Headlines from mainstream Nigerian newspapers today, Wednesday August 16, are focused on the attack on Charly Boy among other top news.
The Nation reports that controversial musician Charles Oputa (aka Charly Boy) survived an attack on his person yesterday when he attempted to take his “Buhari must resign or resume” campaign to the Wuse market in Abuja.
Charly Boy, 66, has been leading a band of two dozens or less to sit out at the Unity Fountain in Abuja campaigning that the president should return home from his medical vacation or quit.
He tried to mobilise traders at the market when some who obviously resented his campaign attacked him Some of the people with him and reporters were also manhandled. There was commotion as campaigners ran helter skelter, chased by stone throwing traders.
Policemen were called in. Teargas canisters were fired before the musician and his men were rescued. Most of them were battered.
A co-convener of the campaign group, Mr. Deji Adeyanju, in a statement, said they were “attacked by known supporters of President Muhammadu Buhari while on a visit to Wuse Market”.
He said the attack was spearheaded by a member of the pro-Buhari support group, who had also been meeting at the Unity Fountain.
He said: “This attack was completely unprovoked. This is the third in a series of attacks carried out against us, using a combination of policemen and paid hoodlums.
“It is saddening that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari would rather commit scarce national resources to such underhand tactics than give full disclosure regarding the health of the President.
Vanguard on the other hand reported that Police shot into the air, yesterday, after protesters demanding that President Muhammadu Buhari should resume or resign, were confronted by supporters of the President in Abuja.
The clash happened at Wuse Market in the heart of the capital city. The market was immediately shut to avert further clashes.
The clash happened on the eve of the 100th day after President Buhari left Abuja to London for medical treatment.
Earlier in the day, presidential spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu, had asked the protesters, who had protested daily in Abuja to go and look for work, if they had nothing better to do on the claim that the President satisfied every constitutional requirement before departure.
The protesters in a statement, described the attack on them as completely unprovoked, vowing that the group will sustain its demand on the President to resign from office if he was no longer up to his duties.
Sources said the group was set for a major sit-in today to mark the 100th day of the President’s absence.
The Guardian reports that the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, yesterday assured Nigerians that the industrial action embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) may end in two days.
The Guardian yesterday in Abuja, the minister noted that the administration led by President Muhammadu Buhari has a policy of engaging unions, including ASUU.
Adamu also held a closed-door meeting with the leader of the Federal Government Renegotiation Team, Dr. B. O Babalakin (SAN). The minister had, in January, inaugurated the 16-member team to renegotiate the 2009 agreement.
The committee, headed by Babalakin, was given the mandate to dialogue with ASUU, Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) and Non-Academic Staff Union of Associated and Allied Institutions (NASU) to ensure sustainable peace and industrial harmony in tertiary institutions.
According to him, the Federal Government is doing all it can to address the frequent closure of universities in the country. “I hope and believe that this would be a one or two days strike. We have a policy of engaging the unions, including ASUU and I think now we are very serious. This is the first time in two years that ASUU is declaring a strike,” Adamu said.
When The Guardian spoke with Babalakin, shortly before the closed-door meeting with the minister, he confirmed the talks with ASUU after it embarked on an indefinite strike. Babalakin also assured that the industrial action would not be prolonged.
The Secretary-General, Committee of Vice Chancellors (CVC), Prof. Michael Faborode, described the strike as a result of the “mishandling and non-demonstration of sincerity by the government on the state of our education from primary to tertiary level.”
Punch reports that the Federal Government and the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities on Tuesday presented different views on a parley involving both parties over the strike by university teachers.
While the Federal Government said significant steps were taken at the meeting towards the resolution of the issues raised by ASUU, the President of the union, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, said it was a “mere consultation.”
He said, “We have not yet had a formal meeting (with government); we are still making consultation. Don’t worry; I will get back to you when there is information. But there is no information for now.”
But the Director of Press, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Samuel Olowookere, in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday said the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, led government to the meeting on behalf of the government.
He said the meeting held took significant steps towards the resolution of the issues raised by ASUU.
Olowookere said the meeting agreed on the forensic audit of N30bn earlier given to ASUU in 2010 and further agreed on monthly remittances to ASUU while the audit lasts.
Thisday reported that the federal government has received 365 actionable tips from members of the public since the Whistleblower Policy was launched in December 2016, the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, disclosed Tuesday.
She also disclosed that a full-fledged Whistleblower Unit with full operation within the Ministry of Finance had been set up, adding that government intentionally integrated the team into the ministry to provide comfort to those with information by ensuring that the environment is not intimidating.
The minister, who spoke in Abuja at a seminar organised by the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR) with the theme, “The Whistleblower Policy and Its Implication for Public Servants,” also disclosed that investigative agencies were billed to embark on study tour of Australia due to that country’s pedigree in whistleblowing.
According to her, much of the success of the policy had relied on the decision of the whistleblower to do the right thing, adding that of the 365 actionable tips received, over half of them came from public servants touching on issues such as contract inflation, ghost workers, illegal recruitments, misappropriation of funds, illegal sale of government assets, diversion of revenues, and violation of Treasury Single Account (TSA) regulations, among others.
Watch this NAIJ.com TV video asking Nigerians what Buhari should tackle when he returns.