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Edo teachers defy Gov. Obaseki, insist on indefinite strike

The Edo State chapter of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), has defied the directives of Governor Godwin Obaseki for academics in the state to resume work on Monday, February 1.

They insisted they might proceed on their indefinite strike which they embarked began on January 18.

The teachers urged mother and father and guardians to keep their kids and wards away from public primary schools as they’d not be pressured to call off their strike.

The Edo State NUT was reacting to a ‘No work, no pay’ directive issued by the Secretary to Edo State Government (SSG), Osarodion Ogie, on January 29, where he warned the state wing of the Union. and the striking primary school teachers that failure to resume on February 1 would result in the forfeiture of their salaries and allowances.

“That is to inform mother and father, teachers and the general public that public primary schools in Edo State shall resume fully on Monday, February 1.

“Mother and father and guardians are expected to make their kids and wards prepared for resumption on this date (February 1). Government wishes to re-emphasise that all public school teachers and head teachers are required to be present in their schools.

“Failure to resume work shall be considered forfeiture of wage, because the Edo State Government has activated the no work, no pay policy.

“Head teachers and lecturers who’re desirous of staying away from work, in support of the sponsored strike by sure elements of the Edo State Wing of the NUT, are required to hand over school property in their custody to their education secretaries,” the circular had warned.

However in a press release collectively signed by the state Chairman of NUT and the Assistant Secretary-General Pius Okhueleigbe and Mike Itua, respectively on Sunday, the union stated it was resolute in “ensuring that freedom for displeased primary school teachers must be now or never” and they’ll proceed on their strike till the government meets their demand.

The assertion added that the state NUT had not called off the indefinite strike, urging the general public to disregard the misinformation and propaganda of the Obaseki administration.

A part of the assertion reads:

“The attention of NUT, Edo State Wing, has been drawn to some pronouncements purportedly made by the Edo State Government, with regard to the continued indefinite strike embarked on by public primary school teachers and school heads in Edo State since January 18.

“Obaseki’s administration, on January 29, via the Secretary to Edo State Government (SSG), Mr. Osarodion Ogie, issued a threat of ‘No Work, No Pay,’ amongst others, to the striking teachers, with effect from February 1.

“Ordinarily, the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Edo State Wing, wouldn’t have bothered to answer the said pronouncements because they have been directed on the ‘Nationwide Union of Teachers,’ a body unknown to the constitution and legal guidelines of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, however contemplating some components of the pronouncements that bear teachers’ points, currently in dispute between NUT, Edo State Wing and Edo State Government.

“The indefinite strike by public primary schools’ heads and teachers, which began on January 18, continues to be very much in force, therefore on Monday, February 1, it’ll proceed unhindered within the 18 local governments of Edo State.

“NUT Edo State Wing enjoins public primary school heads, teachers, mother and father, pupils and the general public to ignore threats, blackmail, intimidation, announcements, pronouncements and moves from any quarter, aimed toward discrediting the indefinite strike.

“Not one of the anti-democratic ways of Obaseki’s administration would have an effect on the unshakeable resolve of NUT Edo State Wing and its members in making sure that the primary school teachers’ 10-point calls for have been met.

“NUT Edo State Wing calls on well-meaning residents and institutions within the state to prevail on Obaseki’s administration to meet the demands of the teachers, as an alternative of embarking on arm-twisting and deploying unproductive shenanigans.”

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