Primary school teachers in Kuje Area Council, Abuja, on Monday, embarked on an indefinite strike over the alleged failure by the Council’s Chairman, Abdullahi Sabo, to reach an agreement with the Nigeria Union of Teachers.
The Chairman of the Kuje branch, Audu Lucky, disclosed this in a statement signed by four union executive members and sent to the News Agency of Nigeria in Kuje on Tuesday.
Lucky said that the teachers in Kuje were no longer ready to be taken for granted until their demands were met by the Chairman of Kuje Area Council.
He said, ”The union observed with dismay the non compliance by the Council Chairman to address the backlog of the Local Education Authority teachers’ outstanding entitlements.”
The NUT chairman added that the union had sent a letter to Sabo, with a reference number, NUT/169/5/138, dated 3/1/2023, while a letter of ultimatum dated 2/12/2022, was also sent to him.
Lucky said, “In view of the above, the union leadership is calling on all LEA Primary schools teachers in Kuje Area council to proceed on an indefinite strike action with effect from Monday, 9th Jan, 2023, until further notice.
“LEA Kuje primary school teachers are hereby directed to comply with this directive, please.”
Lucky listed the demands to include the payment of salaries to 2018 recruited teachers whose salaries were abruptly stopped by the council Chairman in September 2022.
”Submission of the agreed template of payment of LEA teacher’s arrears to the JAAC Secretariat and continuation of the payment to Concerned teachers.
”Payment of salary to 2022 reabsorbed teachers, who have been working through January to December 2022 without salary,” he added.
According to Lucky, based on these demands, the branch and state organs of the union requested to meet with the Council Chairman but he refused to meet with them.
He affirmed that the union had directed all primary schools teachers in the area to stay away from their duty posts while parents were advised to keep their children and wards safe at home.
All efforts by NAN to get Sabo’s comments proved abortive as he did not return various telephone calls made to his line, just as he did not reply two SMS messages sent to him.
However, the Chairman of the FCT Universal Education Board, Alhassan Sule, said the board was doing everything humanly possible to amicably resolve the crisis.
Sule said, ”And I was telling the chairman that he should not allow only his local government to experience such an unfortunate situation.
”We are on top of the situation and we will soon convene a meeting between the union, the Area Council and the board with a view to finding plausible solutions to the problem.
”Education is very crucial as it is the foundation of every development and the FCT is not handling it with kid gloves.”