Barely four days after President Buhari visited Kaduna State to commision some projects, teacher Kaduna state has commenced an indefinite strike today and the state government has threatened to sack any teacher deliberately absents him/herself from duty.
The state chapter of the Nigerian Union of Teachers is calling its members on the strike to protest the recent sack of 21,789 primary school teachers who failed the government-organised competency test. Warning the teachers, however, the planned strike as illegal, vowing to sack any teacher that is absent from school duty from today when schools in the state resume for second term.
A statement by the Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity to the governor, Samuel Aruwan, said the strike is aimed at derailing the ongoing education reforms in the state and will not be accepted by the state government. “It has come to the notice of the Kaduna state government that the state branch of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), has declared an indefinite strike.
This is an illegal action, and will not achieve its aim of derailing the education reforms being implemented by the government. “The Kaduna state government is not available to be blackmailed into knowingly retaining unqualified teachers; neither would it mortgage the futureof two million primary school pupils because failed teachers are shamelessly mobilizing sentiment.
“At the invitation of the Federal Ministry of Labour, the Kaduna state government twice met in Abuja with the officials of the NLC and the NUT. Governor Nasir el-Rufai personally led the Kaduna state delegation to the first meeting.
During these interactions, KDSG made it clear that as an employer, it has every right to determine who its employees are or can be, and the minimum qualifications they must possess. “The Kaduna state government wishes to inform the public that it has instructed its education administrators to open registers in all its schools, starting from Monday, 8th January, 2018.
Any teacher that is absent from work will be treated with the consequences that pertain to absconding from duty under the Public Service Rules. “There can be no doubt that KDSG will take firm and decisive disciplinary action against personnel who absent themselves from duty, including dismissal from service. “KDSG recalls that the NUT placed primary school pupils, who are the victims of failing teachers, in danger by pushing them into the streets to demonstrate for the retention of bad teachers.
That ruse failed. Some union leaders are also likely to be prosecuted for assault, unlawful procession and destruction of public property when they attacked the State House of Assembly. “The children of the poor are the ones that attend public primary schools. We owe them a decent standard of education, and we shall provide it,” el-Rufai added.
However, Governor Nasir El- Rufai on Sunday visited the General Overseer of the Latter Rain Assembly, Tunde Bakare at the church auditorium in Lagos on Sunday.
El-Rufai’s visit is coming just a week after Bakare declared his intention to run for the presidency.
The governor stepped into the church auditorium at afternoon, while Bakare was preaching.
On seeing El-Rufai, Bakare welcomed him, saying, “I have missed you, it is a good time to come”.
The fierce preacher had earlier in the service said all those putting up deliberate sinful silence about the killings in Benue would pay for it.
As at the time of filing this report, neither Bakare nor the governor have disclosed reason for the governor’s visit.
-El Rufai in the church