Presidential Candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has dismissed speculations regarding his health status, declaring that contrary to insinuations that he was dead, he is hale and hearty.
Noting that he is in high spirits to hit the ground running should he be elected as president in 2023, the former Lagos governor also said he has not withdrawn from the presidential race.
Tinubu made the clarifications in a terse comment on his verified Twitter handle on Sunday evening.
He backed the comment with a video of him in a workout session, riding a spinning bike and a hit song, ‘Organize’ from Nigeria’s fresh sensation, Asake, playing in the background.
“Many have said I have died; others claim I have withdrawn from the presidential campaign.
“This is the reality: I am strong, I am healthy and I am READY to serve Nigerians from Day One”, he stated.
Tinubu’s absence from the country in the past few days has led to speculations that he may have been bedridden in London hospital.
The Federal Government has cautioned the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) over disobeying the order of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) to call off its ongoing strike.
Dr Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Employment, gave the advice in a statement signed by Mr Olajide Oshundun, the Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations, in the ministry on Sunday in Abuja.
“The union is dishonest and misleading its members and the general public, that it has filed an appeal as well has a stay of execution of the order of NICN on Sept. 2, though it has none of this.
“Rather, ASUU only filed an application for a permission to appeal the order. It also attached to the application, a proposed notice of appeal which it intends to file if the leave to appeal is granted.
“The application for a stay of execution as of this moment has not even been listed for hearing. Where then is ASUU coming from?
“It is therefore contemptuous, dishonest and misleading for the union to tell its members that it has not only appealed the interlocutory injunction by the NICN, directing it to call off strike and return to work, but that it also has a stay of execution,’’ he said.
Ngige therefore described the new directive by ASUU, exhorting its members to continue with the action as an unwarranted lawlessness, noting that “the Federal Government strongly frowns at this”.
The minister advised the striking lecturers to cease taking laws into its hands by directing its members to continue with the 8-month old strike.
According to him, this is in defiance of the interlocutory injunction by the NICN which restrained the union from further action.
He accused the leadership of the union of misinforming and misleading its members and warned of consequences of contempt of court order.
Ngige reiterated government call to the union to respect the court order and return to work, while negotiations are concluded on the remaining issues in contention.
The statement also denied reports that the minister walked out on the meeting between the House of Representatives and ASUU on Sept. 29.
It said the minister left the meeting to attend to other pressing matters with the permission of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, after making his presentation.
It stated that the Secretary to the Government of the Federation was earlier granted such permission by the Speaker.
The statement further recalled that at that meeting, Ngige addressed the two major issues over which ASUU is still on strike.
It said, according to the minister, “on renegotiation of salaries and wages of lecturers, I sympathise with ASUU just like other Nigerian workers.
“The economy is bad and hard time, biting hard on everybody. ASUU deserves no blame.
“The Briggs Committee was the product of reconciliation of my ministry, which had to move to the ASUU’s direct employers – Ministry of Education for a Collective Bargaining Agreement, so we can arrive on what is good to be paid to ASUU, subject to approval by the President.
“The President has a Presidential Committee on Salaries and Wages chaired by the Minister of Finance, with myself as co-chair and other members – National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission, Budget Office, etc.
“Every MDA, whether drawing from the treasury or not, must pass through this committee on any issue concerning salaries for approval, before transmission to the President. The report of the Briggs Committee did not unfortunately pass this route.”
It said that Ngige also revealed that when the issue of payment platform – UTAS – came up, he persuaded the President to “give the platform a trial in the spirit of Executive Order 3 and 4, and the SGF supported me”.
“If the system is good, we adopt it for the whole country, but meanwhile the hardware is not there. How do you do it?
“The test – the three of them – IPPIS, UTAS, UPPPS – have failed the test. Do you recommend something that has failed a test?. So, no matter how I love ASUU, I won’t support something that failed a test.’’
Fans, on Sunday, jubilated and congratulated Ijeoma Otabor, popularly known as Phyna, on emerging as the winner of the Big Brother Naija Season 7 reality TV show, dubbed Level Up.
Phyna was announced the winner on Sunday, beating fellow finalist Bryann to clinch the N100m prize money.
Speaking after the announcement, Phyna who was unable to contain her joy, told the show host, Ebuka Uchendu, “I don’t even know what’s going through my head right now… like who dey?”
Congratulating the reality TV star, a fan on Twitter, @CuteLikeACutie, wrote, “Even the Bible said truly they shall gather. But they all fell at Phyna’s feet cos this victory will shut them all up. Street ti take over. Congratulations Phyna.”
@Starlexx1 wrote, “All I can say is it’s a well-deserved win. Congratulations Phyna and Phynation. She gave us pure entertainment/Zeeworld/Action movie/Drama/romance/comedy etc.”
Another fan, @iwilldrag, said, “You guys don’t understand how iconic Phyna’s win is. She has officially levelled the standard for both genders being befitting to win on this show. No more high standards for women!!! Now, both men and women can be very imperfect and still win!”
On her part, @drkSparkk, hailed Phyna for becoming the second female contestant to win the reality TV show.
“She came, she saw and she conquered. Second female winner of Big Brother Naija, my baby girl PHYNA, the hype priestess,” she wrote.
Other contestants earlier evicted on the final night were Chizzy, Rachel, Daniella, Chichi, Adekunle, and Bella.
1st October is a spectacular day for every citizen of Nigeria because it is the day that we commemorate our nation’s Independence. This day reminds us of the sacrifices and obstacles our forebears faced to break free from the clutches of the British Empire and the responsibility expected of every one of us in building a strong and prosperous nation. Since 1960, we have no doubt recorded a bunch of successes and failures. Today, therefore, presents us with the privilege to appraise the journey so far, appreciate the achievements and opportunities of the moment and, project into a brighter future for the nation.
Freedom, they say is the greatest gift and as a people, it is only a privilege that we have this rare gift under our custody. As we celebrate this special day in our nation’s history, we must not forget the sacrifices of our heroes past, bearing in mind that, through their sacrifices, we now have a nation that we can call our own and it is up to us to bequeath on the future generation a better, freer and greater nation. May this day birth new opportunities for everyone in Obubra II state constituency, even as I urge you to embrace peace, shun violence, and contribute positively to the growth and development of our constituency, state, and nation.
Once again, Happy New Month and 62nd Independence Anniversary.
Signed: Hon. Frank Ovat, Obubra II State Constituency, CRSHA
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Woman Leader, Prof Stella Effah-Attoe celebrates Nigeria at 62
In a message made available to Newsmen, the erudite scholar and advocate of women said Freedom does not come so easily & as such We are indebted to our national heroes who made this country what it is today.
As patriotic citizens, let’s put extra effort to perform our own civic rights and responsibilities.
in furtherance she said “Our diversities should not be seen as a weakness but as our strength. It is only by working together that we can build a resilient nation.”
And Let us think of something we can do for our nation to make it a place of wealth, peace, and happiness rather than fight over religious and ethnic differences
Moreso I would like to encourage Us as Nigerians that despite all the challenges we should remain strong and Let love prevail in our hearts
According to Prof Stella, the place of the woman is beyond the kitchen but strategic leadership positions that will catapult Nigeria to greater heights
“As we remember our national heroes today, let’s renew our pledge to always uphold our national unity so that we can live together in peace and harmony.”
Happy 62ND Independence Day and a wonderful month ahead