of Nigeria in Benin City.
As a result of the protest, vehicles coming into the Ring Road through Akpakpava were forced to go through Igun Street to Sokponba before linking up with Ring Road.
The protesters called on the appropriate authority to make the new naira notes available to reduce the suffering of Nigerians who are presently going through hell to access their money, while urging the CBN to start giving out N100, N50 and N20 notes if the new notes were not available.
Omobude said the naira swap policy at this time was a deliberate attempt by the central bank governor, Godwin Emiefele, in connivance with the Federal Government to subject the masses to untold hardship.
He vowed that the group would remain at the entrance of the bank until the head of the central bank, Benin branch, came out to address them on the situation, adding that it was inhuman to continue to allow Nigerians to remain in this suffering.
The Supreme Court on February 1 resolved the crisis in the Edo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in favour of a faction loyal to Governor Godwin Obaseki.
The apex court delivered the ruling in an appeal filed by a lawmaker representing the Oredo Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama.
Justice Centus Nweze, who delivered the lead judgment, said Ogbeide-Ihama’s appeal was dismissed on the ground that the issues he raised did not form part of the judgment of the Court of Appeal which he had appealed.
The Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, has sacked Mr Edomwonyi Iduozee Ogiegbaen as the Enogie of Egbaen Siluko in Ovia North East LGA of Edo State.
Ogiegbaen’s sack came after he was removed as chief coordinator to the palace on Enigie matters in January, 2023, over alleged rebellion, dereliction of duty and uprising in the Enigie fold in Benin Kingdom.
Oba Ewuare also announced the appointment of Capt Uwadiae Ohonbamumwen (Rtd) as the Odionwere of Egbaen Siluko.
Earlier in his address to the Benin throne, Ohonbamumwen, former Ozukpogieva (second most senior elder in Egbaen Siluko), distanced himself from the atrocities levelled against Ogiegbaen, who he said bluntly refused to honour several entreaties made to him to retrace his steps.
He lamented that several appeals by elders of the dukedom to Ogiegbaen fell on deaf ears after the latter led some dissident dukes to petition the Edo State Government, requesting for the constitution of traditional councils for Edo South LGAs in a bid to balkanise the Benin Kingdom,
He appealed to the oba to appoint an administrative head in Egbaen Siluko, which he said had been due for the past five years, to save the area from lawlessness.
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A video of the protest seen by SaharaReporters on Monday morning shows fires on the road with thick smoke billowing from the burning materials.
A voice narration in the video said, “This is happening live in Benin City, Edo State capital; huge protest going on over fuel crisis. You can see protesters block roads and making fire on the roadblocks.”
SaharaReporters earlier reported that the price of premium motor spirit (PMS), otherwise called petrol had gone up, with some fuel stations selling for as high as N400 per litre.
The official cost of the product used to be N165 per litre before recent reports accuse the government of quietly increasing it to N185 per litre. But due to the scarcity of the product and the rising demand, many fuel stations have been selling for between N340 and N400 per litre.
The scarcity of the product is currently causing untold hardship for Nigerians.
SaharaReporters earlier reported that President Buhari recently set up a 14-man committee that he would be heading to proffer solutions to the lingering fuel scarcity.
The committee according to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr Timipre Sylvia, will be chaired by the President as the Minister of Petroleum Resources while he will be the alternate chairman.
The committee’s job is to address the challenges in the downstream sector of the petroleum industry, causing petrol scarcity in Nigeria.
It will also track petroleum products, especially petrol to ascertain daily national consumption and eliminate smuggling.
In October 2022, Sylva said Nigeria was losing at least 700,000 barrels of crude oil to thieves daily.
The minister said this through the Permanent Secretary in the petroleum resources ministry, Ambassador Gabriel Aduda, who represented him at the 2002 graduation of students of the Petroleum Training Institute (PTI)
The transporters also lamented the blockade, while expressing dissatisfaction over the incident.
A trader, Grace Emmanuel who was taking her good to Ekiadolor said it was pertinent for her to take her perishable good to where she would sell them so that she doesn’t incur losses.
“It is unfortunate that this protesting is taking place because it will add to the existing problem. If I don’t get my good to where I will sell them, some might get worse and I will incur losses which I don’t want at this time.
“They are protesting for the right reasons. The fuel situation is hitting hard on everybody but blocking the roads will lead to losses to individuals who are going to do business,” she added.
A driver who gave his name as Osahon said the protest has left most people stranded in the axis while calling on the government to look into what is causing the fuel crisis in the country
In summarising how he puts in the hard work and endures the pains in order to smile at the end of the day, the late American professional boxer and activist, Muhammad Ali said: “I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’”
Formerly known as Cassius Clay, Ali who was nicknamed “The Greatest” was also regarded as one of the most significant sports figures of the 20th Century, and frequently ranked as the greatest heavyweight boxer of all time.
“Winning solves everything,” is how American professional golfer, Eldrick Tont Woods, better known as Tiger Woods (who is widely regarded as one of the greatest golfers of all time, and one of the most famous athletes in modern history) chose to summarise his understanding of winning.
When the National Sports Festival, a biennial multi-sport fiesta organised by the then National Sports Commission (NSC), and now by the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development was initiated, it was conceived as a “unifying tool” with the main purpose of promoting peace, national unity, and cross-cultural affiliation in the wake of the Nigerian Civil War, in 1970.
Started and staged in 1973, at the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos, the games, which was also to serve as a development and training event to aid athletes in preparing for continental and international meets, also had as its objectives, to build a robust talent pool of athletes; enhance and elevate sports at the grassroots; establish a standard programme for athletes’ succession; curb age cheating in sports; enhance cultural and educational development, and also engage young athletes in the Olympic Movement, skill development and social responsibility among others.
Whether the NSF has, of late, been realising these lofty objectives remains a highly debatable topic, especially given the cocktail of scandals that have characterised it.
A Litany Of Scandals That Appear Normalised ONE of the most critical objectives of the NSF is to revolutionise sports development through the enhancement and elevation of sports at the grassroots level. In other words, the NSF presents state governors with the initial impetus to make massive investments in grassroots sports development so as create employment for the youths, and bring glory to the states.
But except in a few states, little or nothing is done about genuine and sustainable sports development at the grassroots. What most state governments are doing in the name of sports development is simply “money for the boys” using the Nigerian street lingo. They are never sustainable, neither are they result-oriented.
Consequently, as the festival approaches, a massive “purchase” of medal hopefuls, by states that have deep pockets takes centre stage, and hundreds of millions of naira that ought to have been sunk into sustainable sports programmes exchange hands seamlessly. These result in athletes switching states after each festival.
Promoting national unity, sporting excellence, and enhancing cultural and educational development rank among the top objectives of the NSF, but that is gradually becoming unachievable, as most northern states increasingly absent themselves from the festival. Whenever they show up, they only do so with a handful of athletes who are thoroughly ill-prepared, and always return home without medals. This trend has been on for years with the organisers watching almost hands akimbo.
One of the factors that have ensured that the country’s sports fortunes remain in the cradle, despite abundant human and material resources, is the fact that the country is yet to exorcise the ghost of age cheating among her sportsmen and women.
As a country that is very poor with data collection/preservation, tracking the age of citizens, including sportsmen and women has remained a Herculean task over the years.
Consequently, knowing the true age of athletes, or keeping a tab on them, their career progression has remained a mirage.
Cyclists preparing for the women 80km road race at the 20th edition of the National Sports Festival in Benin City, the Edo State
The fact that most of these athletes always present suspicious affidavits from courts, as proof of age, as against their original birth certificates (in a bid to conceal their actual age) makes a total mockery of using the festival to curb age cheating in sports.
It is, however, disheartening to note that all these anomalies have been normalised in the course of the festival, to the point that most sports managers/administrators no longer raise their eyebrows, neither does the sports ministry.
Be that as it may, the Rivers State Commissioner for Sports, Mr. Christopher Green, is one of those bothered enough to speak out over some of these anomalies.
A peeved Green said: “The NSF is supposed to be a platform to raise and groom talents, and to develop them into international athletes. But what we now have is like a trading post… An athlete can be with one state now, and the next day he or she will be competing at the festival for another state.
“It is so painful when you spend a lot of time and other resources to raise an athlete, only for another state to come and lure that athlete away with the money. This has made the festival become like an event for the highest bidder.
“The fact that the NSF organisers, the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, are not curtailing it makes it a big problem for sports development,” the commissioner said, while also calling for an amendment of the residency rule for athletes.
“The rule should make the number of years such athletes have to be with their new states five years, so as to curtail the movement of athletes just before festivals,” Green said.
Upping The Ante With Scandalous Medals’ Bonanza WITH last week’s medal padding allegation, the 21st National Sports Festival tagged, Asaba 2022, clearly upped the ante as far as sporting fraud is concerned. The alleged fraud also rubbished the compelling need to win a competition fair and square.
Team Delta won the festival with a total of 320 gold medals, 200 silver medals, and 128 bronze medals. Bayelsa State followed in second place with 132 gold, 115 silver, and 90 bronze medals.
In the sports meet where over 14, 000 athletes contested in 38 sporting disciplines, Edo State, which hosted the 20th edition, finished third with 78 gold, 94 silver, and 167 bronze medals thereby making the top three a South South affair.
Lifting the lid over the alleged medals’ sleaze, the Bayelsa State Sports Commissioner, Baraladei Daniel Igali, threatened to pull the state out of future National Sports Festivals, and other national games after unfolding the very troubling development.
In issuing the threat, Igali, a Canadian-Nigerian freestyle wrestler, who is also an Olympic gold medallist, insisted that the state would opt out of future sports festivals and any other games organised by the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development if allegations of medal padding surrounding the Asaba scam is not resolved.
The Olympic medallist, who is also president of the Wrestling Federation of Nigeria (WFN) alleged that medals won by Bayelsa State were padded, as the oil-rich state was gifted over 230 gold medals whereas she won only 109 goal medals.
Painting a picture of a rather shocking scenario, Igali said that a day before the end of the sports festival, the record of medals was about 96 per cent correct, but things suddenly went south all of a sudden.
“At that time, Delta had 219 gold medals and Bayelsa had 94 gold medals. We did our calculations and concluded that there were less than 70 gold medals in total to be won. However, on the last day, in spite of the 70 or so odd gold medals that were at play, Delta won 91 gold medals. Edo won about 30 gold medals! When I saw the supposed final medal table where Delta had shot up to 320 and Bayelsa was at 132 gold medals, I immediately reached out to a close friend who is an aide to the sports minister to alert them to the unspeakable corruption occasioned by the final medal table.
“I didn’t want the sports minister to announce the results as it would be a national embarrassment. But that was not immediately heeded, and we are where we are now,” the Bayelsa State sports commissioner submitted.
Concerned by the gravity of Igali’s damning allegation, and as a face-saving strategy, the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, set up a five-man panel to unravel the mystery behind the sordid development.
The committee’s composition includes Brig. Gen. Emmanuel Okaro (head), Mrs. Hauwa-Kulu Akinyemi, and Madaki Elias Gora as members. A representative of the Delta State Sports Commission is also a member, while Lekan Alabi, the statistician of the sports ministry will serve as the secretary.
Latest Blunder No Honest Mistake, But Grand Fraud FOR the non-initiate, the medals’ bonanza, which has made the National Sports Festival a laughing stock could have been a result of a computational error, which organisers failed to contain before it filtered out. But some of those that have threaded that path insist that there is more to the computational blunder than meets the eye.
A former state director of sports, who preferred anonymity explained that the well-executed scandal, allegedly done in active connivance with sports ministry officials, members of the Asaba 2022 Main Organising Committee (MOC), some states’ government officials, and other criminal elements within the sports circle, fetched everyone involved millions of naira after every festival.
“Early in the multi-sports fiesta, many stakeholders expressed concern over the late release of the medals table/delay in updating it. But those involved were quiet because they were neck deep in the abracadabra that they were conjuring. I make bold to say that sports administrators from states, officials from the sports ministry, MOC members, and others make a lot of money from this fraud, and to shock you, this is not just happening for the first time, and it will not end soon if decisive actions are not taken.
“A huge issue at the beginning of the festival was the late release of the medals table, which often placed competing states, officials, and athletes in a fix on how many medals they had won.
“Even if you want to listen to some of the insane excuses that are being bandied, the last festival was the 21st in the series, so how do you explain the wrong allocation of medals to states other than the winning states?
A state like Ondo had to write a protest letter at some point through its commissioner for youth and sports development. It was after the protest letter that the anomaly involving the state was corrected. Kogi was not insulated from the charade, as both the sports commissioner and the sports director had to shout to high heavens before the state’s two medals that were not captured were eventually registered in their favour.
The retired sports director continued: “Many still wonder whether it is true that state government officials bribe corrupt games officials to shore up their medals haul. The answer is yes. It happens, and it’s been on for a while now. This now tells you that there is a lot of sanitisation that needs to be carried out in the sports sector because some of the staff are as corrupt as those in other sectors of the economy. But the question that I keep on asking is, ‘why are state governments that are not interested in developing sports sustainably always interested in their states winning more medals than even states that are trying their best?” Let me conclude by saying that the Federal Government will lose its integrity, and the festival its sheen if the latest fraudulent practice is handled with levity.
NSF No Longer For Grassroots Sports Development FIFTY years after the games debuted, many things have changed within and without the country, and these changes have affected not only the nation’s psyche, composition, and makeup, but also the socio-economic and sporting landscapes.
This explains why some persons are of the view that in line with present realities, a re-appraisal of the festival’s aims and objectives is in order, especially since the NSF is no longer serving the purpose of enhancing and elevating sports at the grassroots with that responsibility ceded to the National Youth Games (NYG).
One of those that share this sentiment is the former Chairman of the Lagos State Sports Commission (LSSC), Dr. Kweku Tandoh.
Asked to bare his mind on the apparent breach of the original aims and objectives of the festival in recent years, Tandoh, a medical doctor said: “As far as I am concerned, the focus of the National Sports Festival, for me is no longer what it used to be when it was initiated in the 1970s. The NSF at inception had three categories – junior, intermediate and senior categories. But right now, there is no longer age restriction or barrier. So, the idea of NSF helping to curb age cheating in sports is no more feasible. The National Youth Games has taken up that role because it is only there that there is age restriction or age barrier for competitors.”
Given this, Tandoh said it was important for stakeholders to sit back and outline what the new objectives of the NSF should be, and thereafter design a path to the realisation of the new set of objectives. “But one thing is certain, and that is the objectives of the festival are no longer what they were at inception because the NSF has ceased being a developmental event, the NYG currently is.”
On the fluid nature of athletes who oscillate between states with deep pockets that are capable of paying for their services, the former LSSC chair said the issue of poaching is not such a big deal. “As long as the athletes are competing within the country, I do not have an issue about what some are describing as poaching of athletes,” he said.
With many long knives out in the wake of Igali’s allegation of a medals’ bonanza at the 21st festival in Delta State, Tandoh refused to jump on the bandwagon, but play safe.
He told The Guardian: “I don’t have details of the allegation about medal’s table padding, but I think that the right thing is being done now with the setting up of a committee to investigate the matter, to make the necessary corrections. I believe that it was a computational error that would be sorted out.”
Police authorities in Edo State say scores have been kidnapped after some herdersmen attacked passengers waiting to board a train from the Igueben station in Igueben Local Government Area of Edo State to Warri, in Delta State.
Spokesperson of the State Police Command, Chidi Nwabuzor, while confirming the incident said the assault which took place on Saturday evening, left many persons injured.
According to the Police, the abductors, armed with AK 47, invaded the train station and shot sporadically into the air before abducting scores of intending travellers into the bush.
The police while noting that many of the passengers sustained bullet wounds, assured Nigerians that operatives are on the trail of the abductors with an aim to rescue the kidnap victims herded into the thickets.
“This is to inform the gentlemen of the press that today, 7th of January, 2023, at about 1600hrs, unspecified number of herdsmen armed with AK 47 riffles attacked the train station at Igueben, Edo State, and kidnapped unspecified number of passengers, who were waiting to board the train to Warri.
“The kidnappers, who shot sporadically into the air before kidnapping some passengers, left some persons with bullet wounds. The Area Commander Irrua, DPO Igueben Division and men, have visited the scene of the crime with members of the Edo State Security Network, local vigilantes, and hunters with a view to protecting the lives and property of the remaining passengers,” the statement read.
According to Mr Nwabuzor, bush combing operations have commenced in order to rescue the victims and arrest the fleeing kidnappers.
The police image maker said further developments will be communicated to keep Nigerians abreast of the situation
“As we proceed with the festivities, I enjoin all to reflect on the virtues of giving and extending a hand of love and support to neighbours, friends and acquaintances.
“This celebration is a good opportunity to exchange gifts with loved ones, as well as others in need: those living in orphanages, in prisons, hospitals, and in the Internally Displaced Persons’ camps in the State.” (Watch Video Here)
The governor further noted, “I pray that this celebration will continue to foster love and unity among us all regardless of our cultural differences, creed, faith or social class.
“May the spirit of the celebration and brotherly kindness remain with us even after this season.”
THE lawmaker representing Ovia Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon Dennis Idahosa has visited the Internally (Watch Video Here) Displaced Persons (IDP) camp in Uhogua, Ovia North East local government area where he donated several food items and revealed that the extension of electricity from the national grid to the camp has begun. (Watch Video Here)
He donated food items running into millions of naira to the IDP and expressed regret that it has taken years for the camp to be connected to the national grid.
He said the connection when completed, would save the facility the huge amount being spent on diesel to power their generator and such resources could be channelled into other purposes. (Watch Video Here)
He said the food items was meant to cushion the biting effect of inflation, as well as provide the displaced persons something to enjoy for the yuletide.
Idahosa said “It is a huge camp and without support from well meaning individuals and organisations, there will always be a huge gap of taking care of the needs of the children and adults here. (Watch Video Here)
“They don’t just need only food, there are other needs such as medical supplies, toiletries and educational needs of the children,” he stated.
In his response, Co-ordinator of the camp, Pastor Solomon Forunsho commended the lawmaker for the electricity and food items. (Watch Video Here)
He noted that the over 2000 people in the camp have for years appealed for the extension of electricity to the camp without any positive response. (Watch Video Here)
He said “It is the same way we have been making an appeal for support for the education needs of the children several of who are in tertiary institutions across the country.
“At a time, we were selling some of the food items in stock to take care of (Watch Video Here) these needs. Just this year, we had 156 of them that sat for the UTME .
“We are indeed elated with the gesture of Dennis Idahosa for the food items and provision of electricity that have been one of our major challenge this past years,” he said. (Watch Video Here)
Among the food items distributed by the lawmaker included: 1000 bags of garri, 250 bags of Rice, 400 bags of beans, 20cartoons of tomato paste, 30 cartoons of seasonings and 20 kegs of vegetable oil
He added that they did not plan to kill anybody for the rituals, but planned to sacrifice any part of their body for the get-rich-quick ritual.
Omomia added that the vigilante outfit has been on alert to rid the state of crime and deter youth from engaging in similar vices.
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Adamu Shaibu, a 28-year-old member of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, serving in Igara Local Government Area of Edo State, has been handed a nine-year jail term for cybercrime and possession of fraudulent funds.
Shaibu, an indigene of Lokoja Local Government Area of Kogi State was convicted alongside four others: Olasupo Abdullateef Olawale, from Iwo Local Government Area of Osun State, Aguh Henry Chicherem from Orsu Local Government Area of Imo State, one Ridwan Abiodun Abdulganiyu and Qozeem Shuaib from Ilorin West local Government Area of Kwara State, before Justice Adebayo Yusuf of the Kwara State High Court, Ilorin.
The Ilorin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday, October 17, 2022 arraigned the defendants on separate charge, to which they all pleaded guilty.
Count one of the charge against Adamu reads:
“That you, Adamu Shaibu, between April and August, 2021 in Lokoja, within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court did retain the control of the sum of $164 USD through a cashapp you fraudulently obtained from one Baraman, which you knew to be proceed of criminal conduct and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 17 (a) & (b) of the Economic and Financial Crimes (Establishment) Act, 2004.”
Rasheedat Alao and Aliyu Adebayo who prosecuted the cases on behalf of the Commission tendered the statements and items recovered from the defendants in evidence and urged the courts to convict them as charged.
Justice Sani sentenced Adamu to three years imprisonment on each of the three counts brought against him with option of 100 percent of what he benefited. The judge ordered that the convict’s two mobile phones and a draft brought by him as restitution be forfeited to the Federal Government.
The judge also sentenced Olasupo to three years imprisonment on each of the two counts preferred against him with option of fine of N1,043,171 on Count One and N10,840,574.86 on Count Two.
The convict, according to the judge shall forfeit his two phones and one MacBook, which he used to perpetrate the crime to the Federal Government.
Aguh on the other hand, bagged two years imprisonment or a fine of N400,000 (Four Hundred Thousand Naira Only). He is also to forfeit his 2014 Toyota Camry Car, Mac iPad pro, Samsung S9 and iPhone 6S.
Equally, Justice Sani sentenced Ridwan to a prison term of two years with option of N200,000 (Two Hundred Thousand Naira) fine and ordered the forfeiture of one infinix phone, which he used as instrumentality of the crime.
For Qozeem, Justice Yusuf sentenced him to six months imprisonment with an option of N100,000 (One Hundred Thousand Naira Only) fine.
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The University of Benin (UniBen), Edo, Nigeria has been ranked 6th by the Times Higher Education (THE) in its latest World Universities rankings for Nigeria.
In the rating made available to Newmen on Monday in Benin by the university’s Public Relations Unit, the performance indicators were centred on the four areas of teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook.
The rankings were also based on the analyses of over 15 million research publications and survey responses from approximately 40,000 scholars worldwide.
Reacting to the ranking, Dr Benedicta Ehanire, the Public Relations Officer of the institution, said: “This information has been well received by the University of Benin community as it serves as a confidence booster.
‘’The university is at the conclusion stage of securing international accreditation by the Quality Assurance Agency, United Kingdom.
“It is expected that the University of Benin will be the first to be so recognised among Nigerian universities.”
Ehanire added that with these developments, the institution was now positioned to significantly improve in its ranking in the next exercise.
A Benin City based Pastor, popularly know as Oyegeyege of Faithful Church of God Ministry, has been reported dead while confessing, saying that he needs blood.
In a video monitored by odinceblog, the pastor was seen falling like a child in his residential house in Benin and a voice coming from him that sound nonhuman was held saying “I need blood”.
Neighbours who came for a rescue mission try to keep him balance but the pastor had no more strength anymore, while a certain male voice was held in the video telling others to allowed him confess.
Pastor Oyegeyege who recently lost his wife in what many described as not ordinary death, is noted for prophecies and miracles as his church located at creamcest before amufi Benin City play hosts to different persons who comes there with one problem or the other, seeking for miracles.
Sources said that it could be connected with diabolical powers which the pastor uses to perform his miracles and prophecies.
According to Reports, After the death of his wife, he has suddenly become so powerful, rich and famous. He further warn Christians to beware of such pastors.
University students took to the streets for the second straight day on Thursday in protest against the strike embarked by the Academic Staff Union of Universities.
Tagging themselves ‘The University of Streets’, the protesters walked along the Ugbowo-Lagos expressway in Benin-City.
The walk was expected to terminate at the Ring-Road area of the city.
Other students and concerned Nigerians were scheduled to join the students in protest at Ring Road.
On Wednesday, the students had taken their protest to the King Square area of the city, demanding an end to the strike.
They said they are tired of staying at home, cut off from their academic pursuits.
While they appealed to the relevant authorities to look into the issues that led to the strike for a resolution to be reached, the students lamented watching their dream of graduating suffer stagnation.
ASUU’s demands ASUU embarked on a four-week warning strike on February 14.
On March 14, the union extended the industrial action by another two months to allow the government meet all of its demands.
The academics are seeking improved welfare, revitalisation of public universities and academic autonomy among other demands.
One bone of contention for the academics is the non-payment of university revitalisation funds, which amounts to about N1.1 trillion.
But the Federal Government has said it doesn’t have the money to pay such an amount, citing low oil prices during the Muhammadu Buhari administration.
The agreement was reportedly struck in 2009.
Another is the issue of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
The academics have proposed an alternative payroll system, the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS)
Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, on Sunday approved N40,000 as the new minimum wage for workers in the state in commemoration of 2022 Workers’ Day.
Obaseki, who made the announcement in Benin while delivering his 2022 Workers’ Day speech, said his government will continue to prioritise the welfare of Edo workers, equipping them with the capacity and environment to deliver efficient and quality service to the people.
“As we all know, the minimum of N30,000 can barely sustain a family. It will be immoral and mindless of us to continue to pretend that we do not know that our workers are suffering,” he said.
“The government of Edo has now decided to review the minimum for Edo workers from N30,000 to N40,000 a month. Undoubtedly, Edo is the first state since the current outbreak of coronavirus to take this initiative.
“Even though we would have loved to pay more, we hope that this little adjustment would enable us to cushion the impact of the inflation that we are faced with. There is no doubt that the financial implications will be heavy and put another burden on the government.
“But as a government, we are prepared to make the sacrifices so that the workers can live a better life. Your welfare is our number one priority.”
While reassuring his government’s relentless support to senior citizens in the state, Obaseki lamented the hardship experienced by pensioners and other senior citizens because of the rising cost of food and other items.
“I am particularly interested in our senior citizens because they are one of the most vulnerable in our society. We took interest in payments of outstanding pensions to our pensioners although these pensions were held by the previous administration.
“In view of the prevailing economic circumstances, I have now approved, effective this May, the agreement we reached with the Union of Pensioners that the harmonized amount would be paid from May 2022.
“Government is aware of the difficulties faced by the pensioners due to the non-payment of pension and gratuities to pensioners by previous governments. This responsibility is huge, and it will require a substantial part of our resources to settle them.
“However, we are not a government that is known for running away from challenges; we will look for a way to tackle these challenges,” the governor added.
Obaseki however urged workers in the state to take advantage of opportunities offered by his administration in the agricultural sector to increase food production in the country.
Earlier in his address, the state Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Mr. Odion Olaye, charged the Federal Government to step up efforts to tackle the high rate of insecurity, unemployment, and hunger in the country.
The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has assured workers in the state that his administration will continue to prioritise their welfare.
Obaseki gave the assurance in a statement to mark the 2022 Workers’ Day on May 1, adding that things have continued to improve since the onset of his administration.
He attributed this to the state’s e-governance strategies, noting that it has improved work processes in the state, automating government systems and ensuring quality service delivery to the Edo people.
“As we mark Workers’ Day, I would like to appreciate workers in the state for their commitment to duty and diligence, which is responsible for the achievements recorded by my administration thus far. Edo people are, today, better off with the improved services provided by workers.
“In the last six years, we have ensured that workers in Edo State are provided with the right environment, tools, and encouraged to deliver optimal services to the people. From reconstructing office buildings, such as the Blocks C & D of the Secretariat Complex to the introduction of e-governance systems and robust welfare packages, workers have experienced a dramatic change in the conditions in which they work in the state.
“The e-governance system makes sure that our workforce is globally competitive and provides top-of-the-range services to the people. The transformation we are witnessing will ensure that the people are better served in the long run.
“It is also impressive that they have paid back in kind by delivering on their roles and responsibilities, which has created the atmosphere for the success of the reforms we have implemented.”
The governor noted that the state will continue to place the interest of workers at the front burner of its institutional reforms, noting that continuous professional development at the John Odigie Oyegun Training Academy will equip them with skills to deepen the reforms in the state.
“We are very intentional about the need to ensure that the reforms we have introduced are sustained and outlive our administration. This is why we introduced the professional development plank in our reform agenda and are sure that these institutional frameworks will ensure that the changes we have introduced stand the test of time in the interest of workers and the development of the state.”