Nigerian primay school teachers in Kuje Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has embarked on an indefinite strike over the alleged failure by the Council’s Chairman to reach agreements with the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT).
The strike which started yesterday, Monday, January 9, 2023, was confirmed by the Chairman of the Kuje branch, Mr Audu Lucky, in a statement released on Tuesday, January 10, 2023.
According to him, teachers in Kuje were no longer ready to be taken for granted until their demands were met by the Executive Chairman of Kuje Area Council, Mr Abdullahi Sabo.
He said: ”The union observed with dismay the non compliance by the Council Chairman to address the backlog of the Local Education Authority (LEA) teachers’ outstanding entitlements.”
Lucky added that the union had sent a letter to Sabo, with a reference number, NUT/169/5/138, dated 3/1/2023, while a letter of ultimatum dated 2/12/2022, was also sent to him.
He said: “In view of the above, the union leadership is calling on all LEA Primary schools teachers in Kuje Area council to proceed on an indefinite strike action with effect from Monday, 9th Jan, 2023, until further notice.
“LEA Kuje primary school teachers are hereby directed to comply with this directive, please.”
Lucky listed the demands to include: The payment of salaries to 2018 recruited teachers whose salaries were abruptly stopped by the council Chairman in September 2022.
”Submission of the agreed template of payment of LEA teacher’s arrears to the JAAC Secretariat and continuation of the payment to Concerned teachers.
”Payment of salary to 2022 reabsorbed teachers, who have been working through January to December 2022 without salary.”
According to Lucky, based on these demands, the branch and state organs of the union requested to meet with the Council Chairman but he refused to meet with them.
He affirmed that the union had directed all primary schools teachers in the area to stay away from their duty posts while parents were advised to keep their children and wards safe at home.
All efforts to get comments from Sabo proved abortive as he did not return various telephone calls made to his line, just as he did not reply to two SMS messages sent to him.
However, the Chairman of the FCT Universal Education Board, Dr Alhassan Sule said the board was doing everything humanly possible to amicably resolve the crisis.
Sule said; ”And I was telling the chairman that he should not allow only his local government to experience such an unfortunate situation.
”We are on top of the situation and we will soon convene a meeting between the union, the Area Council and the board with a view to finding plausible solutions to the problem.
”Education is very crucial as it is the foundation of every development and the FCT is not handling it with kid gloves.
”Education is the foundation of everything in life. Keeping these children at home is very dangerous.”