- Oyo Dishes Out Sack Letters to 662 Workers
Ibadan – As the Governor Abiola Ajimobi led administration in Oyo State begins distribution of sack letters to some 662 workers for alleged forgery of results of their West African School Certificates, palpable fear has enveloped the entire public and civil service in the state with the affected workers describing the letters as bad Christmas gifts.
The most affected are workers from the Polytechnic, Ibadan, and its satellite campus at Saki, The Polytechnic, Eruwa, and other tertiary institutions under the state government. Also some civil servants in the Ministries of Education; Information and Culture; Agriculture and Natural Resources; Lands, Science and Technology, Finance, Local Government and Rural Development, Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, Health and Water Resources are not at peace knowing that the distribution of the letters is still on-going and the declaration by the government that names of other 2,021 workers have been expunged from payroll.
Already, the state government has sent dismissal letters to 24 workers of The Polytechnic, Ibadan. The first batch of the letters which are 18 in number were received by the workers in the institution last week Thursday while another six letters have been sent but are yet to be handed over to the affected workers.
Due to the gradual release of the letters, guilty workers in the institution have been running helter-skelter to some politicians to prevail on the governor to give them soft landing that would enable them to collect gratuities and pensions and also escape possible prosecution.
The affected workers are in two categories. The first category are the ones who have admitted guilt while there are others who claim that their certificates are genuine.
Out of the 662 workers, only forty of them who feel they have genuine certificates have so far gone to the management of the West African Examination Council for the verification of their certificates.
Though, some of them wanted to collect the reports by hand for onward submission to the Head of Service, Mr. Soji Eniade, the examination body reportedly declined to send the reports through them saying such classified reports should be sent straight to the state government.
One of the affected workers said he wondered why the government failed to do painstaking investigations before declaring that their O level certificates were forged.
According to him, “some of us presented O level results when we were employed. But, we decided to further our education and we discovered that there were some subjects required which we did not do at our first sitting. We had to re-write the papers so that we can be considered for admission. During the screening exercise, some of us added these new results to the former ones we had presented at the point of entry. May be that’s why they declared our results forged.”
“I want to tell you, this is not the kind of gift that one should expect in this Christmas period. It is too traumatising. Since, I got the letter, I have not been myself again. If I forged certificate, I would not have bothered so much because if you do such a thing, you should be expecting anything. Sooner or later, you would be exposed. But, this is the same result I have been using all my life and no one has ever declared it forged. This is no doubt, a great error, on the part of the government. I just hope they clear me on time.”
When the Head of Service (HOS), Mr. Soji Eniade who was flanked by the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr. Toye Arulogun and the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. Bashir Olanrewaju, was announcing the dismissal of the workers, he said that about 684 workers were not found at their duty posts during the last Physical verification Exercise (PVE) carried out in the state.
He said the state government is restructuring the state civil and public service by ascertaining the quality and quantity of the workforce, stressi@ng that the Bank Verification Number (BVN) used to determine the accurate size of the workforce and pensioners exposed that there were 1,432 fictitious state pensioners’ names, 84 fictitious local government pensioners and 505 fictitious workers in the state civil and public service, amounting to 2021.
He stressed further that the state government discovered that 662 personnel on its payroll were in possession of forged WASSCE certificates discovered during the certificate verification handled by Messrs Captain Consulting consultant.
Three hundred and five of the personnel were from the local government, 152 from ministries, 149 from Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM), 28 from parastatals and two from the State Universal Basic Education Board.
He further pointed out that 670 workers that were discovered to have submitted forged certificates, 8 out of them resubmitted their WASSCE certificates for re-verification while the remaining 662 had been summarily dismissed and the onus is now on them to prove that the WASSCE certificates in their possession are original.
The HOS said that the exercise would be a continuous one as the consultant is expected to extend the verification to higher institution certificates submitted by the state civil and public servants and consequently urged the workers who are still in the service to voluntarily resign as the government will deal with them within the ambit of the law.
He said, “I am an advocate of some of the private sector practices to be injected into the public and civil service in the state. The level of decadence in the system is embarrassing and this cannot continue.
“What the government is doing is called self-check. There is financial check, institutional check, quality check et al. Any organization or even individual that wants to progress must engage in self-check as standard practice.
“The government engaged the services of a consultant and this is the same consultant used by the previous administration.
“We do not want any interference and that is why we have engaged a third party to weed out the bad ones amongst us all. In 2013, workers with fake certificates were dismissed and it is a continuous process which the government will see to the end.
“We are using the exercise to determine the quality and the quantity, right size, of the workforce for efficiency, prompt salary payment, and service delivery to restore the lost glory of the public and civil service. Initially, we had a total of 670 and 8 out of them have represented their certificates. We will give them the opportunity of re-verification. We believe in the saying that he who comes to equity, must come with clean hands.
“Also, we have started issuing queries to the personnel that prepared the payrolls where fictitious names were discovered.
“We want them to tell us where they generated the names and explain why disciplinary actions should not be taken against them,” the HOS added.
The State Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress, Mr. Waheed Olojede, said “I have met with the Head of Service, Mr. Soji Eniade about the workers who have gone to WAEC to confirm authenticity of their certificates. He told me that 40 workers have gone to WAEC to verify their results and their reports would be forwarded to the consultant”.
“Those workers who have gone to WAEC to authenticate their certificates should be given fair hearing and where their claims are genuine, they should be let off the hook,” he said.
Speaking further, the NLC leader in the state said that others who know that they have genuine cases should go and verify their certificates and address the reports to the Head of Service.
Some of the affected workers who know that they are guilty of the allegation have gone into hiding because the government has threatened to prosecute them and collect all the salaries and entitlements they had been paid over the years.
University Of Ibadan (UI) Goes Digital, Releases Timetable for Virtual Academic Session
University of Ibadan (UI) on Friday announced it is going ahead with resumption on February 20 despite the second wave of COVID-19.
In a statement released by the school, the First Semester of the 2020/2021 academic session will commence virtually on February 20, 2021.
The virtual academic session will last for 13 straight weeks and end on Friday May 12, 2021, while the matriculation ceremony will hold on Tuesday March 16, 2021.
The University of Ibadan also scheduled one week for the Finalization of Continuous Assessment, to begin from Mon. 17 May and ends Friday 21 May.
The rising number of COVID-19 cases has compelled the Senate to approve the virtual academic session in an effort to ensure the tertiary institution abides by the protocols established by the Federal Government to curb the spread of the pandemic.
“It, therefore, agreed that the 2020/2021 First Semester lectures will be delivered online. In this regard, students will not be accommodated on campus,” a statement from the school said.
“Senate also approved the cancellation of the 2019/2020 session. The next session is, therefore, renamed 2020/2021 Academic Session. Consequently, students who have been admitted for the 2019/2020 session will now be regarded as the 2020/2021 intakes.
“Kindly note that online opening of Registration Portal and Orientation Programme for the 2020/2021 intakes may commence ahead of the Sat 20/02/21 date indicated above,” the statement said.
House of Representatives Impeached Trump Over Capitol Invasion
The United States House of Representatives on Wednesday impeached President Trump for the second time after instigating the US Capitol invasion.
Led by Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, 232 representatives, including 10 Republicans, voted to impeach the outgoing president against 197 that voted for him to remain in the office for the next six days when he would handover to the president-elect, Joe Biden.
The ten Republicans were Representatives Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the party’s No. 3 leader in the House; Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington; John Katko of New York; Adam Kinzinger of Illinois; Fred Upton of Michigan; Dan Newhouse of Washington; Peter Meijer of Michigan; Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio; David Valadao of California; and Tom Rice of South Carolina.
Speaking before the vote, Pelosi said “a constitutional remedy that will ensure that the Republic will be safe from this man who is so resolutely determined to tear down the things that we hold dear and that hold us together.”
“He must go. He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love,” she said, adding later, “It gives me no pleasure to say this — it breaks my heart.”
Republicans, who unanimously stood behind president Trump in 2019 during his first impeachment, were divided this time over the attack on Capitol.
A Republican representative from California, Kevin McCarthy, said “The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters,” Mr. McCarthy said. “He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding.”
US Congress Declares Joe Biden as The 46th President of The United States After Trump Mob Left
The joint congress of the United States on Thursday, January 7, 2021 certified Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States following President Trump’s mob action that disrupted the congress joint proceeding on Wednesday.
After ordering his followers to disrupt proceedings on Wednesday, President Trump later announced that there will be an orderly transition on January 20.
“Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th,” Trump said in a statement issued by White House Deputy Chief of Staff Dan Scavino.
“I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!” Trump added.
While the certification was just a mere formality as Biden had secured enough electoral college votes (270) required to clinch the world’s most powerful seat, the refusal of Donald Trump to accept the results of the November 2020 election made the session a keenly watched, especially after Trump mob disrupted a joint session of the Senate.
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