Kogi SUBEB boss disowns protesting teachers, says they are applicants

KOGI State Universal Basic Education Board has disowned protesters in Lokoja under the Basic Education Staff Association of Nigeria, (BASAN) over non-payment of salaries.

The teachers had a rough time when armed policemen numbering over 50 swooped on them with tear gas during the Peaceful protest over non payment of their 2014 November and December salaries and entitlements.

SUBEB Chairman, Mallam Nuhu Ahmed indicated that the protesters could have been teachers under his board, adding that the umbrella under which they demonstrated is not a recognized body that can stand in for the teachers.

“All over Nigeria the union that represents teachers is the NUT, at the University level, it is ASUU, and at the Polytechnic it is ASUP.

“The Union that is responsible for taking care of teachers matter is NUT and the NUT in the State here is not lying low, they take the interest of teachers seriously.”

He said under the Labour law they are not recognized because they referred to themselves as association registered with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).

He said they might have registered as a business association. “No two association can fight for the same cause for the teachers. I know my teachers with the NUT would not go to the street to protest, I believe that the protesters were applicants looking for job that were hired if not why do they have to go to the road for protests, is their classroom on the road?”

He asked whether going to the road to protest would draw any attention for them on the road?
During the protests Scores of teachers sustained various degree of injuries especially the female teachers who could not run as a result of the melee that ensued following the tear gas by the police.

Addressing journalists before the police attack, the BESAN chairman, Comrade Adamu Sule, said the protest was in reaction to the statement credited to the Chairman of SUBEB that the state government does not owe basic education teachers any salary arrears.

In his words “The State government is owing teachers in Ajaokuta, Ofu, Okene, Olamaboro and Omala local government council November 2014. Government also owes us 2014 December salary.

“We have not received Leave bonus for five years while incremental/promotion allowances has not been paid, yet the government claimed they are not owing us, this is a great disservice to teachers in the state,” he said.
According to him, what worries the basic teachers was the propaganda by the state government and SUBEB, in order to mislead the general public on the plights of the teachers who died of heart attack and high blood pressure occasioned by deprivation.

“We are out today to let the world know that the Kogi State Government is owing basic education teachers in the state. We also want the Federal Government and the public to know how government is killing public school.

“Public primary schools in Kogi is in shambles, they have all removed their children from public schools to private schools and as such whether public school is dead or not they are not bothered about it,” he said.

While calling on the Federal Government to intervene in the matter, Adamu said no amount of intimidation would stop them from demanding their right, adding that they will use legal means to ensure that their entitlements are paid.

One of the teachers, Asabe Audu, 53 wondered why the police would attack them when they were protesting peacefully without obstructing economic activities.

Showing bruises on her hand, she lamented that a police officer she taught at LEA primary school, in cantonment area of Lokoja was the same officer who teargas her.

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