…Our Meeting With Govt. Ended In A Fiasco – NUT
…Some Members Disagree, Splits NUT, Forms Secondary Sch. Union
By Saviour Ekpe
Schools in Akwa Ibom State both Primary and Secondary whose resumption date was Monday, April 24, 2023 was shifted to today, Tuesday April 25, 2023 because of the Salah celebration, are embarking on an industrial action due to what they termed as a ‘lack of government commitment to keep to agreement’.
In a telephone interview of Century Newsfront on the State Chairman, Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Akwa Ibom State Wing, Comrade Edet Emenyi stated that the strike commenced today and that there is no going back on it. Comrade Emenyi explained that the Union leadership had an interface with the State Head of Civil Service but could not resolve the matter as the government relied on promises, which the Chairman noted has become unbearable to the teachers.
According to the Chairman, government is owing six years of leave grants, promotion arrears and 7.5 per cent contributory pension to Primary School Teachers, “and what they told us was that they will pay two years leave grants, we told them that until the government commences the payment, then, we will call off the strike”.
It could be recalled that the present leadership in the state led by His Excellency, Mr. Udom Gabriel Emmanuel inherited two years leave grant for Primary School Teachers, according to the NUT Chairman, “Presently, the state owes Primary school teachers six years leave grant and the government is winding off in a few weeks with six years leave grant”.
In another development, the secondary school and Technical school wing of the NUT in the State distanced themselves from the said strike and created a new body known and addressed as ASUSS (Academic Staff Union Of Secondary Schools).
In a press release signed by Comrade Gabriel Akpan, Chairman and Comrade Emmanuel Owokere, Secretary and made available to Century Newsfront called on their members not to partake in the industrial action, stressed that they will monitor their defiance members closely while promising that they will not be intimidated by any force.
Some of the ASUSS exco members who pleaded anonymous told Century Newsfront that they cannot be part of the NUT arrangement, ‘after all, all our entitlements have been paid 100 per cent to us to date and we lack nothing, why then should we join the aggrieved party to spite on the government?’ they queried.
Another teacher who also spoke to Century Newsfront under the condition of anonymity said, “This doesn’t represent the interest of all secondary school teachers. The majority of secondary school teachers are in NUT and are paying their dues. They represent only a few greedy secondary school teachers who allowed themselves to be used by the government to break NUT. Their membership is very insignificant compared to the total number of secondary and technical school teachers in the state. Imagine in a school of 30 teachers, only 3 belong to ASUSS and 27 are in NUT. Do you think such a school can resume without the strike being called off?