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Edo primary teachers vow to defy Obaseki on resumption

By Bisi Olaniyi, Southsouth Bureau Chief

The Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) Edo State Wing, won’t honour the resumption order by Governor Godwin Obaseki on Monday.

They Governor has ordered the resumption.of public primary schools on Monday, February 1, 2021.

He told teachers to be in classes to attend to pupils.

But the teachers told parents to.keep their pupils at home from Monday.

They said the indefinite strike commenced by Edo primary school teachers on January 18, 2021 was still in force.

Edo NUT, in a statement by its chairman, Pius Okhueleigbe; the Assistant Secretary-General, Mike Itua and three other members of the executives, declared the union was resolute in ensuring that freedom for displeased primary school teachers must be now or never.

It insisted Edo NUT had not called off the indefinite strike, while urging members of the public to ignore the misinformation from Obaseki’s administration.

The NUT also urged public primary school heads, teachers, parents, pupils and the general public to disregard all forms of threats, blackmail, intimidation, announcements, pronouncements and moves from any quarter, aimed at discrediting the indefinite strike.

It maintained none of the tactics of Obaseki’s administration would affect the unshakeable resolve of Edo NUT and its members in ensuring the primary school teachers’ 10-point demands were met.

Edo NUT said: “The attention of NUT, Edo State Wing, has been drawn to some pronouncements purportedly made by the Edo State Government, with regard to the ongoing indefinite strike embarked upon by public primary school teachers and school heads in Edo State since January 18, 2021.

“Obaseki’s administration, on January 29, through the Secretary to Edo State Government, Barr. Osarodion Ogie, issued a threat of ‘No Work, No Pay,’ among others, to the striking teachers, with effect from February 1, 2021.

“Ordinarily, the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Edo State Wing, would not have bothered to respond to the said pronouncements, because they were directed at ‘National Union of Teachers,’ a body unknown to the constitution and laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, but considering some parts of the pronouncements that bear teachers’ issues, presently in dispute between NUT, Edo State Wing and Edo State Government.

“The indefinite strike by public primary schools’ heads and teachers, which started on January 18, 2021, is still very much in force, hence on Monday, February 1, 2021, it will continue unhindered in the 18 local government areas of Edo State.”

It also called on all well-meaning residents and institutions in the state to prevail on Obaseki’s administration to meet the demands of the teachers instead of embarking on arm-twisting and deploying unproductive shenanigans.

But Edo Secretary to State Government (SSG), Ogie, warned the striking primary school teachers failure to resume on February 1 would henceforth lead to forfeiture of their salaries and allowances.

Ogie said: “This is to inform all parents, teachers and the general public that all public primary schools in Edo State shall resume full activities on Monday, February 1, 2021.

“Parents are expected to make their children and wards ready for resumption on this date (February 1).

*Government wishes to re-emphasise that all public school teachers and head teachers are required to be present in their various schools.

“Failure to resume work will be considered forfeiture of salary, as the Edo State Government has activated the no work, no pay policy.

“Head teachers and teachers, who are desirous of staying away from work, in support of the sponsored strike by certain elements of the Edo State Wing of the NUT, are required to hand over all school property in their custody to their respective education secretaries.

“The board is collaborating with the relevant security agencies to ensure the protection of all public schools and any willful destruction of government property will be met with criminal prosecution to the fullest extent of the law.”

NUT in Edo, on January 12, directed all primary school teachers and school heads to embark on an indefinite strike from January 18.

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Source: The Nation

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