“By the Grace of God, we will not fail the FCT Teachers, by the Grace of God we will not let the teachers of the FCT down; we are conscious of our vocation, we are conscious that we have been given a mandate by the teachers of FCT, we will ensure that together we will develop the NUT FCT to a greater height. We will do this by providing nothing but service and justice to the FCT teachers, we will do that by ensuring that what is due to the teachers is given to them and at the right time, Comrades we will fight anybody with our teeth, any man or woman, any group of people that will stand in the way of what belongs to our people, we will not agree.
I want to thank you again, and again, we are proud of you and we will not let you down, together we will do this work. Comrades, I want to appeal to you for one thing, your continuous support, your prayers, your commitment to justice, we will carry everybody by the Grace of God along so that at the end of our tenure, we will with your support carry everybody to the Promise Land”.
With this resounding words which was received with tumultuous cheers and a standing ovation by hundreds of NUT delegates present, Comrade Stephen Knabayi, Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Teachers, FCT Chapter accepted the overwhelming mandate of a second term handed him and the other members of the executive council by the FCT teachers due to their outstanding performance within the previous four years which culminated in the construction and commissioning of a brand new 24 room ultra modern secretariat at Gwagwalada Area Council complete with state of the art facilities, fittings and installations.
Other members of the returned exco include; Deputy Chairman, Bartholomew Komka; Ag. State Secretary, Margaret Jethro; State Treasurer, Abdullahi Mohammed Shafas; 2nd Vice Chairman, Ahmed Mahmud; 4th Vice Chairman Mali Zubwa; Publicity Secretary Ayuba Samson; State Auditor 1, Umoru Lawal; State Auditor 2, Lami Tanko amongst others. Comrade Stephen Knabayi’s rousing speech was well received by the NUT delegates who attended the 12th Quadrennial Conference of Delegates organized by the NUT FCT Chapter at Gwagwalada on the 2nd of December, 2019 with the Theme: “The Menace of Kidnapping and Terrorism on Educational Institutions in Nigeria. Issues, Consequences and Solutions” dominating the deliberations of the conference with speaker after speaker dwelling on the necessity of safeguarding the welfare and wellbeing of teachers nationwide against physical, financial and security threats and breaches.
The 12th conference was well attended by dignitaries from the political, public, private and corporate sectors of society including the Special Guest of Honour, Alhaji Mohammed Musa Bello, Honourable Minister of the FCT; Guest of Honour, Senator Philip Aduda, representing the FCT; Comrade (Dr.) Mohammed Idris, National President of the NUT; Alhaji Adamu Yunusa, Onah of Abaji & Chairman FCT Traditional Council; Comrade Dr. Sir Mike Ene, Secretary General NUT, Dr. Clinton Ikpitibo, H.O.D Admin & Staff Training, NUT; Prof. Ojo Edward, Guest Speaker and Head of Department of History and Diplomatic Studies, Uniabuja; Comrade Abubakar , Chairman, NLC, FCT Chapter, Mallam Abdulkarim Abdulrahman, President, ANCOPSS, FCT Chapter and other dignitaries. In his welcome address, Comrade Stephen Knabayi restated the determination of his administration to tackle all issues relating to the welfare and wellbeing of teachers in the FCT while ensuring that the quality, knowledge and experience of his members are enhanced through constant training, workshops and seminars that build capacity, staff morale and overall productivity across the board. On the issue of the recently approved minimum wage, an ebullient Comrade Knabayi assured the congregation of teachers present that the present exco would do all that was humanly possible in ensuring that the entirety of FCT Teachers partake of the wage increase without delay. As for the accomplishments and outstanding achievements of the Comrade Knabayi led exco, it was left to the NUT President, Dr. Mohammed Idris to reel off some of the milestones in his address including the Creation of four additional NUT branches in the FCT for administrative convenience; Reconstruction of NUT dilapidated Teachers House to a 24- room ultra modern story building, Rapid growth of FCT multipurpose co – operative society with over 10,000 teacher subscribers at present, Commencement of operation and upgrading of NUT FCT Guest House, Installation of transformer at the Teachers House, Connection of both Teachers House and NUT Guest House to the National Grid, Purchase of Mikano Generators for the Teachers House and NUT Guest House, Mobilization of all eligible teacher to register with TRCN, Regular payment of teacher’s salaries and up to date promotion of teachers, Upgrading of FCT Graduate Teachers to Grade Level 17 (Principal Directors in Schools) and Recruitment and Promotion of NUT staff.
From the litany of landmark achievements enunciated by the visibly impressed NUT president, it is patently clear that Comrade Stephen Knabayi has indeed performed superlatively as NUT chieftain, having restructured and repositioned the union for a more credible and responsive service delivery to the hundreds of thousands of teachers in the FCT and beyond.
Little wonder that the vast majority of the teachers represented by their delegates unanimously returned the entire Knabayi led-exco unopposed amid thunderous cheers, applause and resounding ovation.
Indeed speaker after speaker from the representatives of the FCT minister, Senator Phillip Aduda, the Onah of Abaji, and the NLC and ANCOPSS leaders harped on the need to maintain the tempo of action-oriented policies and programs initiated by the present FCT exco stressing that the dividends was already paying off among the FCT teachers as their morale, productivity and zeal for exemplary performance has gone up tremendously in leaps and bounds. In the marbled words of Comrade Knabayi; the FCT exco ‘will not relent, will not flinch and will not retreat until ultimate victory is achieved’.
To God be the Glory.
– Eze wrote in from Abuja