Bayelsa government, NUT trade words over teachers strike
As the strike by primary school teachers enters one week yesterday, the Bayelsa State Government and the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) are presently at loggerheads over the industrial action, which has crippled academic activities in primary schools across the state.
On one hand, the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Jonathan Obuebite alleged that NUT Chairman and Secretary, Kalama Toinpre and Hector Johnson, were being used as willing tools by the opposition to destabilise the state government.
The NUT on the other hand, accused Obuebite of using propaganda to run down the Governor Seriake Dickson’s administration, adding that most of the political appointees were hindering the governor’s efforts by portraying him in bad light.
His words: “His allegation of sabotaging government is propaganda. We attended a workshop organised by the government. We did not run away from government. Now, I am on a committee set up by the government to ensure that things are done the proper way.
“That statement is a propaganda. I am not a politician. I am a pastor and do not belong to any political party. Some people that are appointed as commissioners are the ones frustrating government’s efforts. They are portraying the governor in bad light. We do not run government by propaganda.”
Obuebite had in statement claimed that the NUT leaders in the state were sabotaging the government’s efforts and good intentions.
Specifically, he alleged that Toinpre and Johnson being the two top most leaders of the NUT, were being used by leaders of the opposition to destabilise the state government.
Teachers in the state’s public primary schools had on Monday May 8, 2017 commenced an indefinite strike to protest against unpaid nine and a half months salaries owed them by the state government.
The strike followed the expiration of a three-day warning strike called by the state wing of the NUT on May 4, 2017.