Champion Newspapers Limited
For a better society

NUT threatens showdown with FCT chairmen over sack of teachers

116
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

CYRIL MBAH, Abuja

 

The recent staff re-validation exercise conducted in the six area councils of the Federal Capital Territory [FCT] by new chairmen, which resulted in the sack of several workers, including teachers, will soon lead to prolonged closure of primary and secondary schools in Abuja except the chairmen reconsider the decision.

FCT branch of the Nigeria Union of Teachers [NUT] has vehemently rejected the action saying there is absolutely no need to sack teachers and it warned the new council administrators, who were elected in February 2022 but took over office early June, to overturn the decision of face the consequences of their refusal.

Chairman of the association in the Federal Capital Territory, Comrade Steven Knabayi warned in an interview, soon after the Annual General Meeting [AGM] of the FCT NUT Cooperative Society in Gwagwalada, that the NUT cannot stand-by and watch council chief executives treat its members like slave labourers.

Comrade Knabayi said the NUT will accept nothing short of the reversal of the decision, the respect and implementation of an earlier agreement reached with the FCT Minister, Mallam Mohammed Musa Bello, which led to the suspension of an eight-week warning strike initiated by teachers last year.

“We want to use this opportunity to speak out against the disengagement of some teachers by the new area council chairmen and to warn that this is a wrong step that would lead to conflict.

“Disengagement of staff from office has procedures and from the information we have about what happened, the laid-down procedures were not followed to sack teachers. We have not seen good reason for area councils to disengage any teacher in the FCT. There is none and the decision should be cancelled immediately. The action was motivated purely by political considerations.

“The NUT is not happy with the newly elected area council chairmen towards teachers in particular and it is very unfortunate for them to think that the past council leaders did not do well to engage teachers. We need more teachers to handle the growing population of students in the territory.

“Leadership at the level of the area councils should be free from sentiments and favouritism. A leader should be a good representative of all the people in the area he/she supervises.

“We also learnt that the chairmen have even discarded the agreement we reached with the FCT minister on the payment of outstanding salaries and allowances of teachers which made us to call off the eight week industrial action we embarked upon last year.

“For us in the NUT, the agreement is sacrosanct and cannot be toyed with by anyone because whoever does so should be ready for what will follow. For us, that agreement cannot be renegotiated.

“The agreement has come to stay because government is continuous and any leader who ignores or tampers with the agreement will not like what will happen in the area council,” Comrade Knabayi warned.

Knabayi also urged the FCT Administration to fast-track the process of improving security around FCT schools even as he appealed to teachers to be security conscious to enable them protect themselves and their pupils from attack.

Comrade Knabayi disclosed that the NUT Cooperative Society granted loans worth more than N300 million to teachers to solve several personal needs between 2020-2022 and would soon float a commercial microfinance bank for the benefit of its more than 20, 000 members.

 

 

For a better society

Comments are closed.