BY ISAIAH BENJAMIN AND RAHILA ABDULLAHI Kaduna
Against the sack of over 21,000 teachers said to have failed the competency test in Kaduna State by Governor Nasir el-Rufai, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Wednesday led other sister union such as the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) in a protest against the sack.
The National President of the NLC Comrade Ayuba Wabba led the protest with over ten thousand workers majorly affected teachers most of whom carried placards with various inscriptions on it describing their disagreement towards the dissengagement of teachers from service.
Comrade Wabba who led the protest to the Kaduna State Assembly said they have brought their complain to the honourable Members to make it known to them that they are against the sack of teachers and planned sack of Local Government Workers.
“We are against his policy’ , and we want the members of the state Assembly to address this issue, whether they are here or not, this is where we have our representatives and we have laid a formal complain as we know the Speaker, majority leader and deputy speaker are aware of this. ” He said.
Ayuba called on the honourable members to act fast on this issue as that is the agreed decision of the Union.
Some teachers who spoke to newsmen expressed their anger towards this issue and also said that some deceased names appeared on the list released as well as those who did not sit for the compentecy test alongside retirees, whereas those who sat for the test were said to have failed, they also alleged being owed salaries of months.
Some of them prayed against the re-election of the governor while insisting on working against him come 2019 should the governor decide to seek re-election.
It would be recalled that the governor has published the names of the teachers who he said to have failed the competency test conducted for them having scored below 75 percent.
Labour said the use of 75 percent pass mark is against the 60 percent benchmark approved by Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN).
Several effort made by detachment of Nigeria Police and the army deployed to frustrate the protest made no impact due to the unprecedented crowd who participated in the protest in solidarity.
Addressing the mammoth Crowe at the NLC kaduna Secretariate, the National President of NLC condemned in the strongest terms, the action of the governor for sacking over 21, 000 teachers without following due process.
He lamented that taking people out of job is inhuman and affect their family, children school fees and may result into breeding criminals, attributing the growing incident of crimes on Kaduna-Abuja to joblessness in the State.
Waba also threatened that, the next time the union would organise protests in Kaduna, members would be instructed to come with their families, wife and children, mats, beds and mattress.
“Teachers have registration council charged with the responsibility of screening members. El-Rufai is using them as a smokescreen to tell the world that teachers failed exams”, the labour leader stated.
In a separate development, the Chairman Arewa Coordinating Committee of teachers Comrade Bulama Abisu while addressing newsmen at the Kaduna Teachers House also expressed their displeasure and total condemnation of the sack of teachers.
According to Comrade Abisu who was flanked by the NUT chairmen from the nineteen northern States who were in Kaduna in solidarity with the sacked teachers, said, they are in agreement with the decision of the mother union, NLC and urged the state government to reconsider it’s stance.
“we will fight the cankerworm, kill the snake and cut the heard” the teachers vowed.
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