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ASUU Lashes Out At Govt Over UTAS, Challenges Pantami, Inuwa To Public Debate

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ASUU Lashes Out At Govt Over UTAS, Challenges Pantami, Inuwa To Public Debate

One of the disagreements between the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is far from being resolved.

There has been a new dimension to the disagreement over the declaration of the Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency, Kashifu Inuwa, that the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) created by the ASUU in lieu of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System for the payment of university lecturers had failed an integrity test.

In a statement which ASUU released on Sunday in Abuja, it accused Inuwa of deliberately misinforming the public and had therefore invited the minister of communications and digital economy, Isa Pantami and Inuwa to a public debate over the integrity of UTAS.

The statement signed by the national president, ASUU, Emmanuel Osodeke, partly read: “The one-month roll-over strike by our union on 14th February 2022, has entered its 4th week. During this period we have been having engagements with the government over the contending issues that necessitated the action.

“One of the contending issues is the deployment of the UTAS which is a robust software created by ASUU technical group to manage personnel and payroll in the university system.

“The Federal Government had referred UTAS to NITDA to conduct user acceptance test and vulnerability test assessment and penetration test prior to the final deployment. The process, which commenced on Thursday, March 3 is still ongoing.

“This press statement is necessitated by the need for ASUU to put the records straight on the grounds already covered in our patriotic struggle to get the government to deploy UTAS as a suitable solution for salary payment.

READ ALSO: University Lecturers’ Contaminated And Adulterated Remunerations (2)

“Of special concern is the statement credited to both the minister of communications and digital economy and the Director General of NITDA, to the effect that UTAS had failed integrity test.

“Let us put it on record that an integrity test was carried out by NITDA on August 10, 2021 in NUC where relevant government agencies and all the end-users in the university system were present.

At the end of the exercise, all without exception expressed satisfaction with UTAS. This was attested to the effect that UTAS scored 85 percent in User Acceptance Test.”

ASUU, in the statement also added that it was worried that while engagement was still going on in the second round of testing, the minister and the DG, NITDA, “went to press after the FEC meeting of Wednesday, 9th March 2022, to mislead the nation that UTAS failed the integrity test.

“Clearly, 85 percent and 77 percent are high class grades in any known evaluation. In their desperation to justify their false assertion, they threw up issues such as data centre and hosting of UTAS software which are clearly outside the rubrics of ASUU’s responsibilities in the deployment of UTAS.”

The union further cautioned the minister and the DG, NITDA against “making comments that are capable of jeopardising the joint ongoing testing of UTAS between the NITDA technical team and its counterpart in our union.

“However, if this behavior continues, we will have no choice but to demand that the report on UTAS be made public in order to shed more light on the ongoing controversies without further waste of time. The DG NITDA, and the minister superintending the agency are challenged to a public discussion on any national media to put all matters to rest for the benefit of our students, union members, and the Nigerian public in general.”

 

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BREAKING: Peter Obi Resigns From PDP

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BREAKING: Peter Obi Resigns From PDP

Former Anambra State Governor Peter Obi on Wednesday dumped the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Obi announced his resignation in a letter dated 20 May, addressed to the National Chairman of the party.

READ ALSO: Okupe Drops Presidential Bid For Peter Obi

In the letter seen by New Times, Obi gave reasons for his withdrawal from the presidential race.

 

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Security Forces’ll Deal With Killings In South-East, Others – Buhari

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Security Forces'll Deal With Killings In South-East, Others - Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has assured Nigerians that perpetrators of killings in the South-East and other parts of the country would be dealt with by security forces.

“I strongly condemn the wild, barbarous and wanton killings of innocent people in the South-East, as well as in other parts of Nigeria, Buhari wrote on his official Twitter handle.

“The perpetrators of these deeply distressing attacks should expect the toughest possible response from the security forces.”

The president was reacting to the recent gruesome killing of a mother – Fatima – and her four children in Anambra State.

READ ALSO: Open Letter To President Muhammadu Buhari

Several quarters have accused the proscribed secessionist group, Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as the mastermind of the gruesome killings.

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Kaduna chapter, has also condemned the killing urging that IPOB terrorism needs to be stopped.

“This unfortunate act is getting out of hand. IPOB members are murderers, cowards and subhumans who oppress the innocent and kill children. FG should treat them the same way as Boko Haram,” CAN said.

Unknown assailants have continued to wreak havoc around the South-East since the incarceration of IPOB’s leader Nnamdi Kanu. The separatist group has repeatedly distanced itself from attacks on state assets and government functionaries.

Attacks in Anambra have become vicious in recent days, with gruesome killings of politicians and arson on police and other statement establishments on the upswing.

 

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AfAW Lauds Church Of Scotland For Acknowledging Harm Linked To Witchcraft Accusations

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AfAW Lauds Church Of Scotland For l Harm Linked To Witchcraft Accusations

The Advocacy for Alleged Witches (AfAW) has lauded the Church of Scotland for taking steps to acknowledge inked to Scotland`s historic witchcraft laws centuries ago. At its 2022 General Assembly, the church accepted the motion brought by Rev Prof Susan Hardman that regrets the terrible harm caused to alleged witches in Scotland.

“AfAW received this news of the Church of Scotland`s acknowledgment with much excitement and hope for the future of its campaign to end witch-hunting in Africa”, a statement by Dr Leo Igwe, a leader of the group in Nigeria, said.

It continued : “This development marks a significant step in the efforts by Witches of Scotland to win justice, legal pardon, apology, and national monument for thousands of people mostly women who were convicted of witchcraft and executed between 1563 and 1736. AfAW is delighted by the progress that the campaign by Witches of Scotland has made. On March 8, 2022, the International Women`s Day, the Scottish first minister, Nicola Surgeon, offered a formal apology to people accused of witchcraft in the 16th and 18th centuries.

READ ALSO: AfAW Condemns Gouging Out Kano Child’s Eye, Offers To Help Victim

Incidentally, this campaign has elicited criticisms from some segments of the Scottish population who think that the initiative is unnecessary because these are wrongs committed centuries ago. Some people say that such a campaign is an anachronism to the current generation of Scottish people. But these critics are greatly mistaken. They have forgotten that injustice is injustice no matter how long in the past it was committed. And it is never too late to say: ‘I am sorry.’ It is never too late to acknowledge mistakes and wrongdoings. It is never too late to remedy past injustices, especially when these injustices are still meted out to people in some parts of the world.

“More importantly, this campaign has so much contemporary relevance and resonance. Tens of thousands of people, including women, children, and elderly persons, still suffer harm linked to witchcraft accusations and prosecution in many African countries. And churches with a direct and indirect link to the Church of Scotland often perpetuate these abuses. Churches in Africa are part of the problem of witch-hunting in the region. Churchmen and women are modern-day witch hunters, witchcraft accusers and witch persecutors. This acknowledgment by the Church of Scotland sends a clear and powerful message to its counterparts and affiliates in Africa. This regret provides the moral leadership that has been missing in this campaign. This development in Scotland will help persuade and mobilize African churches to become part of the efforts to end abuses linked to witchcraft beliefs in the region.”

 

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