Posted by Garba Ahmed, Kaduna | 8 November 2017 | 1,654 times
President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Waba, on Wednesday in Kaduna led a peaceful rally, protesting the sack of 22,000 primary school teachers in the state.
The rally, featuring teachers from the 23 local government areas of the state, other state chapters of NUT, NULGE and health workers unions across the country, paralysed activities in the affected areas.
Thousands of the protesters led by the NLC President marched peacefully from the Labour House along Independence Way to the gate of the House of Assembly where they delivered their message amidst heavy security presence.
The protesters carried leaves and placards with messages such as: “El-Rufaiology, A Total Disaster To Kaduna State”, “Kick Against Autocracy”, “El-Rufai Must Go!!!”
The President of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), Chief Michael Olukoya, was however not present at the protest.
Some of the members of the medical health workers unions who participated in the rally said they did so because they know it may be their turn one day.
“You know the Hausa proverb that says ‘if the bears of you neighbour catches fire, you should ensure you spring water on your own before it gets to you’,” Michael John, a medical worker, said.
Mr. Waba, addressing the teachers, said that NLC is not aware of the sack of 22,000 teachers and 10,000 local government workers by Governor Nasir el-Rufai.
Even though none of the law makers were on ground to respond to the protesters, the NLC president however stated that, “whether they are here or not, we have delivered our message because this is our house.”
Comrade Ibrahim Yusuf, one of the sacked teachers and a former Publicity Secretary of NUT, Soba Local Government Branch said many of those whose names of the successful teachers on the list released by the State Government are retired teachers, security guards and those who died long ago.
“Many of those whose name appeared as successful in the screening have retired two years back especially Lere LGA, Kajuru, Sabon Gari, Birnin Gwari, Sanga and many other LGAs,” he said.
Another teacher, Comrade Ayuba Garba, said the governor has no right to give three months notice.
“Many of our colleagues died in an auto crash and bomb blast during one is such screenings by El-Rufai in Zaria few years ago,” Mr. Garba said.
He said the claim that the teachers instigated pupils to protest against their sack is not true. Those students and pupils came out to protest in solidarity with their sacked teachers.
“Let El-Rufai go to the class room and teach those innocent children, now that he has sacked all the teachers,” he added.
The Kaduna State Government had on Tuesday condemned in strong terms the use of primary school pupils for protests by teachers who failed the competency test.
The State Government said it will not tolerate the reckless endangerment of minors by adults who are sending them to the streets.
Students from public primary and secondary schools around Sabon Tasha, Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna, had earlier on Tuesday taken to the streets to protest the sacking of thousands of their teachers by the State Government.
The protest was a continuation of what pupils of Local Education Authority, Kawo, Kaduna North Local Government Area, started on Monday.
Meanwhile, the Kaduna State wing of NUT has announced that its members will proceed on an indefinite strike from November 23 to protest the sack of 21,780 teachers.
The state chairman of the union, Audu Amba, said that the union had issued a two-week ultimatum to the state government to reverse its decision to disengage 21,780 primary school teachers for failing its competency test.
He explained that the decision to embark on the strike was taken after the union’s executive council meeting, with the support of the national body of the union.
He said that if the government failed to reverse its decision, the entire public secondary and primary schools in the state would be shut down.
•Photo by Garba Ahmed shows some of the protesting teachers and health workers in front the Kaduna State Assembly Complex at Lugard Hall.
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