From FRED ITUA, Abuja
Aggrieved traders and teachers yesterday staged two separate protests in Abuja, over the refusal of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Administration to allow them buy their business premises in Wuse Zone Three of the city and failure to regularise the employment of contract teachers.
The FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed has, however, denied allegations that he secretly gave 11th-hour employment to his friends and family members in the administration.
Over 200 contract staff teachers from different primary and secondary schools in the territory participated in the peaceful protest in the premises of FCT Administration, appealing to the minister to give a directive for them to be absorbed by the administration.
“We were given contract employment and they have been paying us since then. However, our salaries were terminated at the end of the contract and since then we have been applying and expecting them to absorb us in the system but all our efforts have proved abortive, that was why we decided to organise this peaceful protest to reawaken their consciousness on our plea,” one of the protesters explained.
Members of Wuse Zone Three Market Traders Association, however, barricaded the entrance of the FCT Administration’s premises, denying staff and visitors entry and exit for several hours on the allegation that the FCT Minister denied them the right to acquire their business premises.
In their hundreds, the traders expressed disappointment that the minister decided to sell the premises to a private oil and gas company.
Speaking on their behalf, Mr. Ifeanyi Asiegbu told newsmen that the minister had earlier denied them the opportunity of owning the land on the excuse that it was a rail transit point.
“But we are surprised to see some surveyors mapping the land and they gave us 48 hours notice to vacate the premises or risk destruction of our property,” he said.
The minister, however, explained to the protesting teachers that he only gave directive for the employment of 50 Mathematics and science teachers.
“We noticed that our schools are lacking in science and Mathematics teachers and we cannot afford to be backward in such subjects, because the world is developing in technology,” he said.
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